Is soy wax really a clean-burning candle? There is a lot of misunderstanding in the candle industry about what constitutes a clean-burning candle. I’ll break it down in this blog based on the materials that go into making candles and give you the low-down on what accounts for a clean-burning candle or you can ask yourself the question before buying your next candle: Is soy wax really a clean-burning candle?
Is soy wax really a clean-burning candle? What constitutes a clean-burning candle wax?
Let’s begin with what constitutes a clean-burning candle wax. Candle manufacturers who advertise that their candles are produced from soy wax may not be using just soy wax. Unless the label states 100% Soy Wax, most soy candles blend their wax with paraffin wax. This will make the candle burn faster and adding paraffin wax will negate the health benefits of the soy wax. Adding paraffin wax helps to cut the soy wax so it’s not as expensive to make the candle. The consumer rarely knows this inferior wax is being added to the soy candle.
Paraffin wax is not considered a clean-burning candle
Paraffin wax is a less desirable candle wax and is not considered a clean-burning candle. Paraffin wax is a petroleum industrial waste byproduct. When the wax is heated up it gives off carcinogenic soot that emits into the air. Many people end up having headaches, respiratory system issues like coughing, and asthma-like symptoms. Candles that contain paraffin wax are not recommended for people with asthma. Paraffin wax also emits black carcinogenic soot that accumulates in your house, on your appliances, and in your upholstery. The soot can cause respiratory problems and will aggravate the conditions of those who already have asthma, lung, or heart problems.
SC State University Study: Frequent use of certain candles produces unwanted chemicals. According to this study, frequent use of the paraffin candles they tested, “the inhalation of these dangerous pollutants drifting in the air could contribute to the development of health risks like cancer, common allergies, and even asthma.”
Is soy wax really a clean-burning candle? Let’s look at the wick, it should be made from an organic material
Is soy wax really a clean-burning candle? Let’s look at the wick, it should be made from an organic material. A clean burning candle will have a candlewick made from organic material. If a candle company is not promoting a 100% wood or cotton wick, it might be a lead-based wick. Let’s face it, lead is bad. Lead can cause a whole host of negative health effects. Exposure to lead can cause a host of problems in the body including; an increase in blood pressure, an increased chance of having a heart attack or stroke, a decrease in brain function, and a decrease in kidney function. Along with problems for our little people including trouble breathing, increased chance of miscarriage, and headaches.
According to a recent study by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), 40 percent of candles on the market contain lead wires inside their wicks. Most often, the candles with lead wicks are scented candles. Because synthetic fragrance oils weaken the wax, manufacturers’ use leads to stiffening the wicks. A candle with a lead-core wick releases five times the amount of lead considered hazardous for children and exceeds EPA pollution standards for outdoor air, says the CPSC. Exposure to high amounts of lead has been linked to hormone disruption, behavioral problems, learning disabilities, and numerous health problems. Per Green America, Are your Candles Safe
Is soy wax really a clean-burning candle? Look to buy your candles from a local source
Buying your candles from a local source is one of the safest ways to know if your candles are clean-burning candles. Big box stores like Yankee Candle, Kirkland’s, Target, Wal-Mart, and Bath & Body Works generally sell foreign-made candles. China is one of the biggest culprits for using toxic ingredients in manufacturing its candles. When you buy from a reputable local vendor, you can inquire about the candle’s manufacturing process. Research your candle makers to ensure they are using eco-friendly ingredients.
Is soy wax really a clean-burning candle? Be aware of the candle’s fragrant factor
Is soy wax really a clean-burning candle? Be aware of the candle’s fragrant factor. Everyone loves a great smelling candle, but that amazing smelling soy-blended paraffin wax candle will be emitting toxins while burning. Better-made candles use natural aromas and pure essential oils to produce the aroma. These natural aromas are as strong if not stronger than the artificial lab-created toxic fragrance. The reason their aroma resembles the real plant, fruit, or flower is that it comes directly from those natural plants and flowers.
Check your candle label for naturally scented with pure essential oils and natural aromas. Not all soy-blended paraffin wax candles use toxic fragrances, but if a candle maker is cutting back on using 100% soy wax, the chances of other reductions are more common. Avoid buying candles with fragrances on the label. Instead, check your candle label for naturally scented with pure essential oils and natural aromas.
Is soy wax really a clean-burning candle? Avoid artificially colored candles
Is soy wax really a clean-burning candle? Avoid artificially colored candles. Artificially colored candles are a strong indicator that the candles are not clean-burning candles. Candles that add artificial coloring can be harmful to your health. There are many colors that can be added to a candle that is derived from plants and would not hurt your health. These natural colors are expensive, limited in color range, and inconsistent in color which makes them unattractive to most clean candle makers. Most clean-burning candle manufacturers don’t feel the need to add them to the candle.
If you notice that the candles you are buying have an unnatural color most likely it’s a candle that is artificially colored. These added colors are usually created with toxins and put out chemicals in the air that you breath which can attribute to adverse health risks. They are also tested on animals and are known to be cancer-causing. Many of the candle’s artificial coloring contain naptha or naphthalene. Napha is a coal tar.
Coal tars, used as artificial candle colorings, are made from petroleum
Coal tar dyes are artificial coloring agents made by combining various aromatic hydrocarbons like toluene, xylene, and benzene; all of which are obtained from the distillation of bituminous coal. Coal tars are also made from petroleum distillates (gas). Coal tar is a brown or black liquid of extremely high viscosity. Coal tar is among the by-products when coal is carbonized to make coke or gasified to make coal gas. This is what is being emitted into your breathing air as you burn an unclean candle.
Coal tars are also known as naphtha, high solvent naphtha, naphtha distillate, benzin B70, or petroleum benzin. Avoid buying candles with any of these ingredients added on candle labels. Learn more at Toxic Free Foundation.
Should you pour candle wax into toxic containers? Plastic is a porous, toxic material when it’s not in its solid form. Candle containers made with plastics break down the plastic chemicals when the candle is burning and warms. The plastic chemicals leach into the warm wax which then emits those harmful chemicals into the air. Consider the candle container and make sure it’s a natural biodegradable or sustainable container.
Wood as you know is a fire starter so mixing candles with wood containers is not an ideal option. Faux wood and rock candles are often made using a resin that can be toxic. Glass is the best option as it will not leach toxins nor is it a fire hazard like the currently popular wood containers. Other safe candle containers include terracotta, clay pottery, true stone, or metal.
Looking for true, clean-burning candles?
So is soy wax really clean-burning candle? You need to do your research and look for all the elements of the candle to be clean for it to be a clean-burning candle.
PureSoapsAndCandles offers two different clean-burning collections of candles. Southern Blaze is made with 100% coconut blended with 100% soy wax. Southern Blaze candles offer a dual 100% wooden & 100% cotton wick for an enjoyable crackling sound. Our wood wick lotion candles are made with 100% clean, natural ingredients. Our new line called Northern Luminary collection is made with 100% beeswax, 100% coconut, and 100% soy blended wax. Northern Luminary luxury lotion candles are housed in a beautiful frosted container with a natural 100% wood cover to protect the natural robust aroma.
Both collections are clean-burning candles. They use glass containers, offer 100% organic wicks, use only essential oils and natural aromas, can be used as a natural lotion when warm and are inspired by nature. Enjoy better overall air quality and wellness when using candles by PureSoapsAndCandles