Soy and Beeswax Candles
Candle Considerations and the Quest for a Better Burn
Many people love candles and several different types of candles have become available in recent years. Some consumers have come to the conclusion that beeswax candles and soy wax candles are more expensive than conventional paraffin candles. Is this true? It is indeed. And are there good reasons to purchase these higher priced candles rather than the bargain burners? Yes – there are several reasons!
Paraffin candles, still the most common candles available, are made from the sludge residue residing in the bottom of crude oil barrels. This sludge contains, not surprisingly, many different toxic carcinogens. Making matters worse, after removal from the barrels, the dirty and unappealing looking paraffin is then bleached with other chemicals to give it a cleaner look and a far more attractive appearance. Many paraffin candles are also subjected to other treatments,usually in order to obtain a variety of different scents and/or colours.
These candles may look lovely, but the indoor air they pollute is not lovely at all, especially for individuals with allergies, asthma and other health concerns or breathing challenges. In terms of decor, the petrol-carbon soot they deposit can darken furniture and artwork as well as walls and ceilings. Some candle lovers have also discovered such candles can even contaminate the ventilation ductwork in the home. What these candles leave behind is no fun to breathe, not thrilling to see and never thrilling to clean. In terms of speed, paraffin candles are the fastest burners – and in the end – that also makes them less of a bargain for the budget conscious shopper. They burn fast and they never burn clean.
Soy wax candles burn both slower and cooler than paraffin wax candles. They also burn much cleaner. Naturally biodegradable and far easier to remove from most surfaces than paraffin wax, soy candles are environmentally friendly – created from hydrogenated soybean oil, which utilizes the soybean vegetable, a renewable resource. They do not increase carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere, they produce no petrol-carbon soot and dramatically less soot of any kind than paraffin wax candles. Comparatively speaking, their carbon footprint is very small and very demure. Some soy candles contain added fragrance, added colour or both.
Pure beeswax candles are thought to provide the longest, cleanest burn of any candle. Since beeswax itself is 100% natural, it contains no processing chemicals. It smells naturally like honey, so it requires no additional fragrance, and the natural golden colour of beeswax means no chemical colour additives are required. Some candles contain both beeswax and paraffin – so check the ingredient label; for obvious reasons, pure beeswax is vastly superior. Since beeswax burns at a higher temperature than other waxes( due to a higher melting point), candles that are made of pure beeswax take much longer to burn and therefore last much longer. Non-toxic and non-carcinogenic, beeswax candles produce no soot and when trimmed properly, rarely ever drip. These reasons alone make pure beeswax candles the burn to beat in the candle world.
But pure beeswax candles have become popular for yet another reason – one that some individuals insist will require more independent lab tests and scientific scrutiny to be properly demonstrated and documented. Still, the reason that many people burn beeswax candles resides in the notion that beeswax candle fuel is the only fuel that, when burned, actually produces negative ions, and therefore helps remove pollution from the air. If this fuel increases the ratio of negative ions to positive ions, it creates a highly appealing scenario for creating and enjoying cleaner air. It is comforting to envision a softer, more subtle and more discreet part of mother nature’s personality, when she steps off her often flamboyant pedestal to quietly share her naturally nice gadget combo – a vacuum cleaning air purifier that removes dust, bacteria, mold, pollutants and contaminants from the air we share.
Beeswax candles and soy wax candles are both available in the gift shop at Ellerslie Gift & Garden.