By P&J Trading

USING SOY WAX 

Last month we discussed the pros and cons, as well as the controversial debate, of using paraffin wax. As our P&J Family continues our “What to Know Candle Series”, we wanted to share with you the basic aspects you should know when using soy wax.  Follow along below to learn the ins and outs, and various tips when making a candle with this type of wax. 

WHAT IS SOY WAX 

All-natural soy wax is known as a vegetable wax because it directly derives from soybeans. After soybeans are gathered, the vegetables are cleaned, cracked, dehulled, and rolled into smaller pieces or flakes. The oil is then extracted from these smaller pieces and hydrogenated. This process is a chemical reaction between molecular hydrogen and another element. The reaction causes fatty acids to change from unsaturated to saturated which raises the melting point. Once the melting point is raised, the wax becomes a solid at room temperature. Thus, creating your natural soy wax for candles!

PROS AND CONS 

Here are a few pros and cons when using soy wax:

PROS 

  • The wax is made from environmentally friendly, renewable resources; meaning it’s safe to burn.
  • Since soy wax takes on a more dense form, unlike paraffin, the burn time is slower or longer. 
  • Soy wax tends to hold fragrance oil more and gives off a better scent throw without additives.
  • Candles made from soy wax burn cleaner and emit less black soot. 
  • Easy to clean up with water and soap, if you spill, because it is a biodegradable wax. 
  • It is naturally opaque and can give off a light, pastel color if that is what you want.

CONS 

  • Soy wax has a tendency to expand and contract more with given temperatures of a room. 
  • It can be tricky and time consuming when trying to find a scent throw you like. 
  • Some fragrances and essential oils do not work well with soy wax. 
  • However, our P&J Fragrances work great with soy wax!
  • The wax can sometimes create frost marks in the candle or container.  

TIPS FOR SOY WAX 

Here are a few tips you should consider if you are new to the candle making world: 

Burn Time 

This is how long it takes a candle to completely burn. If you are burning a soy wax candle in three hour increments, the candle can burn up for 50-60 hours long. This is also highly dependent on how large the candle is.

Chatter Marks

Lines that appear on a finished candle because the container was too cold when the wax poured. Or the wax was too hot/cold. This is why it is important, when using soy to pour between 100-150 °F.

Cure

An amount of time a candle needs rest before it is lit to increase scent throw. When using soy, we recommended to wait at least a week before lighting the candle.

Dye

The various colorants used in the candle making process. We recommend using dye blocks in soy for a darker, more vibrant color.

Fragrance Oil

Our general recommendation is ½ to 1 full ounce (approximately 300 to 600 drops) of P&J Trading Fragrance Oil per pound of soy which equates to 1-2 Tablespoons. This will give a proper scent throw, depending on how strong you want the fragrance and the size of the room the candle is placed in.

Frosting 

This happens in natural waxes and caused by the growth of tiny crystals on the surface. One way to help stop this is to quickly and continuously stir the soy before pouring.

Scent Throw

The fragrance emitted from the candle. Soy emits a lighter scent throw around the room because it is thicker than other waxes.

Wicks

A cotton or wood material used to ignite the flame of a candle. For soy, it is best to stay with a  flat cotton wick braided with thin paper threads. Of course, wood wick also gives a nice flicker and sounds like a real fire.

The perfect soy wax candle recipe can be difficult, but with experimentation and practice you will find something you love! We hope this knowledge will help you choose the best wax for you when making the next batch of candles.