After paraffin, which is the most popular type of wax for making candles, soy wax has successfully captured the attention of the candle makers around the world. Completely renewable and natural soy wax, which is basically a processed form of soybean oil, is fast emerging as a popular alternative of paraffin. The process of creating wax begins after harvesting when soybeans are first cleaned and cracked, followed by the process of dehulling and rolling into flakes. Then comes the hydrogenation process for converting the unsaturated fatty acids in the oil to a saturated form. The hydrogenation process makes a vital impact by altering the melting point of the oil and lending a solid form to the wax at room temperature. The vast majority of this natural vegetable wax comes primarily from Iowa, Illinois, and Indiana regions of the United States.
Softer than paraffin, soy wax has a creamy, opaque appearance and is available in a convenient-to-use form of pellets and flakes. A soy candle is not just sustainable but has great illumination results. It burns well, slowly and cleanly to deliver an impressive performance without compromising on its beauty.
On a downside, the wax has a frosting problem and since it is more viscous, you will require a larger wick for uninterrupted burning. It also has a lower melting temperature which simply means that the soaring temperature can make the candle melt. The eco-friendly wax also has a weaker hot scent throw than paraffin, however, the cold throw is better than any other member of its candle wax brethren. It is also slightly difficult to achieve deep and rich hues with this green wax.
Primary uses in candle making:
Soy wax are widely used to create container candles due to the lower melting point. With the support of certain additives, the wax also works great for pillar candles. The most comely used additives in soy candles along with fragrance and color-dye are Vybar, mineral oil, stearic acid, luster crystals, ultraviolet absorbents and petrolatum.
Different types and melting points:
This wax from soybean extracts can be used for candle-making in different ways. It can be used straight, in the blended form with natural oils and any other type of wax or can be mixed with paraffin to create Parasoy wax. The melting point for the wax ranges from 120 to 180 degrees Fahrenheit or 49 to 82 degrees Celsius depending on the blend. Additives can alter the melting point and raise it to an extent where it becomes the same as for paraffin-based candles.
Maximum recommended fragrance capacity:
For soy wax, the fragrance oil load of anything between 6-10% is considered the best and in case of essential oils a maximum load of 6-7% is recommended for a somewhat ideal scent throw. It is known to hold more fragrance oil, up to 1.5 – 2 ounces per pound, when compared with other types of wax. Since, every fragrance and essential oil has a different effect on this type of wax, you need to keep experimenting to find your desired throw.
The type of wax you decide to use is a matter of personal choice, but without knowing the basic nature of each wax, you can’t face the challenges it may throw in the process of candle making. Now that you know the strength and weaknesses of soy wax, decide whether or not it suits your requirement and let the beautiful journey of candles continue.