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Soy Candles

Updated on July 19, 2008
Marye Audet profile image

Marye Audet-White is an internationally known food writer, food editor for Texas Living, cookbook author, and food blogger.

Soy candles have become increasingly popular over the last few years. A decade ago they were a unique item that could be picked up only at local artisan fairs, however they have entered the mainstream and can be found in candles shops and grocery stores nearly every where.

Is it just good marketing or is there some sort of difference between soy candles and petroleum based candles?

Image:Morguefile.com
Image:Morguefile.com

Benefits of Soy Candles

Soy candles have several benefits over petroleum.

  • They last up to fifty percent longer than the petroleum based candles do.

  • Soy wax is slower and cooler burning, which means that they are better able to diffuse scents into the air. Ultimately this means that your scented candle with really scent your home rather than leave a faint aroma.
  • Sometimes the fragrances of the petroleum based candles can trigger allergies and headaches in some people. The soy wax candles are less likely to do that.

  • Petroleum based candles release toxins and soot into the air. The soot from the paraffin candles may release some of the same toxins that are produced when diesel is burned. Soy candles are very clean burning.
  • Soy candles support the American economy. They are made with soy beans grown in the United States. They are a renewable resource (petroleum is not) and are biodegradable.

  • Soy candles tend to be less expensive than the petroleum ones.

  • Beeswax, another popular was that is used for candles, often contains paraffin in commercial candles. It is more expensive than either soy or petroleum based waxes.

If the label does not say soy it isn't soy.

Scented Soy Candles

Soy candles come in all the same scents as traditional candles do. From Caramel Latte to Gardenia, scented soy candles are available nearly everywhere.

What scent should you choose for your home?

There is no simple answer. Obviously you should choose what you like best! However, as a rule of thumb certain scents just seem to go with certain seasons.

  • Scents like rose, freesia, fresh cut grass, or hyacinth just naturally seem to go with spring.

  • Summer is great for ocean, plum, coconut, and tropical scents.

  • When the first chilly breezes of autumn start to blow light candles that smell of apples, pumpkin and spice to bring a warm cozy feel to your home.

  • Gingerbread, cranberry, pine, and all the Christmas scents are perfect for brightening up dark winter days.

Some scented, natural soy candles to consider are:

Soy Candles for Aromatherapy

You can also choose to buy natural soy candles that are scented with essental oils. These are fantastic for aromatherapy. Whereas the petroleum based candles can actually be harming you, the essential oils released when a soy candle is burned are able to do what they were meant to.

Some Great aromatherapy scents are:

* Lavender- Calming

* Rose Otto- Centering, balances emotions

* Tangerine-Cheering

* Rosemary-Helps with alertness

* Sandalwood- Sensual, relaxing

Some great aromatherapy candles to consider are:

How to Make Soy Candles

Soy candles are much easier, and safer to make than paraffin. While paraffin will catch fire at less than 400 degrees soy wax won't burst into flame until it hits 600 degrees!

The process is very much like making traditional candles. You usually can't make tapers or other types of unmolded candles with soy wax, you will need a jar or other container to hold the candle.

Soy Wax Candles

  • 1 lb soy wax

  • 1 ounce fragrance oil (make sure it is for soy wax candles or else it may contain toxins)

  • Small dowel

  • Wax dye

  • 1 wick

  • Wick adhesive

  • Heat safe container

  • Candy thermometer

When deciding on your container consider the following:

  • Teacups

  • Coffee cups

  • Mason jars

  • Baby food jars

  • Jelly jars
  1. Place the wick into the jar.

  2. Attach it to the bottom with wick adhesive.

  3. Place a dowel over the top of the jar.

  4. Tie the other end of the wick around it.

  5. Melt the wax in a saucepan over low heat.

  6. Use the thermometer to keep track of the heat and adjust the heat as needed to keep wax from burning.

  7. Once the temperature of the wax reaches 165F go ahead and turn the stove off.

  8. Now, add the dye, stirring until the color is evenly distributed throughout the wax.

  9. Add your fragrance.

  10. As a rule of thumb the ratio is one ounce of fragrance for every pound of soy wax.

  11. Do not add more because your wax will become oily and the candle won't burn properly.
  12. If one ounce of fragrance seems strong you can add less.

  13. Keep track of the temperature. Once the wax reaches 100 degrees begin carefully pouring your wax into your container.

  14. Pour slowly and try to avoid bubbles.

  15. Set your candle aside until wax hardens completely.

  16. Trim the wick to a half inch and you are good to go.

Where to Buy Soy Candle Supplies

Buying soy candle supplies can be tricky. Make sure that everything you buy for your candle is for soy candles and is pure.

Always check with the company as to their return policies and customer service.

Soy candles are a great way to enhance your home. If you decide to start making them it can change from a fun hobby to a thriving business almost over night with a little planning. Enjoying a candle that smells great and is also good for the environment is a great feeling.

Finishing Touches on a Soy Candle

Comments

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    • Jeannieinabottle profile image

      Jeannie InABottle 4 years ago from Baltimore, MD

      Just made soy candles for the first time. This hub is way more helpful than the instructions with the kit. Thank you!

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 5 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Back for another visit. Love this hub. I just ordered and received the tangerine lavender soy candle. This is my favorite. Votes and sharing.

    • Jeannieinabottle profile image

      Jeannie InABottle 5 years ago from Baltimore, MD

      I just bought a soy candle making kit. Thanks for sharing these tips. It is nice to have a hub to refer to while trying something for the first time. Voted up and shared!

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 7 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Thank you, a million times for this fantastic hub on soy candles. So much information - including how to make them. I have printed this out and bookmarked it. Can hardly wait to get started. And kudus, to you, Mary, for an environment-friendly product. UP, useful and awesome! :)vocalcoach

    • SEXYLADYDEE profile image

      SEXYLADYDEE 7 years ago from Upstate NY

      Great hub, plenty of useful information.

    • profile image

      Karen 7 years ago

      I've been making soy candles for a while now but this last time I made them (tealights) they just don't seem to want to burn even after 10 days. I only used an ounce of scented oil per 1.5 pounds of soy wax so that shouldn't be an issue. Will letting them cure over time resolve this issue? Do you have any suggestions? Thanks for anything you can do!

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 8 years ago from East Coast, United States

      I've often wondered what the difference was between wax and soy candles - have used both and understand the absence of soot is a good thing but never put 2 and 2 together, soot is nasty stuff indoors.

    • profile image

      dabblingmum 9 years ago

      I wrote copy for a company once who swore by soy candles. I then got a few of my own and really liked them. They are probably better on the environment, too. Don't you think? Good hub, very informative!

    • Lidian profile image

      Lidian 9 years ago

      What a great hub - I am definitely going to look out for these!

    • monitor profile image

      monitor 9 years ago from The world.

      Great research. Great product and well written.

      Thank you.

      Your fan.

      Mon.

    • C.S.Alexis profile image

      C.S.Alexis 9 years ago from NW Indiana

      You kicked it on this article...Excellent coverage and comparisons, I bookmarked for later reference. Well done. C.S. Alexis

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