Showdown: Soy vs Paraffin

Showdown: Soy vs Paraffin

Anyone who has spent any time in the candle community (makers, lovers, retailers, etc) has undoubtedly heard the debate. Soy vs paraffin...which is better and why? There are lots of different ways to frame this conversation, but ultimately, it comes down to preference and priorities of both the business and the customer.

Here we will enumerate the key differences between soy and paraffin waxes and why the DopeWicks team thinks soy is the way to go.

 

About Soy:

Pros:

  • Natural
  • A vegetable based wax made from soybean oil, which is a sustainable, renewable resource
  • Non-toxic
  • Given the same amount of wax, soy generally burns at least 25% longer than paraffin
  • Lower melting point
  • Generally burns "cleaner" (less dark soot produced)

Cons:

  • Less forgiving with fragrance; not all fragrances perform well in soy wax candles
  • Longer cure times to produce better scent throw
  • More sensitive to heat and humidity
  • Wax is more temperamental and it can be much more difficult to create aesthetically pleasing candles
  • Not all soy is responsibly produced

About Paraffin:

Pros:

  • Non-toxic and non-reactive
  • Produces a stronger scent throw with shorter required cure time
  • Can handle higher fragrance loads
  • Less expensive than other candle waxes
  • More forgiving for beginner candlemakers

Cons:

  • Petroleum based
  • Created using crude oil / fossil fuels
  • Non-renewable
  • Can contain benzene, which is a known carcinogen
  • Can often contain harmful additives
  • More prone to producing dark soot

There will likely never be a perfect answer, but for us at DopeWicks, the choice is clear. While soy wax can often be more difficult to work with and require much more advance planning to maintain inventory and avoid delays for our customers, avoiding possible carcinogens in our products and using wax that comes from a renewable, sustainable source is a no-brainer.