Is Soy Wax Toxic?
I was at a pop-up market recently selling our hand-poured soy candles and talking with customers about all things candles. One question that came up is, Are Soy Candles Toxic?
I've often heard the questions, why soy candles? or Are soy candles better? but I'd never heard this question phrased quite this way, and it struck me as a really important question to answer, not just for that customer but for all our customers and candle lovers out in candle land.
So, in this blog post, let's dive deeper into the question: Is Soy Wax Toxic?
Let's start with,
What is Soy Wax?
Soy wax is a type of wax made from soybeans, which (fun fact!) were first brought to the United States in the 1700s as a forage crop for livestock.
Soy wax is made by hydrogenating soybean oil, which turns it into a solid form that can be used for products like candles. Soy wax is an ever-growing alternative to traditional paraffin wax, which is derived from petroleum and can release harmful chemicals when burned.
Hydrogenation? What does that mean?
The hydrogenation process involves adding hydrogen to soybean oil, which causes a chemical reaction that turns the liquid oil into a solid wax.
There are several steps involved, but here's the quick and dirty run-down:
The soybean oil is heated and hydrogen gas is added to it under high pressure. A catalyst is also added to the mixture to speed up the reaction. The hydrogenation process causes the unsaturated fatty acids in the oil to become saturated, which changes the oil's molecular structure and turns it into a solid wax.
Once the hydrogenation process is complete, the mixture is cooled down to solidify the wax.
The wax is then separated from the liquid fraction and processed further to remove any remaining impurities.
The resulting soy wax is a safe, natural, and renewable wax that is biodegradable and free from toxins and harmful chemicals, including the laundry list of carcinogens present in paraffin wax.
Soy wax is also a sustainable and eco-friendly choice because soybeans are a renewable resource that can be grown in many parts of the world.
So, is soy wax toxic? The short answer is no. Soy wax is not toxic. As a plant-based wax, it is a safe and natural alternative to paraffin wax.
Are Soy Candles Toxic?
Well, if soy wax isn't toxic, is it still possible for a soy candle to be toxic?
Here's where you need to consider more than just the wax part of the candle, because not all soy wax candles are created equal.
Some candles may contain additives or fragrances that can be harmful when burned.
For example, some fragrances contain phthalates, which are known endocrine disruptors.
Here at Tall Pine Candles, we only use phthalate-free fragrance oils infused with essential oils for the best, safest scented candles.
Additionally, to ensure that you are using a safe and non-toxic soy wax candle, look for candles that are made with natural soy wax (not soy wax blends, which can include paraffin wax) and do not contain any harmful additives or fragrances.
Written By — Kate De Palma
Interested in non-toxic, clean-burning soy candles for your home? We'd love to have you check out our hand-poured candles, crafted in our Arizona studio.
Thanks for reading…