In a cold winter evening of harsh wind gusts and snowfall, a little light of warmth is all we need to rekindle our joy. That is why candles have always been our friend in this part of the world. We trust it to fill up our home with aroma and comfort regardless of the season.
But are we disappointing the environment while rejoicing our homely luxury?
There are many candles made of wax that harm our environment in the long run. The most prominent example of it is paraffin which also happens to be the cheapest.
Soy and beeswax candles are the next two options in terms of popularity. How do they fare against each other? Who would win the battle of soy vs beeswax candles?
Even though they offer many similar benefits, there are some aspects where one wins and the other fails. Let’s discuss all of them in detail to find out which suits you the best.
What Are Soy Candles?
Soy is a popular element in all households. Sometimes we use it in the form of vegetable oil and sometimes for feeding our pets. There is another common use of the soybeans – candle wax!
Candles made out of soy wax serve as a good eco-friendly alternative to other options in the market like paraffin. The freshly harvested soybeans are converted to oil and then processed through hydrogenation.
This is when its unsaturated fatty acids turn into saturated ones and the wax attains a much higher melting point. Then it is cooled down to room temperatures where it stays as solid wax.
Advantages of Soy Candles
Soy candles are better for the environment since it produces less soot than others. By producing 90% less soot compared to paraffin, it brings down the extent of air pollution indoors.
Therefore, you can enjoy a cleaner atmosphere without the potential health hazards of toxic materials.
It also causes a much smaller carbon footprint which in turn reduces the effect of global warming and other threatening climate change patterns.
Besides, it is bio-degradable, non-carcinogenic and a renewable resource. As a result, soy candles are more sustainable for the environment than others.
For those of you who are against animal cruelty, soy candles are the ideal choice. Among so many candles that rely on animal products to exist, the soy ones only make use of harvested soybeans. So these are absolutely safe for vegans to use and enjoy!
This wax has a lower melting point which means it can burn at cooler temperatures. So the candle can burn for long cold hours in the winter bringing you the essential warmth.
Candles made from other materials will not serve the same time period even though they are of the same size.
Soy is one of the most affordable options for candles in the market. They cost significantly lower than beeswax and high-end paraffin candles.
So if you are running on a tight budget for the upcoming candlelight event or want to introduce some warmth in your humble abode, soy candles would be a great idea.
Ideal For Households
If your family has one or more kids, consider using soy candles instead of other options. The children often end up touching the candle wax out of curiosity. Soy wax doesn’t scald the skin when you come in contact with it.
Additionally, it will be much easier for you to wipe this water-soluble wax off the surface than other options.
Wherever it spills, you can clean up easily with soap, water and a washcloth. That is why soy candles are the better option for using in households.
Disadvantages of Soy Candles
Although there are some brands promoting eco-friendly production of soy candles, the conventional method of doing so involves rainforest deforestation.
Besides, the manufacturing process uses a large number of pesticides to harvest soybeans. So make sure the brand of your choice is not guilty of such practices.
Presence of Paraffin
Most of us are aware of the negative effects paraffin has on the environment. Even though it is a good idea to switch to soy wax from paraffin wax, the former candles still contain a bit of paraffin.
The candles claiming to be 100% soy also include some paraffin in its composition. Therefore, if staying far from paraffin has been your motivation behind investing in alternative candles, soy is not the option to go for.
We recently reviewed top soy candle wax on the market – Find out here!
What Are Beeswax Candles?
This wax is the first choice of candles for anyone who loves nature and everything natural. Beeswax, as the name implies, comes from one of the hardest working beings in our nature – bees!
Also known by its scientific name “cera alba”, beeswax is produced by eight glands of honey bees. The worker bees collect this wax and use it storing honey and protecting their larva.
This translucent wax includes long-chain alcohols and fatty acids in its composition. It usually has a shade ranging between white and brown depending on the location, purity and similar factors.
Advantages of Beeswax Candles
The material of beeswax is highly eco-friendly since it is usually 100% natural, biodegradable, non-carcinogenic and non-hazardous. These candles don’t generate much soot which keeps your indoor atmosphere clean.
They are also completely free from the cheap but notorious paraffin. Instead of being a danger to the environment, beeswax candles actually promote the importance of nature by bringing the spotlight on bees.
It motivates people to invest in apiaries and manufacture more beeswax as beekeepers.
Along with keeping the environment safer, beeswax candles also help to clean out the air. It generates negative ions as long as the candle burns which increases oxygen flow to the brain and enhances mental energy.
These ions then neutralize the pollutants like dust, mold and odors present in surrounding air. As a result, people don’t suffer from allergic reactions when these candles burn.
So if you know individuals with asthma and similar breathing issues, beeswax can be a great gift idea on their special occasions.
Beeswax is the most natural candle wax you can get your hands on. First of all, its primary source material comes from bees – who are undoubtedly a crucial part of our ecosystem.
Since this wax already has a natural fragrance of its own, the manufacturers don’t need to put in chemical formulas for perfume. Even its color – ranging between white and light brown – is natural.
However, some brands do bleach the wax in order to make it a little whiter. These particular beeswax candles do not give out the sweet scent of honey.
So remember to invest in the right kind of beeswax candles. Then you can rest assured that every aspect of your new candle is completely void of artificial elements and additives.
High Melting Point
The high melting point of beeswax makes it capable of burning in all kinds of weather. This aspect also reduces the stress of any businessman investing in candles since they can withstand any shipping temperature.
As a result, it has high export demand in many countries – no matter what their climate is usually like.
Disadvantages of Beeswax Candles
Harmful For Bees
Some people may still carry the misconception that beeswax comes by killing bees. While that is absolutely not true, the process of obtaining beeswax may harm the bees in other ways.
Droughts resulting from climate change lead to much fewer flowers blooming in the local area. This forces bees to fly further and work harder to produce honey.
They store wax as an alternative food source which will help them to alleviate hunger when they are not fit enough to fly or when honey is scarce.
By taking the beeswax away from them, we are probably making them weaker. Specifically, their immune system may weaken through this process.
So even if we are not directly hurting the bees, the wax culture may still bring them difficulties.
Beeswax is rarer than other wax alternatives like paraffin and soy. Besides, their production also costs higher since the bees need to be fed a lot for it. After consuming about six pounds of honey, the bee produces one pound of beeswax.
However, the high price seems worth it in the end since the candles burn longer than most as well. Besides, the all-natural appeal is hard to find elsewhere.
Difference Between Soy vs Beeswax Candles
Of course, both being candles, there is not much difference in how they are used. However, one aspect where they do differ is the capability to withstand higher temperatures.
Beeswax candles win in this case since it can effectively stay lit even in hot weather. Its high melting point enables the candle to achieve this feat.
So you can use beeswax in any atmosphere but rely on soy candles only in the colder areas.
Compared to soy, beeswax produces a much sweeter, more appealing and more natural fragrance. Besides, its scent tends to last longer since the beeswax candles have more oil retention.
So if you are looking forward to making your abode smell like the heavens, rely on beeswax!
The 100% natural beeswax candles can be white to brown in color. They usually have a smoother surface texture than soy candles.
The latter can form lesions and bumps after burning for a while. In terms of color, soy candles can have a wide range of colors using dyes.
Both of these candles are relatively eco-friendlier than other popular choices like paraffin. They both are non-toxic, non-carcinogenic, biodegradable and renewable resources.
You can rely on them to produce the minimum amount of soot. However, beeswax does not inspire deforestation like some brands of soy candles.
Besides, their primary source – soybeans can be genetically modified or take the help of pesticides during cultivation. So remember to look for soy candles carrying a non-GMO label.
Presence of Paraffin
Paraffin is a chemical that emits toxic substances if burnt. This has led to the downfall of these candles even though it is the most affordable option in the market.
The 100% pure beeswax candles are absolutely free of paraffin while the 100% soy candles can still have some of it. Paraffin is often used in the manufacturing process or treatment of soy candles.
As a result, beeswax would be the better choice in this regard.
Beeswax has stood the test of time by being in demand from ancient Egypt to the present days. Its flame burns big and bright which many compare with the glory of sunlight!
Even after producing such a powerful flame, it still does not cause much eye strain.
While the flame of soy candles come very close in brightness and size, it does fall slightly short in front of beeswax.
As we previously implied, beeswax is much rarer than soy. It requires the bees to eat enough and have an ample amount of energy to regularly produce wax.
On the other hand, soy is much more easily available. Therefore, beeswax comes at a much higher price point than soy candles.
Bottom Line – Which One is For You?
After this long and arduous analysis of soy vs beeswax candles, the answer to your quest is pretty simple.
The soy candles are the perfect choice for you if the expense is your highest priority. In all other cases, beeswax wins since it provides a truly all-natural product, sweeter long-lasting aroma, cleans up the air and burns in any weather.
Besides, some soy candle brands can be responsible for rainforest deforestation while beeswax candles promote the formation of apiaries.
So in terms of environmental impact as well, the beeswax wins by a thin margin.
More content related to candle making: