Recently I’ve been out and about in the shops looking for soy candles for my home study area with the genuine hope that I can relax a little more when I’m working and as I was browsing I wondered how to tell if a candle is soy.
When I got home I did a little research and it seems as though one of the best ways that you can tell if your candle is made from soy is simply by looking at it. If you can see the top and sides then look closely for crystalline and/or white-ish coating on the candle itself. What you’re seeing here is what is commonly known by candle makers as frosting and it shows that the candle is made from soy.
Let’s take a look into this a little further.
Why Should You Choose Soy Candles?
Unlike regular candles, soy candles are made from a vegetable oil called soybean oil.
This type of candle is often used by people who are vegan or have allergies to other types of waxes because they are non-toxic and environmentally friendly.
Soy candles can be made with a variety of scents.
They also have a longer shelf life than regular candles and don’t produce as much soot or smoke as regular candles do.
Soy candles are a great way to add a bit of aromatherapy to your home.
They can help you relax, sleep better, focus better and even have the potential to lower your blood pressure.
All this whilst making your home smell amazing!
What is Frosting in Candle Making?
As already mentioned frosting is a crystalline and/or white-ish coating found on the candle itself.
Frosting is a common occurrence in candles made with a natural wax such as soy.
When soy candles are made, crystals form on the surface of the candle due to the difference in temperature of the wax and the environment. It occurs because the soy wax is trying to get back to it’s original state.
The effect of frosting can be lessoned during the production but it will never truly disappear.
If a candle is made partly with soy and partly with paraffin frosting will not be present.
Does Frosting Affect the Burn of My Soy Candle?
The good news is that although frosting can be present on natural soy candles it will not affect the burn of the candle in any way.
Does Frosting Appear in Other Types of Candles?
Many of our candles are made with a type of wax derived from paraffin.
Paraffin is a type of hydrocarbon that’s comes from petroleum byproducts.
It’s considered to be a “soft” wax because it melts at lower temperatures than other types of candles like beeswax or soybean-based candles.
Some candles are made from both paraffin and soy wax and whilst most artisan candle makers clearly display their ingredients on their products there will always be some producers that sell these hybrid candles off as being fully soy. Of course if discovered the local trading standards officer will have something to say but usually by that time the vendor has already sold plenty..
Frosting only appears on candles that are made 100% from natural ingredients and therefore will not be seen on paraffin candles or even candles that are made partly with paraffin.
Are There Other Ways to Tell if a Candle is Soy?
As I’ve just mentioned paraffin candles are considered to be a soft wax and so another way to tell if a candle is soy is to test the hardness of the candle.
You can do this by gently pushing on the wax of the candle and if it feels soft then the likelihood is that the candle contain some paraffin.
Now this can be very difficult in a shop and I’m certainly not recommending that so go prodding and poking candles that you haven’t purchased by if you do like the soy candle then why not by a single candle at first, take it home and perform the softness test.
If it meets the standard then you can always go back and purchase more candles knowing that they are made from natural ingredients.
Another great way to tell if a candle is made from soy is that it will most likely burn for much longer. This again is due to it’s hardness and is in stark contract to the softer paraffin candle which burns a lot quicker.
There are so many benefits to using soy candles it’s important to make sure you are getting the quality you’re paying for and with so many candles out there it’s difficult to know how to tell if a candle is soy but I hope that I’ve shared some inspiring ways in which you can make an informed decision on your next shopping trip.
So next time you are out buying soy candles, as well as making sure the label describes the candle as made from soy, look out for the all telling frosting on the surface of the candle.
I’d really love to hear your comments, have you bought candles only to get them home and find out that the ingredient list includes paraffin? Have you seen the frosting on soy candles and always wondered what it was?
Please do take the time to leave a comment below.