Soy Candle Wax

There are a number of candle waxes to choose from but soy candle wax is becoming popular because it is better for the environment as it is natural, non-toxic and clean burning and renewable which means it will be renewed indefinitely because of new growth.

Soy candle wax comes from soy beans (it is made from hydrogenating soy beans – see below for more interesting info on that). Another attractive quality of soy wax is that soy beans are grown domestically in the good old U.S.A. (domestic assuming you live in the US). Candle makers also like soy candle wax because it melts quickly during the candle making process making for faster candle production. However it can be slow to cool.

It’s a fairly new wax developed in the 1990s from soy beans. When soy candles burn they give off their own pleasant natural fragrance. Soy candle wax burns slower then other waxes so it makes for a longer lasting candle. Longer lasting also means more economical.

While some waxes come in blocks or sheets soy wax comes in flakes which makes it easier to measure in a measuring cup. Cleaning soy wax spills is easy and just requires some warm soapy water.

Another good thing about soy candle wax is it works well with scent. Sure it does have its own natural pleasing fragrance but candle makers like using the soy wax for making a wide variety of scented candles because soy wax really brings out the fragrances of other scents more so then the other waxes do.

Soy wax can be used in pillar candles and votive candles (a candle 2 inches high by 1.5 inches) (referred to as votive candles because they are burnt in church as a votive offering) but because of their low melting point they are commonly used as container candles. With a low melting point the candle can get soft and even bend in hot weather. Container candles are candles that are in containers like jars or glasses or metal containers. Soy candles have a beautiful glossy sheen.

These are the major characteristics of soy candle wax if you want to know how to make soy candles it’s the same as other candles except maybe the cleanup is easier as mentioned above. Heat the wax in a double boiler until it is completely melted then if you want add your colored dye and scent while it is melted and mix it in real good by stirring the wax with a wooden paint stick and then pour into the candle containers or molds making sure the wicks are in place.

Hydrogenating the soy is interesting. Some fats are actually liquids at room temperature and some fats are solid. Saturated fats are fats where the fat molecules are fully saturated with hydrogen atoms. There’s no more room for additional hydrogen atoms. These fats are solid at room temperature and include butter and animal fat, both are solid.

Soybean oil (from which soy candle wax is made) is a liquid at room temperature because it is an unsaturated fat. It has room for more hydrogen atoms. So soybean oil is “hydrogenated,” hydrogen atoms are attached making it a solid and therefore able to be used as a candle wax.


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