Are Soy Candles Safe To Burn At Home?

soy candle on desk

If you’re a candle lover, then you already know that soy candles are among the most popular types of candle on the market. Although paraffin wax is still used in the majority of commercial candles today, soy wax has gained in popularity over the years.

Due to this increasing demand, soy wax candles are expected to grow 8.5% annually from 2019 to 2025. That’s a pretty significant growth rate.

Aside from its popularity, one of the biggest questions people have about soy candles is whether or not they’re safe. As we’ll explain below, soy candles are considered safe compared to other types of waxes used for candle making.

What is Paraffin Wax?

The vast majority of candles you can buy on the market today are made from paraffin wax, a by-product from refining oil. Paraffin wax is a petroleum product, and like most petroleum products, paraffin wax can release toxic, cancer-causing chemicals into the air when burned.

There have been claims that the wicks of paraffin candles are made out of lead, but as of 2003, lead-wicked candles have been banned from the United States, and haven't been used regularly since the 1970s. In fact, the National Candle Association agreed not to use lead wicks in 1974.

Not all candle makers are part of the National Candle Association, however; so if a relative has given you an older candle made by a small candle maker prior to 2003, you may want to dispose of the candle or not light it to avoid the possibility of letting lead fumes into your home.

But you're environmentally conscious or are trying to live a "greener" lifestyle, you'll want to stay away from paraffin wax candles since they require oil production in order to exist. 

Luckily, there is an alternative option available: soy wax candles!

What Makes Soy Candles Safer?

Soy Candles are Better for the Environment

For starters, soy candles are better from the environment than your typical paraffin candle. The wax in soy candles is sourced from soybeans, a biodegradable and renewable resource. Though some soybeans may be treated with pesticides or herbicides, most soy candle manufacturers use organically grown soybeans for their soy wax, which means those soybeans have not been treated with any man-made chemicals.

Soy Candles are Non-Toxic

When petroleum products like paraffin wax are burned, they emit carcinogen toxins such as benzene, toluene, and formaldehyde. These are toxins that are released when burning diesel fuel, so using a paraffin wax candle is like running a diesel engine in your house.

Soy candles, however, are non-toxic. As a vegetable-based wax, they don't emit toxins in the air, making them a non-toxic option. They do not contain carcinogens or toxins like paraffin candles do.

Soy Candles are Cleaner Burning

Soy candles burn more cleanly than paraffin candles. 

They may produce a very small amount of soot and sometimes no soot at all. When they produce soot, the amount is typically smaller than you would see with paraffin wax candles.

They also burn more evenly, so you won't see as much wax sticking to the candle's container.

Other Benefits of Soy Candles

The benefits of soy candles go far beyond safety concerns. Here are some other reasons why you should consider soy candles before any other candles:

Soy Candles Last Longer

Compared to paraffin candles, soy candles last longer. Paraffin wax has a melting point somewhere between 115 and 154 degrees Fahrenheit while soy wax has a melting point between 120 to 170 degrees Fahrenheit. Because soy melts at a higher temperature than paraffin does, soy wax doesn't melt as quickly. 

This means you can have a candle that lasts longer, making soy candles a better choice economically and environmentally since you won't have to go out and buy replacements as often.

Soy Candles are More Likely to be Sourced from the United States

If you like to support American businesses, then soy candles are an excellent way to do that. The majority of soybeans are produced and farmed in the United States, and many soy candle makers source their soybeans for their wax from those farmers.

Soy Candles are Vegan

This may not be a benefit for everyone, but since many soy candle makers use organic soybeans for their waxes that do not harm animals or use any animal-based products, soy candles are considered vegan. So if you're stuck on gift ideas for your vegan friend or relative, soy candles are always a great idea!

Soy Candles Have More Pleasant and More Natural Scents

Paraffin candles often produce harsh unnatural smells that can cause headaches. The headaches are caused by the toxic chemicals paraffin wax emits when they burn.

Many soy candles' scents are derived from essential oils, which tend to smell more pleasant and more natural than paraffin — without the toxin-induced headache. Soy wax also tends to create larger "melt pools," which allows essential oils to evaporate in a larger area, which means you'll experience more of the candle's scent at once. 

Support Your Friendly (Soy) Candle Makers

At Friendly Candle, we care about the planet and its well being, and we also care about each of our customers. That's why we use 100% natural soybeans to create a 100% recyclable light source. Every single part of our candles are meant to be used, reused, and recycled. Not only that, but each jar is individually wrapped by hand with a plantable seed paper label. Plant the label, and flowers will grow, releasing more oxygen into the air and taking in more carbon dioxide.

Check out our current inventory so you can help us make a difference and make the planet a greener, more beautiful place in a responsible way.