Are you looking to make candles? Then you’ll have to pick the ideal wax. And for that, you will have to choose between paraffin wax vs soy wax.
These are the most popular waxes out there. And they both offer excellent results. However, they have significant differences worth thinking about.
Here, we want to talk about all those differences and how you can choose the right wax for your candles accordingly.
So, want to learn more about these waxes? Then take a peek below!
What Is Soy Wax?
Soy wax comes from the processing of soybean oil. It is usually totally natural, but some soy waxes may come with non-soy materials – always plant-based.
To create the wax, the soybean oil goes into hydrogenation. This process solidifies the oil until it becomes a wax. However, every manufacturer has its own wax-making process. So, it depends.
If you want a natural-sourced wax for your candles, soy wax can be an excellent choice.
- Does not contain harmful toxins or chemicals
- Made of completely natural ingredients
- Burns cleanly without unwanted smells
- Usually comes in colorless or opaque tones
- Burns fast at low temperatures
- Soft composition may be hard to shape
What is Paraffin Wax?
Paraffin wax comes from the refining process of lubricating oil. As you can guess, it is a petroleum-based wax, coming directly from fossil fuels.
This fuel goes through an extensive process before it becomes wax. Typically, the fuel is blended and processes with chemicals and other components before it becomes paraffin wax.
If you don’t mind using an artificially-made wax, then paraffin can be an excellent idea.
- Paraffin is generally not poisonous
- Burns slowly which makes it more durable
- It is completely waterproof
- Provides a sturdy mix that shapes into any form
- Can secrete toxic fumes (also known as soot)
- Tends to have a strong smell that doesn’t mix with scents
Soy Wax vs Paraffin Wax: Factors to Consider
Now that you have a better idea of what these waxes are – let’s go deep into how they differ. Here are some factors you need to consider:
The first thing we’re comparing is the scent throw. This refers to how well the wax delivers a fragrance when it burns.
And between paraffin and soy, paraffin wins. This happens because paraffin is a little lighter than soy. It can capture more fragrance and thus deliver more of it as well because it burns faster.
But soy doesn’t stay too far behind. Being a little denser, it burns slower but still manages to capture a lot of fragrance. But of course, it does not throw as much scent as paraffin.
This refers to the temperature the wax needs to reach before it starts melting. Here, you will find that soy wax tends to have a lower melting point. Even though it tends to be denser than paraffin, it actually starts melting at lower temperatures.
You’ll find soy wax with melting points going from 125 up to 160 degrees Fahrenheit. In contrast, paraffin wax doesn’t start melting until 145 up to 180 degrees Fahrenheit. As you can see, there’s a slight difference.
How much does it take for the wax to burn completely? Once again, you’ll find there’s a massive difference between soy and paraffin.
For example, soy wax is denser. Thus, it is safe to say it lasts longer to burn completely. But because it starts melting at lower temperatures, it also depends on other factors.
Things like wick size, candle size, blends, additives in the wax, and the precise melting point of the specific candle – all make a huge difference. Generally, however, soy wax tends to have a longer burn time than paraffin because it is denser.
Are any of these waxes sustainable or environmentally friendly? Well, yes. That would be soy wax.
Because it comes from soybean oil, this wax has a totally natural source. That means it doesn’t cause any harm to the environment when burnt.
Paraffin, on the other hand, comes from fossil fuels. So just like any other fuel-related product, it can produce harmful fumes. On top of that, it comes from an unsustainable source.
Are waxes toxic? Well, they can be. Especially if we’re talking about paraffin – there’s a high chance you’ll experience toxic fumes.
As you know, coming from fossil fuels makes it less safe. When it burns, it can secrete some of these toxic components around.
Soy wax is generally not toxic. However, some soybeans are grown using harmful pesticides and other chemicals that can travel up to the wax. When it burns, it can emit these chemicals. But still, this only happens with a small fraction of soy waxes.
Overall, paraffin is more toxic than soy.
The soot is the black fumes that come out of the candle wax when it burns. This soot comes mainly from paraffin. While soy wax may produce some– it is paraffin that creates the most soot, usually impregnating everything around. Sometimes, it even stains objects around.
That’s why wax is better in this sense. You will rarely experience any soot with it.
Last but not least, you need to consider their price. And of course, you’ll find paraffin being the cheapest of the two. Why? Paraffin wax comes as the residue of lubricating oil. In contrast, soy wax demands a more exhausting and time-demanding process to be created.
However, soy wax tends to last longer, which makes it more cost-efficient in the long run. So, that’s something worth considering.
Paraffin Wax vs Soy Wax: Which One to Choose?
Being thoroughly familiar with what they offer should give you a clear idea of what to go for. But don’t worry if you aren’t clear yet.
We can help you out by saying soy wax is the better choice between the two. It lasts longer, produces a healthier burn, and doesn’t contain the harmful chemicals paraffin does.
Yet, paraffin is cheaper, burns at higher temperatures, and tends to deliver a better scent throw. But because it is not as sustainable or safe, it loses many points in our book.
So, what are you choosing between paraffin wax vs soy wax? Make your choice according to this guide, and you won’t regret it.