Soy wax misconceptions vs. paraffin wax
Here are some interesting facts about candle wax and a few of the most common misconceptions about soy wax and how it compares against paraffin wax:
Soy wax burns cleaner
If you source both your soy and paraffin candles from the same candlemaker, there should be no difference in the candle's burning behavior. Many factors influence candle byproducts. The National Candlemaker Association solicited several research studies diving into this topic dating as far back as 1994 and as recently as 2021.
The research studies cover everything from evaluating the gaseous particle emissions of various candles to analyzing their risk to humans with health conditions. We highly recommend you give a few of them to read to observe the empirical data for yourself.
Soy wax burns longer
Some may read this article thinking, "why do soy candles burn longer?"
Soy wax is denser than paraffin, requires more heat to burn, and burns longer. However, wick size, wax additives, candle size, wax melting temperature, and many more factors contribute to a better burn time. Soy candles typically last longer in head-to-head burning tests against paraffin wax candles. The Journal of the American Oil Chemists' Society published a research paper in 2002 that directly compared the combustive qualities of paraffin and soy wax. They also investigated the gaseous byproducts of the black soot on candle wicks and soot deposition. Another great read for our fellow candle enthusiasts.
Soy wax emits better scents
The notion that soy wax has better' scent throw' has been around just as long as the candles themselves. However, in the research paper we mentioned and many more, researchers compare the 'scent throw' of paraffin candles to soy candles.
The paraffin wax beats soy wax a majority of the time. As we mentioned before, soy wax is denser than paraffin wax. Since soy wax requires more heat to burn, it takes longer to release the fragrance. As paraffin waxes melt, the fragrance diffuses into the air. Paraffin candles have better aromatic potential as they burn with less resistance and release the fragrance sooner.