When it comes to candle making, weighing the pros and cons of various types of wax is an important factor that could affect the overall performance of the candle. Although paraffin wax was the primary method for candle making since the 19th century, other types of wax-like coconut, soy, or beeswax have surged in popularity offering a wide range of benefits for candle makers to choose from.
Soy wax candles have risen in popularity in recent years due to their “natural” properties; however, there is another type of wax known as coconut wax that is lesser-known but poses similar benefits and functions as an alternative to soy wax. For those interested in learning more about the differences between these two types of candles as well as which one is better, stay tuned. This article explores everything there is to know about coconut wax and soy wax as well as a review of the pros and cons associated with both types.
What Is Wax?
In a general sense, wax is a flammable, carbon-containing solid that becomes liquid when heated above room temperature. The wax is what makes up the fuel for a candle and determines how fast it burns, the potency of the smell, and various other traits associated with candles. Nearly any type of oil can be turned into wax which creates various options for creativity and unique choices in candle making. The most commonly used waxes include paraffin, soy, coconut, and beeswax among many others. Each type of wax has its unique niche, offering a wide range of benefits.
What Are The Different Types Of Waxes Used To Make Candles?
As mentioned previously, there are various types of wax that can be used in candle making like paraffin, soy, coconut, beeswax, and more. Each wax has its own benefits or shortcomings, so it is important to weigh all the options before deciding on a type of wax for a candle.
For example, paraffin wax is great for achieving a potent fragrance, but, in recent years, research has shown that candles made from paraffin wax are not environmentally friendly even though they are cost-effective. Beeswax candles, on the other hand, actually may have some additional benefits like the ability to clear a space of any impurities and purify a room. There are also candle wax blends that utilize multiple types of wax to achieve hybrid results like slow-burning and enhanced fragrance.
Is Candle Wax Toxic?
Since candles are used to help create ambiance and add a refreshing scent in any living space, it’s important to known whether there are some type of negative or toxic traits associated with certain types of wax. There are some types of wax that release chemicals into the air when combusted, but there is no inherent need for concern. Individuals may choose to refrain from any potentially harsh or volatile traits associated with a particular wax like paraffin wax, but there are no immediate, detrimental effects to a user’s health.
For individuals concerned about the environment or any potential health risks associated with specific types of wax, stick to natural waxes like soy, beeswax, and coconut. They burn clean with no negative risks to indoor air pollution.
What Is Soy Wax?
Soy wax is one of the most popular natural waxes out there that boasts longer burning times and is more environmentally friendly than paraffin wax. Most businesses and candle makers implement this type of wax in their candles since not only does it burn slower and cleaner, but it is also more affordable than some other types of wax. Soy wax is obtained from soybean oil after a lengthy and tedious process.
One potential downside associated with soy wax candles is that their fragrance tends to be more subtle in nature. So, for individuals seeking a low-key and gently-scented candle that goes easy on the nose, then a soy wax candle might be the best choice.
It should be noted, however, that soy wax candles do still pose a level of a threat to the environment, just in a slightly different way than paraffin. Even though soy wax candles do no emit negative or harsh chemicals into the air, the process of obtaining soybeans, and the soybean industry in general, attributes to continual deforestation and utilizes harsh fertilizers for the environment to protect the soybeans.
Benefits of Soy Wax Candles
- No harsh chemicals emitted into the air.
- The soy wax produces a subtle, gentle scent as compared to the more aggressive and potent fragrances released from paraffin candles.
- A long, slow-burn time that’s more cost-effective.
- Soybeans are natural, renewable, and biodegradable.
What Is Coconut Wax?
Coconut wax is a lesser-known option for candle making but it is currently on the rise and becoming more popular. This method for making wax uses coconuts and obtains coconut oil from this process. Coconut wax is more expensive but it produces a potent aroma and even burn which might make the increase in price worth it. Coconut wax is a gentle, creamy white color and is also eco-friendly. Harvesting coconut wax is an organic process that produces a highly sustainable crop for gathering wax from.
Coconut wax is newer to the candle-making scene but more and more businesses are shifting towards making coconut wax candles. Although the price is a little more expensive, candle enthusiasts might be willing to overlook the uptick in cost with the weighty benefits this new type of candle presents.
Benefits Of Coconut Wax Candles
- Coconut wax candles are slow-burning with an added hint of luxury.
- The scent throw of this type of candle is superb.
- Coconut wax candles check off nearly every box when it comes to eco-friendly factors.
Overall, when it comes down to choosing between coconut wax candles and soy wax candles, it’s a matter of personal preference and individual circumstances. For individuals who are looking for a cost-effective yet eco-friendly alternative to paraffin candles, soy wax candles are a phenomenal alternative that boasts a range of benefits. Although there are some drawbacks when it comes to certain environmental points, soy wax candles are slow-burning and offer a gentle, soothing scent that is easy on the wallet.
On the other hand, coconut wax candles are more expensive but they surpass most other types of wax when it comes to environmental concerns and the length and quality of burn time. The potency of the aroma emitted from coconut candles is stronger than that of soy wax candles with a more luxurious feel to them, perhaps due, in part, to the inflated price. Candle enthusiasts who are willing to splurge, coconut wax candles are the way to go, but if money is a concern then soy wax candles are a great alternative.
As more businesses look to start making coconut wax candles, they may become more readily available and even cheaper when the market grows. Both soy wax candles and coconut wax candles come with their own benefits and pitfalls, but each poses a viable alternative to the other.