You can buy candles almost anywhere these days. There’s a lot to choose from – different colors, shapes, sizes, and scents invite you to buy and make your home cozier. No doubt that candles can enhance your home decor with an additional advantage of making you feel more relaxed with their wonderful scents. But have you ever wondered if they are safe for you and the environment you live in?
Most of the candles sold at shopping malls are made from paraffin wax (or simply, paraffin). That’s a fact. You can look at any label and probably nine out of ten will list this ingredient as the main component. So, what is paraffin? In short, it is a derivative from crude oil. Paraffin contains more than ten toxic components (i.e., toluene and benzene that are highly carcinogenic compounds) that pollute the air with toxic soot when burns. Moreover, some paraffin candles might even contain heavy metals, released into the air. Not all candles contain 100% paraffin. There are variations like 90% paraffin : 10% vegetable oil wax (or 80% : 20%), but when you really think about this, it doesn’t sound that much safer, does it?
Lucky for us, there are alternatives like beeswax candles or vegetable wax candles (made with soy wax) that get way more good points than paraffin candles.
Pros of soy wax candles:
– Soy wax is 100% biodegradable;
– It is also a renewable source, while paraffin wax isn’t;
– Soy wax candles burn much cleaner than paraffin candles. Although, soy wax still produces soot when burns, but it’s way less than paraffin;
– Candles made from soy wax burn 50% longer than paraffin candles, so even though they might cost more, they are actually more efficient;
– Soy wax is much easier to wash off than paraffin wax, which is nearly impossible to remove from surfaces.
Cons of soy wax candles:
– Like I mentioned before, soy wax candles still release soot (just less than paraffin);
– Soy wax is quite soft, so it’s not always possible to make the desired candle shape with it;
– Most soybeans are genetically modified; if you want to avoid that, search for certified organic products or buy from a trustworthy manufacturer;
– Although soybeans and soy oil can be certified, soy candles can’t be because of soy wax manufacturing processes.
So here we go. I think that despite these cons, it’s still apparent that soy wax candles (or vegetable wax candles in general) have far more significant benefits, which makes them a much better alternative than paraffin candles.
What do you think about this? Do you choose soy wax candles? If so, what’s your favorite brand?