One of the biggest debates in the candle-making community surrounds two very distinct substances: soy vs. paraffin. What are the key differences between these popular candle materials that make this conversation such a hot topic? Explore the nuances so you can choose the right product to fit your needs.
The first big difference between soy and paraffin is where they come from. Soy wax comes from the soybean, whereas paraffin products come from crude oil. To make soy wax, professionals extract soy oil from the bean and process it to make it solid. On the other hand, paraffin is petroleum-based and is a byproduct of the refining process that turns crude oil into lubricating oil.
Another key difference in the soy vs. paraffin debate is soot production. Each substance creates soot as it burns, and both release substances into the air. The main variance between the two materials is the color of the soot. Soot from soy candles usually burns white, whereas soot from paraffin candles looks black. While some believe that this soot is harmful to breathe in, compound emissions from these products are minimal and pose no threat to humans.
Everyone loves a good-smelling candle. Scent is one of the main reasons why people buy candles in the first place. Candle-making materials like soy and paraffin can impact how a candle emits odors and how people perceive them. Paraffin candles hold more fragrance but burn faster, so smells disperse through the air quicker. On the other hand, soy candles burn slower and retain their aroma but don’t always have strong scent emissions.
Accessibility and Variety
Many candle enthusiasts love soy candles, but they’re hard to come by in some areas of the world. However, paraffin has better accessibility no matter where you live. In addition, soy wax is more difficult to mold, so variety is limited to jars and melts. Paraffin is a longtime staple in the candle-making industry and is easily adaptable, making the creative possibilities almost endless.
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