Sunday, November 6, 2011

Why Buy Soy Candles?

In the more than six years that I have been making
soy candles there has been a collective 
"lightbulb moment"
in candle buyers of America.

When my friend Beverly and I first began
making and selling candles
ladies would look at us as if we
had two heads when we said the candles 
were made from soy.

"What was the difference"
they wanted 
to know.

Today, when I go out to shows with the 
candles I find a large majority are 
looking for soy candles.

This is a very good thing.

For those who are still trying to figure 
it out, let me break it down for you.

Soy wax is made from the oil found in 
soybeans.  That means that it is natural
and it is produced by our American farmers.
For that reason alone I am thrilled to support it,
however, it would not be enough to make me work 
with it or sell it to others.

Soy wax is also very clean burning.
It will not leave the sooty residue you'll 
find in petroleum based waxes.

Now, in the interest of full disclosure,
most of the candles I make have 
petroleum product added to them 
in the form of color and fragrance.
At your request I would gladly leave both out
and make you a 100% natural candle.

What I do, however, is keep the amount 
of color to a minimum and you'll find 
that most of my candles are fairly pastel 
in nature.  The white soy wax is largely 
responsible as well as my intentional minimal 
usage of the coloring.

I also choose to use natural wicking in 
all of my jar candles.
Hemp wick contains no metal.
It is a bit more likely to mushroom
but regular wick trimming easily takes 
care of that.  
(You should be trimming 
the wick of any candle you burn.)
It is well worth it for the knowledge that
your candle is as healthy as it can be.

Soy wax burns much longer than 
traditional paraffin candles.
So, while my current pricing of 
approximately $1 per ounce is higher
than the dollar type stores
$1 per candle you are 
getting something that is in 
a completely different league.

A customer once brought me a candle
to refill that she purchased at 
one of "those stores".
She couldn't understand why it 
had quit burning so soon.
I found out....
Just below the waxy surface about a 
quarter of the way down
was a packed white powdery 
I couldn't believe it!
What looked to be a nice sized candle
ended up being about the amount of 
a votive.
What a sham.
If they cut corners here 
what else might they have skimped on?
You can't believe some of the things
I have seen or have been told about.

Bottom line?

Buy candles from someone you trust.
Get them fresh.
There is nothing like a candle that has
been poured in the days, weeks or months 
before you light it.
Yes, candles can actually get stale.

Buy candles from someone who 
knows how to add enough fragrance
to last the lifetime of the candle but not 
so much as to drown the wick.
There is a fine line.
Most skimp...
some inexperienced candlemakers
go overboard and cause other issues.

Another thing to watch out for...
"soy candles" that are only a small
percentage soy and mostly paraffin.
Natural soy wax has a very, very
short shelf life
before the appearance begins to change.
This makes retail sales of 100% soy wax
very challenging, therefore many producers 
of "soy candles" add paraffin to "improve" the 
appearance.  Buy them if you don't mind
the same issues already pointed out with 
paraffin, but don't buy them for the benefits
of soy.  You aren't getting them.

Finally, one of my very favorite things about
soy wax.  
It cleans up with hot soapy water!!
So much nicer than having to freeze and chip away
at the end of a waxy candle.
As a candle maker I cannot even begin 
to imagine working with that other stuff
every day.
But that is a whole other post.
What matters to you is that when your 
candle has reached its end you can remove
the wick while the wax is still liquid, 
pour any remaining wax into your trash 
can and wash your container
with dish soap and hot water.

Now, you can enjoy that container
all over again.
That is why I love to place candles into 
beautiful containers.
Its a gift that keeps on giving.
First the candle...
then the container.

I hope this information is 
helpful to someone.
Soy candles are NOT all created educate yourself and then 
choose wisely.


  1. Thanks for educating me on this. I didn't know aloof that. I've been using the candles from bath and body works. They last forever and the scent is more noticeable. However I look forward to buying from you very soon with my heartsy vouchers :-)

  2. Very informative post, Becky. You sure know your stuff !!

  3. I will have to try one oneday.
    Don't have any candles at my house, except for a few in case of blackouts.