If you're looking for a quality natural candle or want to start making your own and are researching candle waxes, you may consider beeswax vs. soy wax. They are two of the dominant eco-friendly candle waxes, but there are some differences you need to know.
Beeswax candles are some of the cleanest burning candles out there. Beeswax is not vegan, but it is natural, and it's a very tough wax that burns longer than soy. It can be hard to get a good scent throw from beeswax candles but it is possible. On the other hand, soy candles also burn clean and are more affordable than beeswax. It's sustainable and is the gold standard of vegetable waxes.
What is Soy Wax?
Soy wax is derived from the soy plant and is relatively new compared to other types of wax. Soy wax did not exist until 1996, when a group of students at Purdue University responded to the challenge of creating a sustainable birthday candle.
Purdue University is in prime soy growing territory, which may be why the students chose to use soy oil for the challenge. They found that by hydrogenating the oil, they could turn it into a wax rather than an oil. They made a candle out of the wax and won first prize in the competition with their sustainable soy candle.
There are many benefits to soy wax candles. They can be made without the use of animal byproducts, which makes them vegan. It is a soft wax that burns cleanly, and while it is not the ideal wax for pillar candles, it does well in container candles and wax melts.
It's also extremely environmentally friendly, and thanks to the prolific amount of soy grown in the USA, it's sustainable and natural to come by.
What is Beeswax?
Beeswax is a natural product made by bees. The wax is produced by worker bees who excrete it from glands in their body and then use the wax to create honeycombs. Beeswax has been used for centuries by humans as a sort of natural plastic and was eventually made into candles.
Beeswax candles are one of the cleanest burning candles out there, and some even claim it has air purifying properties. Bees make beeswax, which means it's not vegan, but it is natural.
Beeswax is harder than soy wax and can be made into pillar or taper candles. Since bees produce wax, there is a limited amount in the world. To make a pound of wax, it's estimated that bees must fly 150,000 miles to find enough nectar.
Beekeepers must be careful not to take so much wax that it stresses the bees, and there are only a limited amount of hives that can be harvested from. A beekeeper can only take about a pound of wax for every 100 pounds of honey they collect. This means beeswax is uncommon compared to vegetable candles, and this translates to a higher price tag.
Soy Candles vs. Beeswax Candles
If you're hoping to purchase the candle itself, both of these waxes are clean burning and will keep soot out of your home. If you prefer scented candles, you will want to choose a soy candle, as it is notoriously challenging to scent a beeswax candle.
Soy candles, on the other hand, are well known for throwing scent beautifully, which makes them great if you want to fill the room with a delicious scent.
Beeswax may be the very best if you have allergies. They release negative ions when burned that may help clean up the dust in your home. If you're concerned about price, soy candles are cheaper than beeswax.
Soy Wax vs. Beeswax for Candle Making
If you're planning to pour your own candles, you may be curious as to what the difference is between these two types of wax. Most of the differences are relatively small, but some of them can have a significant effect on your purchasing choice. Here are a few things to consider:
If you're starting out and require room for error, you may want to start with cheaper soy wax than beeswax. Because of how it's made, beeswax is one of the most expensive types of wax, and losing it due to beginner mistakes can hit your pocketbook hard.
While using beeswax does not harm the bees, vegans will want to stay away from beeswax as animals make it. Soy is a vegetable product, meaning it's vegan and fine to use.
If choosing the healthiest candle possible is your number one concern, beeswax may be a better choice for you. There are claims that beeswax purifies the air as it burns, making it ideal for people with asthma and other health concerns. However, this has not been proven by studies.
If you're planning to have a scent-free candle, beeswax is a good choice. If you want to add essential oils or fragrance to your candle, however, you'll want to choose soy instead.
- The Type of Candle
Beeswax is suitable for pillar candles and tapered candles, while soy wax is more suited to container candles or wax melts. If you plan to make a particular type of candle, choose the wax that is best for the type of candle you're going to make.
Both soy wax and beeswax have their place in candle making, and one isn't necessarily better than the other. When trying to decide, make a list of what you want in a candle and see which wax works best for you.