Looking to buy candles? You might want to consider what they’re made of. While some candles may provide a relaxing ambiance, they could also release harmful chemicals into the air. To ensure both your health and the environment are protected, it’s essential to choose the right type of candle. Two popular options are soy wax and beeswax candles.
In this article, we’ll explore the differences between soy wax and beeswax candles to help you decide which is the most eco-friendly option for you.
If you are interested in eco-friendly home decor and furniture, check our articles about organic pillows without chemicals or about sustainable furniture.
Table of Contents
What is soy wax?
Soy wax is a natural vegetable-based wax made from soybeans that is eco-friendly and vegan-friendly. It’s a creamy white wax with excellent fragrance-holding qualities, known for its clean burn and long-lasting performance.
Benefits of using soy wax for candles
- Eco-friendliness and sustainability as soy wax is a natural and renewable resource
- Low melting point, which allows for longer burning time compared to beeswax and paraffin candles. Soy candles have a low melting point of 43 degrees celsius while beeswax and paraffin candles reach their melting points above 60 degrees celsius.
- 100% plant-based and biodegradable, making it a great eco-friendly wax
- Often vegan, appealing to those who follow a plant-based lifestyle
- Does not produce harmful byproducts when burned, unlike paraffin candles.
- Has a great scent throw and can hold more fragrance oil than other waxes
- Easy to clean up with soap and water
Drawbacks of using soy wax for candles
- Soybean farming raise ecological concerns, such as deforestation and heavy use of pesticides
- Soy wax can be more expensive than other waxes such as paraffin
- May require additional additives to achieve desired candle texture and appearance, such as a glossy finish
Beeswax is a natural substance produced by honey bees to build their honeycombs. It serves as the foundation of a bee hive. Beeswax comes in different shades of white or dark yellow and can be used in various applications due to its versatile nature.
Benefits of using beeswax for candles
- Beeswax candles burn clean, releasing no chemical and almost no soot into the air.
- Beeswax is a natural product that can be harvested without harm to bees, making it a sustainable option.
- Beeswax candles emit a pleasant honey-like scent when burned.
Drawbacks of using beeswax for candles
- Beeswax candles are more expensive than other types of candles.
- Beeswax candles have a higher melting point than soy wax candles, which means they may not last as long as soy wax candles. Beeswax candles reach their melting points above 60 degrees celsius.
Comparaison of soy wax vs beeswax
Soy wax and beeswax are two great eco-friendly choices that offer many benefits.
Soy wax is a natural, renewable resource made from soybeans that is both eco-friendly and vegan-friendly. Its low melting point allows for longer burning time and it is known for its excellent fragrance-holding qualities. Soy wax is also biodegradable, easy to clean up, and does not produce harmful byproducts when burned.
On the other hand, beeswax is a sustainable option that comes directly from the honeycomb produced by bees. Its pleasant honey-like scent adds a touch of ambiance to any setting, and it burns clean without releasing chemicals or soot into the air.
While soy wax can require additional additives to achieve a desired texture and appearance, and soybean farming can have ecological concerns, such as deforestation and heavy use of pesticides, beeswax can be more expensive than other types of candles, and has a higher melting point than soy wax.
Ultimately, the choice between soy wax and beeswax comes down to personal preference and values. Whichever option you choose, you can feel good knowing you’re making a more sustainable and responsible choice for both yourself and the planet.
Eco-friendly alternatives to soy wax and beeswax
If you’re in search of natural alternatives to soy wax and beeswax, there are several options to consider.
- Coconut wax, made from the meat of coconuts, is a renewable resource that burns cleanly and has an excellent scent throw.
- Palm wax, derived from palm trees, is another eco-friendly alternative to paraffin wax that produces little soot.
- Rapeseed wax, made from the oil of rapeseed plants, is non-toxic, biodegradable, and a clean-burning option.
- Hemp wax, derived from the oil of hemp seeds, is also renewable and produces little soot while having a delicate scent.
- Candelilla wax made from the leaves of the candelilla shrub is a hard, brittle wax that has a high melting point and a natural, earthy scent.
3 Recommended Brands With Eco-Friendly Soy Wax and Beeswax Candles
Brooklyn Candle Studio
Item | Sunday Morning
Characteristics | Vegan, cruelty-free, phthalate-free, petroleum-free, lead-free cotton wicks, and 100% soy wax in a glass jar.
Burns for | 50 hours
Price | $28 for the 7.5 oz candle
Rating | 4.3/5 stars over 37 ratings
Item | Vanilla Bean Soy Candle
Characteristics | Non-toxic and hand-poured soy candle, cruelty-free, made in the USA
Burns for | 65h
Price | $18.99 for 12 ounces
Rating | 4.4/5 stars over 4,190 ratings
Item: Cashmere Kush Candle
Characteristics | All-natural coconut and beeswax, paraffin-free, braided cotton wick, 100% recyclable packaging.
Burns for | 50h
Price | $36 for 8.5 oz
Rating | 4/5 stars over 142 ratings
What is the difference between soy wax and beeswax?
Soy wax is derived from soybeans and is a vegetable-based wax, while beeswax is produced by bees and is an animal-based wax.
Which wax burns longer, soy or beeswax?
Soy wax has a longer burning time than beeswax due to its lower melting point and slower burn rate.
Soy candles have a low melting point of 43 degrees celsius while beeswax and paraffin candles reach their melting points above 60 degrees celsius.
Is it harder to clean up soy wax or beeswax spills?
Soy wax is easier to clean up than beeswax, as it can be wiped away with soap and water, while beeswax requires solvents or hot water to remove.
Which wax is more expensive, soy or beeswax?
Beeswax is generally more expensive than soy wax due to the time and effort required to produce it, as well as its limited availability.
Are soy wax and beeswax compatible with different types of wicks?
Yes, both soy wax and beeswax can be used with a variety of wick types, including cotton, hemp, and wooden wicks.
Which wax is better for making scented candles, soy or beeswax?
Soy wax is generally preferred for making scented candles due to its ability to hold more fragrance oil.
What is the most eco-friendly candle wax?
Determining the “most eco-friendly” candle wax depends on various factors and perspectives. Some popular options for eco-friendly candle wax include soy wax, beeswax, coconut wax, rapeseed wax, and hemp wax.
However, soybean farming raise ecological concerns, such as deforestation and heavy use of pesticides.
Beeswax is made by bees which can be considered not eco-friendly by vegan people.
Do beeswax or soy wax candles emit toxins?
No, it doesn’t.
Does burning candles release chemicals into the air?
Yes, it does when you use paraffin wax candles.
Various scientific studies have shown that burning candles can release volatile organic compounds (VOC) such as formaldehyde and benzene into the air.
A study by Rezaei, Wang, and Johnson found that paraffin wax candles produce a greater amount of soot and associated chemicals compared to soy candle.
Should you be concerned about chemicals released into the air?
No, you shouldn’t.
Paraffin wax candles do indeed release chemicals when burning, but the levels measured are relatively low and not considered harmful. The emissions released while burning a candle are too low to pose a significant risk to human health.
This 2021 scientific study confirms that “under normal conditions of use candles do not pose known health risks to the consumer.”
According to the Candles Association, “A well-made candle will create virtually no smoke when burning properly.” Nevertheless, to avoid any smoke when burning a candle, always make sure to trim the wick of the candle (¼ inch) every time you use it. It’s also important to place the candles away from drafts, and air currents.
Picture credits belongs to Canva and respective brands.