At Picket&Rail Lifestyle, our candles are made with 100% soy wax and we wear it with pride. With more research into paraffin wax as of late, it is obvious why people are making the switch to soy, especially if you have young, growing children at home. The differences between these two materials are worlds apart!
If you love your scents, read on to understand why you should be more vigilant about your candles.
What is paraffin wax?
Paraffin wax is a byproduct of the oil purification process. Through a dewaxing process that crude oil undergoes, paraffin wax is derived and is then processed further for use in products. Today, petroleum-based paraffin wax can be found in candles, wax paper, polishes, cosmetics, and electrical insulators, among other commercial items.
Why is paraffin wax dangerous?
- Harmful, toxic fumes: It has been claimed that paraffin wax releases toxic fumes when burnt, which has contributed to its fall out of favour. In 2009, a study by South Carolina State University found that burning paraffin wax candles give off harmful fumes (toluene and benzene) which is linked to asthma and lung cancer.
- Unsustainable: Crude oil, being the origin of paraffin wax, is considered highly unsustainable due to it being a non-renewable resource. It has also been the cause of a slew of environmental calamities, in oil spills, damage of natural habitats and climate change.
- High pollution rate: A 2004study by Maastricht University discovered levels of potentially carcinogenic polycyclic hydrocarbons in churches, presumably due to the burning of low-quality paraffin wax candles over long periods of time. Alarmingly, the level of pollutants detected exceeded that of high-traffic roads. Crude oil is known to emit huge amounts of particulate pollution when burned.
- High soot: All candles emit some amount of soot, but given the same conditions, a paraffin candle will emit more soot than a soy candle. This soot can discolour the candle container and sometimes get on your walls, furniture and curtains as well, especially if you have a lot of air circulation that moves the soot around.
Which one is more value for money?
- Soy is natural. Soy wax is derived from soybeans. After oil is extracted from the beans, it is hydrogenated, turning it into the solid form we see in wax candles. Because soy wax is vegetable-based and obtained from a renewable source, it is widely considered to have less impact on the environment, compared to the paraffin option.
- Soy wax burns for longer. All things being equal, soy wax will burn anywhere between 30 percent to 50 percent longer than a paraffin candle. Again, this depends on the height and width of the candle, the length of the wick and other factors.
- Soy wax has a stronger fragrance. Due to the lack of soot and toxins released into the air, soy wax candles have a stronger scent profile than paraffin wax candles. The chemicals released by paraffin wax can interfere with the scent during burning, which kind of defeats the point of lighting a candle.
- Soy wax has a lower melting point.This lowers your risk of accidentally burning yourself if the candle gets knocked over or there’s some sort of accident.
When it comes to candles, you can’t go wrong with soy wax. Shop our collection ofsoy wax candles today to get your new favourite gift.