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Nowadays candles can be made from different types of wax like paraffin wax, stearin wax, gel wax, beeswax, palm wax, soy wax, carnauba wax, bayberry wax and etc. But the most popular wax in candle making today still remains paraffin wax because it is the least expensive. However, the demand for soy wax candles has been growing in the recent years as Bio concept has become widespread and now bio shops can be found just around the corner.
But why then choose soy wax candles if they are much more expensive than common paraffin wax candles? Simply, because paraffin wax candles are not only the cheapest candles but also the most dangerous to our health.
Paraffin wax is a by-product of petroleum or crude oil refining, made from the sludge residue at the bottom of a barrel of crude oil. Afterwards it is cleaned and bleached to be used in candle making. Paraffin wax is naturally occurring and non-renewable resource.
Burning paraffin candles emit harmful amounts of toxins in the air like toluene, benzene, methyl ethyl ketone (MEK), and naphthalene – substances commonly found in paint, lacquer and varnish removers. Not only do we inhale these toxic fumes but they also leave residue soot throughout our home. You can see the black soot while candle is burning or when it is blown out as well as if you are burning a container candle, you will see the black residue on the container. Soot given off from the burning of paraffin candles is the same as that given off by burning diesel fuel and is considered just as dangerous as second hand smoke. In fact, paraffin candles are the most common unrecognized indoor air pollutants and are responsible for poor indoor air quality
In contrast, soy wax is a vegetable wax made from hydrogenated soybean oil (soybean oil is extracted from the seeds of the soybean). After harvesting, the beans are cleaned, cracked, de-hulled, and rolled into flakes. The oil is then extracted from the flakes and hydrogenated.
Soy wax candle is a healthy alternative to paraffin wax candles and although it is much more expensive, it has many benefits.
Palm wax is made from palm trees. It has all the same advantages of other vegetable waxes in terms of environmental benefits. It's harder, so it can be added to soy wax to harden it up a bit while still resulting in all-veggie candles. It's more expensive than soy wax.
Bayberry wax is made from the waxy coating found on the outside of the berries of the bayberry bush. The berries are boiled, and the wax is then scraped off the top of the water. This takes LOTS of bayberries, and lots of time. Bayberry wax is expensive. It's also brittle, so pure bayberry candles break easily. Bayberry candles usually have some beeswax added to them to help prevent this problem. Bayberry wax smells nice and is very popular around Christmas and New Year's
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