In this article we are going to share why we decided to use soy wax instead of paraffin based wax, including the benefits and drawbacks of both products.
One of the first things we had to decide as a candle and melt company, was what wax to use in our products. We carried out a lot of research over the space of our six month testing process before we settled on using soy wax.
What is Paraffin?
Our first dive into praffin wax was finding out what paraffin actually is - spoiler: it starts off bad and doesn't get any better!
Paraffin is a petroleum waste product (it used to be called petroleum wax). It is the sludge that is left over when crude oil is refined into petrol. This is the stuff that the oil industry reject as 'waste'.
To change it from a black sludge into something more easy on the eye, it is bleached, using bleach 10x stronger than the stuff you may pour into your toilet.
Even after all that, it usually still isn't suitable to use in candles or melts, so other chemicals are packed in to make it whiter and to give it the correct consistency. Things like acetone, butanone, styrene and many many more.
Is Paraffin wax sustainable?
In a word... no. It is a petroleum based product and extracted from the ground. As a company, we decided early on that we wanted to be sustainable. We didn't think that making your home smell divine should come at the expense of the environment if it didn't need to.
Is Paraffin wax safe?
This is a debate that has been going on for quite some time. A bunch of the larger candle companies now use 'food grade paraffin'. However, this is still a petroleum based product and in food, it is used in miniscule amounts, whereas in your candles and melts, there is a lot of it.
After looking at studies and artices, we decided that there is absolutely no way we wanted to send something to our lovely customers that may be harmful.
So, what exactly did we find?
The first point (and most obvious) is that this is a petroleum product... you are effectively burning petroleum waste (and don't forget the lovely bleach used to refine it and chemicals added to make it look nice). You will have noticed that petroleum gives off soot over time and you are breathing that in every time you burn your candles or melts... yuck!
A study carried out by South Carolina State University found that burning paraffin wax candles/melts gives off harmful fumes which is linked to asthma and even lung cancer (at this point we were wondering why any company uses this stuff!)
In 2012 a study was carried out that showed that 50% of candle soot and the particles released remain in the body. Now that doesn't seem worth it to us to be able to enjoy your favourite scents.
There have also been studies to show that this isn't the case. However, all of the studies showing they were safe that we could find, were carried out by candle associations and companies (who we thought had a bit of a conflict of interest in making paraffin wax seem safe!)
What is Soy Wax?
Soy wax is a wax made from processed soybean oil. It tends to have a slightly lower melting point than other waxes.
Because of the lower melting point, you often find that companies use 'soy wax blends'. This basically means it is mixed with additives, oftentimes... paraffin.
At Callan Candles, we only use 100% soy wax.
Is Soy Wax Sustainable?
In a word... yes! It comes from the soybean plant. There are certain areas/growers who use unsustainable growing methods, but that can be the case with any product. If you think about something like palm oil, that has gotten a bad reputation due to the intensive farming methods being used to produce it.
Rest assured, Callan Candles uses a sustainable and responsible supplier of soy wax.
Is Soy Wax Safe?
Yes. Not only are you supporting soy bean farmers, but soy wax does not contain nasty additives. You may also note that pure soy wax is not white, but rather a slightly off-white colour. That is because it isn't bleached.
Soy wax burns clean, is renewable and biodegradable.
|Paraffin||Holds scent slightly longer||Not sustainable|
|Cheaper||Contains toxic chemicals|
|Easier to form into pillar candles||Releases soot|
|Studies have shown it can cause cancer|
|Soy Wax||Natural||Holds scent for slightly less time|
|Biodegradable||Slightly more expensive|
How Did We Decide?
Once we had all of the facts, it took us a loooooong time to decide which wax to use in our products. I would say, around 2 seconds at least.
At Callan Candles, we want to provide a blissful experience to our customers. That doesn't simply mean the smell of the melt. It is the whole package of what we offer.
We would never dream of sending products out that may be harmful to not only our customers, but also the environment. That is why as well as using soy wax, we don't use plastic and are a sustainable company.
Our aim is for you to put on a Callan Candles highly scented soy wax melt or candle, sit back and feel the stress of the day melt away. For that to happen, we know that every piece of our product has to be just right for you.
And to make it as easy as possible to try our highly scented soy wax products, we always run special offers (because everyone loves a bargain!)