As someone who is just starting to discover ways to live more sustainably, I discover new interesting substitutes for traditional products every day. That’s how I came across soy wax candles, a vegan alternative to traditional beeswax candles. Besides the fact that they are a healthier alternative for our bodies as well as for the environment, they should also last longer but is that really true?
On average soy candles last longer than candles made from paraffin, stearin and blended waxes but not as long as beeswax which burns longest. Burn times vary between soy candles due to candle shape, size and differences in wicks however on average an 8 ounce soy candle will burn for approx 48 hours.
Let’s get into some more detail as well as a little research experiment I performed
How Long do Candles Burn for?
The burn period of candles in general varies depending on factors such as wick size, aroma, and the type of wax used. A candle with a more vertical shape and a single wick may last longer than a candle with a flat horizontal shape and several wicks. These variables have a significant impact on how long candles will burn.
Smaller candles with smaller wicks typically burn for 6-8 hours per ounce of wax. Larger candles have longer wicks that require more wax to burn. They have a burn time of 4-6 hours per ounce.
In general, an 8oz candle can burn for up to approximately 50 hours.
Candle Burn Time and Price Comparison
I know we’re all looking for the greatest candles we can buy or make and when it comes to buying or producing candles we always want to get the most bang for our buck.
Each type of candle wax is manufactured differently, and each wax has a varied consistency and melting temperature.
This means that if you buy candles made from different types of wax, each candle will have a different burn time.
Beeswax is one of the slowest burning candle waxes, with a melting temperature of about 150 degrees Fahrenheit. These types of candles burn the slowest but are also the most expensive type of candle wax.
It is commonly used to produce pillar candles or votives, but it is also widely utilized to make ornamental candles.
Beeswax candles are the most durable. It is the longest-lasting wax because it is inherently tougher than other forms of wax. Most other forms of wax require a lower temperature to burn than beeswax.
There are two main concerns around beeswax candles.
- Candles made from beeswax can cost up to twice as much as other waxes (paraffin, soy)
- The sustainability of producing these candles is difficult
Paraffin wax is soft, which means that its burning time is shorter (it takes less energy to melt). A variety of candles can be made using paraffin wax; pillar candles, container candles, votives, and tealights.
It is a petroleum waste that many candle makers are abandoning since it is not sustainable and there are concerns about its health-related repercussions.
Check out my other article “What is the Most Eco Friendly Type of Candle?” for advice on which candle type you should buy.
The biggest advantage of paraffin wax is its low cost. It is the most affordable candle wax available, however, when we consider its burning time, it is not really that inexpensive.
Although paraffin wax is a few pennies per pound less expensive than soy wax, for example, it has a 30% shorter burn period. So, while it is slightly less expensive, it actually burns much faster.
Candles made from blended wax are becoming very popular, and many candle producers do prefer blending waxes to create their own recipes.
A mix of soy wax and paraffin wax is less expensive than soy wax alone but has a shorter burn time.
Although blended candles may seem like a good compromise they are more expensive than paraffin wax and will not last as long as soy wax.
What About Soy Candles?
Soy wax is a fairly soft wax and requires less heat to melt than beeswax.
As a result, depending on how much fragrance oil and dye are used, soy candles normally require a cooler burning wick; the more utilized, the hotter the wick is likely to be.
Soy wax is most often used for making container candles.
Soy candles last longer since the wick does not burn as hot ensuring the wax does not burn out as quickly as conventional paraffin candles.
Because of this, soy candles last twice as long as normal candles! Isn’t that amazing?
Furthermore, a soy candle will have a richer aroma than other candles!
Because of the lower melting point, the melted wax forms a wider pool around the burning wick, and the fragrance oils diffuse better due to the increased surface area of the melted wax.
Soy wax is slightly more expensive than paraffin wax, but it burns approximately 30% longer and is therefore more cost-effective.
The Comparison Experiment
Seeing all of this information, I decided to conduct a small experiment.
I purchased four different varieties of 8 ounce candles and decided to compare their burning times to see if the research I’d done was correct.
Beeswax candles have the longest burn time, but as we all know, beeswax is neither vegan nor cruelty-free.
By the way, I wrote another article called “Are Soy Candles Vegan and Cruelty-Free?” which is good to read after this.
Paraffin wax is hazardous both alone and in varied mixtures with other waxes and isn’t that inexpensive when you compare the burning times!
So, my investigation revealed that soy candles are the best option because they are vegan, cruelty-free, and, as seen in the table, last far longer than many common candle types!
|Wax Type||Candle Size||Burn Time (in hours)|
|Soy Wax||8 oz||48|
|Blended Wax (Soy + Paraffin)||8 oz||37|
|Parrafin Wax||8 oz||32|
How to Make Your Soy Candles Last Longer?
Furthermore, I found some simple tips and tricks on how to take care of your soy candles properly and make them last even longer.
1. Keep the wick trimmed
Keep your candlewick trimmed to the proper length to prevent it from overheating or consuming too much wax.
2. Burn properly
Allow your candle to burn until the surface wax completely melts from side to side over the surface of the candle to avoid tunnelling issues or concerns about a ruined candle.
3. Allow the candle to cool.
Allowing the candle to cool completely between burns will assist slow the rate of burn and make it last as long as the maker intended.
4. Cover the container.
Keeping the cap on your candles can help keep them clean, reducing mushrooming and smoking. Mushrooming can cause the flame to grow larger than anticipated, raising the candle temperature and consuming more wax.