Tuesday, September 20, 2011

SOY vs. Paraffin Wax Candles!

** Warning: This Post Smells . . . . . great!! **

Since we're trying to keep things green around here we've banned all room sprays and home air fresheners.
 I read an article that tested 14 different air fresheners , the study concluded that many contained chemicals that could cause developmental and reproductive problems, especially for infants. It highlighted the presence of phthalates, chemicals that manufacturers use as plastic softeners and to hold fragrances. California and Washington have banned the sale of children's toys containing phthalates because of their link to hormonal disruptions and I find it highly questionable that they wouldn't also ban air fresheners that contain the exact same chemical.

So no home air fresheners for us! Opening all the windows and doors is still my number one tip for scenting our home (no scent at all is the best scent for me). But during the Winter months opening all the windows for an hour or so isn't going to happen, so we needed to find a way to naturally scent our home without all the chemicals. In a perfect world I would bake a pie everyday and make our home smell like pie all the time, but I have neither the time, nor the waistline for that! 
Moving on, (mmmmmmmm . . . pie)
A few months ago I did some research on the subject and found that SOY candles are the best way to scent your home without all the chemicals.  Off on a mission I went looking for SOY candles and I found that . . . . . SOY candles are EXPENSIVE!! I had no idea. Paraffin Candles are remarkably cheaper than soy candles so I grabbed a $4 Paraffin Wax candles and came home content in the money I saved.

I smugly thought to myself "why would you spend twice as much for a soy candle?" So like the researcher I am, I looked it up!
Turns out there are A LOT of reasons to spend more on SOY!

  • Soy wax is made from soybeans and vegetables, both renewable resources.
  • Soy wax burns much cleaner and purer as it is all natural, non-toxic, and non-hazardous.
  • This wax is biodegradable leading to reduced landfills.
  • Soy wax residue can be washed away with warm water and soap.
  • Purchasing soy products supports the soy farmers of America, which stimulates our economy and lessens dependence on international resources.
  • Derived from petroleum, a limited resource
  • The burning of paraffin wax contributes to indoor air contamination by emitting petro-chemicals causing soot deposits and carcinogenic particulate matter.
  • This wax contains petroleum by-products and additives that inhibit biodegradability.
  • Paraffin wax residue is quite troublesome, often impossible, to remove.
  • Purchasing paraffin products not only supports our dependence on this crude oil but also supports an industry riddled with environmental faux pas.

So back to the store with my Paraffin Candle and receipt in hand to return my candle, and start the search again, this time for a soy candles at a reasonable price . . . I was the Goldilocks of Soy Candles for about a week straight. One smelt great but was too expensive, one was cheap but smelled awful, until finally a reasonably priced soy candle that smelt great, and I found it at HOMESENSE (Homegoods in the US) aaaahhhhhh . . . just right.

Therepe Fresh        Sunwashed Linen! It smells lovely, not too much scent but just enough. And it burns evenly there is nothing I hate more than a candle that burns a hole straight down leaving walls of un-burnt candles wax . . . what a waste. But this one burnt all the wax up!

And remember that expensive but amazing smelling Soy Candle . . . it's from KISS MY FACE and it smells so amazing I could eat it. It is a bit pricey at $15 a candle. But still, I could smell it for dinner, seriously no dinner just candle smell! :)

If anyone has any suggestions on where to find well priced soy candles I'm all ears!! Share the smelly savings!! :)

I was in no way paid or perk'd for this post I just LOVE these candles.


  1. I bought my very first soy candle (pear and lime scent) just the other day and it is amazing. Love the perfume, it's so subtle and doesn't trigger a sneezing fit!
    I really thought hard about purchasing Ashli as in Australia soy candles are quite expensive. But now I could never burn anything else!

  2. We have a local candle maker (Midland, MI) called Coyer Candles they are on FB and may have a website not sure but they make all their own 100% soy and awesome scents they do ship so look them up!

  3. I get all my candles from Celebrating Home. I have a local rep I buy from, but you can order from their website as well. They have a huge selection of fragrances and sizes, all at good prices. My favorite is crisp cotton breeze.

  4. I heard beeswax candles were best. Did you come across anything concerning those in your research?

  5. I received a soy candle for my birthday as my friends know I'm the eco-friendly one in the bunch. =) I love it! It smells like gardenias and it smells amazing.

  6. We love soy candles in our house. I do splurge on the white ones from Pottery Barn (no scent) for my dinner tables and such (they last a really long time, so money well spent). I have found soy burns much cleaner and lasts longer. I do love beeswax too, but they too can be super pricey. Our Whole Foods has a great selection of both here. I am sure there are shops on Etsy and Ebay that you can purchase soy candles from.

  7. I also meant to mention...for a more natural air freshener, I will take citrus peels (for spring/summer months) and spices-clove, allspice, cinnamon (for fall winter months) add to a small pot of water on the stove, simmer for about 30 minutes or so, then turn off...leaves the house smelling sooo good without the work of baking up a pie!

  8. Do you have a link to that article you read? I'm 11 weeks pregnant and have a scented oil plug-in in the laundry room to help mask the litter box. But don't really want to use it if it ends up being unsafe.

  9. Just remeber it only has to be 26% to be called a soy candle. Make sure your maker is 100% soy.

  10. I am so glad you posted about soy candles! I read your blog often and have recently started a blog of my own...Anywho I make Soy Candles! and plan on selling them through my blog/etsy. I do not have my shop set up yet but once I do I would love to send you a candle! And Anonymous is right ..make sure its 100% soy wax (mine are) and be weary of colors and fragrance oils which are not natural (look for no colors and essential oil scented only, which is what I use). This is exactly why I started making my own 8)

    1. Hi! I know this post is old but I'm wondering if you ended up opening up your shop. If you did, what is the website? Thanks!

  11. I find mine at TJ Maxx. The one that I've always found is only 4.99. A great price and it really makes the whole house smell so good. I also like that it doesn't smell so smokey when you blow them out.

  12. Target has HUGE soy candles around the holiday seasons for reasonable prices. I always buy their evergreen scent for the winter months because my Christmas tree never smells quite Christmas-y enough, hahaha.

  13. Hi Ashli, just a tip for when you do have candles that don't burn up all the wax...buy a candle warmer (they're pretty inexpensive) and use that to warm up the leftover wax, and then you can still enjoy the candle scent :)

  14. QVC often has soy candles from Valerie Parr Hill.
    Hanna's candles supplies her products and they are the longest lasting soy I've found so far. The Pumpkin Spice for fall is great, as is the Spiced Pear. I save the bits when they get very low in the jar and when I have enough bits, I re-melt and make a new candle.

  15. Personally, I will not buy soy candles because something like 90% of soy crops are GMO and I want nothing to do with supporting Monsanto if I can help it. Wonder if anyone makes organic soy candles? Simmering potpourri (with all the 'left-overs' from my dehydrating) is my scenting method of choice. But you're right, there's nothing like an open window!

  16. Candles are a huge safety issue with me, especially with a home full of small children, so I use a spray with naturally, occurring viable micro-organisms and essential oils of Bulgarian Lavender or Thai Citrus. All plant based, 100% pure and all organic. Just spray, breathe deep and enjoy! These sprays are part of our household holostic healing regime. $20 for 32 oz bottle which easily got us through Spring and Summer.
    I'd love to send the "Mannor" a bottle for the ultimate "Green" experiance!
    If anyone is interested please be free to check out my site for more infomation! www.aihu.net/leslienyholm

  17. Ashli, as usual you are on the same wavelength as me! I just spent the past 2 weeks trying to purge phthalates out of my house. I just finished reading "Slow Death By Rubber Duck" and that started the whole thing! I've seen soy candles in the "Dollar Giant" stores in North Van, they probably aren't 100% soy however. Liz.

  18. You can do something really cheap and a little safer with a mini-sized crock pot. Just put some water, baking soda, and essential oils and turn it on low. The baking soda absorbs the odors, the water keeps it from scorching and the essential oils are a nice way to spread some light scent through the home. It works great - even after fish night :)

  19. I love soy candles also!!!! I will have to try that kiss my face one!


  20. Apparently Sandra Bullock is a bit of a greenie and she has a soy candle company....store. Maybe on line who knows... I love the candles in the glass jars...which usually come with a lid.

  21. Thanks for all the great sources!!!
    Julie - Sorry I don't have the link to the article, for the life of me I can't even recall the name of it. I'm not sure about scented oil, but I'm sure someone has written an article about it :) Let me know if you find any info on it! I'm interested if it's okay or not!

    As far as beeswax, I heard they are a much greener alternative to paraffin, they do have any bad chemicals in them, and they burn cleaner than paraffin so there's no Soot! I haven't bought any beeswax candles yet but when I do I'll make sure to share it!

    That's a really good point about making sure they are 100% soy!

    Also, I'm not sure if they make organic soy candles, although I'm super interested to find out!! I'll let you know what I find!

  22. A friend of mine has candle-making equipment, and I helped her make soy candles a few times. Now that we live in different states, I've thought about buying my own equipment so I can fill my own jars, but it isn't cheap! If I decide to do that, I'll have to buy it one item at a time with my weekly 40% off coupons from Michaels. :)

  23. Annie, not sure if you'll come back and see this but I just bought a 100% soy candle the other day in Woolies for about $4 I think. It is Karma Senses brand and it supposedly burns for 23 hours so I think it is pretty good value. I got the strawberry flavour which smells quite delicious. This is the website: http://www.artflodesigns.com.au/karma_senses/html/candles_cl21.html if you want to see what they look like. :)

  24. I make my own soy candles as well and only use 100% natural essential oils. It's hard to find quality, 100% pure products out there and if the website doesn't specify the ingredients, don't hestitate to inquire! Also, for r8chel, you don't have to buy any of the fancy, schmancy candle making gear for soy candles. Because clean up involves soap and water, all you need is a good large, glass measuring cup, candy thermometer and a microwave (and obviously your wax, wicks, glass jars, etc) and you're good to go. Also, because soy wax has a much lower melting point than paraffin, you can even use the melted wax as a massage oil if you'd like and it's not as much of a concern if your dog or cat or child knocks it over b/c it's not hot enough to actually burn their skin. It's still pretty warm, but it won't scald. I'm disappointed in myself that I didn't think about GMO soy...something else to look into!

    Lastly, borax powder mixed with essential oils sprinkled on the carpet before you vacuum is a wonderful air freshener, as is water and essential oil in a spray bottle for the air.

    1. Could you make soy wax blocks for a scentsy warmer or is the melting point so low you would scorch the wax in the burner?

  25. @ Julie the Environment Working Group has a great article about Phthalates and fertility.

    Also, they have their skindeep database where you can search for most commercially available products and see how they rate toxicity wise...i find I use it at least once a week!


  26. I've been avoiding most commercial candles for years. Please make certain to purchase candles with lead-free wicks. I suspect some of the soy candles found in retailers like TJ Maxx and Homegoods do not fit this criteria.

  27. I don't know what they are like in Vancouver but maybe check out your local farmers markets/ craft shows. I get soy candles from a vendor at one of our markets here in Edmonton. Great way to support local businesses :)

  28. I just came across this and thought of you - http://ruffledblog.com/diy-eco-friendly-soy-candle-favors/
    You could make the cutest candles using jars/mini vases that match your decor perfectly that way!

  29. Interesting post. I burn Yankee Candles all the time. OOPS....Going to rethink this now and pass along to my kids!

  30. Thanks for a great post. Probably won't throw all my paraffin candles out (that won't help landfills or my wallet). You've got me thinking though and I think I will start buying soy candles from here on out.

  31. Quick question... a quick Wikipedia search say phthalates " contribute 10-60% of plastic products by weight". Is the main concern with breathing this stuff or ingesting it? Otherwise seems like it would be pretty difficult to get completely out of your home considering how much plastic product people consume... even those of us that try to be fairly conscientiousness of what we're buying/using in our homes.

  32. It's almost impossible to remove all plastics from our houses, but I think removing ones that make contact with our food is a good start. Although I should mention that there are plastics that are fine to use with food, however we still take extra precautions with food that might need to be re-heated (only glass containers for that).
    Hope that helps a bit
    I'll work on a post about the topic.

  33. Thanks, Ashli, for bringing the subject of Phthalates to my attention. Wow...lots of research and cleaning out/replacing products to do! Looking forward to reading your further postings on the subject!

    Liz, your "Not to Pretty" article was very helpful. Thanks for sharing the link!

  34. This is why I love your blog -- I think about this stuff "I wonder if there's a better alternative to toxic paraffin candles", and then YOU post about it! You do all the work for me, THANK YOU! ;)

    I've missed having candles around the house for a long time. Years and years ago I turned my mother on to having more candles around the house instead of those nasty air fresheners and now I don't know how to tell her the wax is toxic too.

    I'm going to have to buy a few soy candles now, thanks for the information!

    Oh, you can find a few brands on Amazon, sometimes a pack of 6, so when you find a favorite it's something to consider. Some of them are even available on Prime a/o Subscribe and Save. I'm curious to try Mrs. Meyers.

  35. Hi Ashli...I just wanted to mention that Vitacost.com carries the "Kiss My Face" candles for $8.88 a piece.
    I'm not sure how much the shipping would be to Canada but it might be worth checking on.

    Thanks so much for sharing your candle information with us!
    Happy Holidays from Tennessee~

  36. Soy Candles are environment friendly.It is made from natural resources.It is not made from petroleum.When we burn soy candles,it does not increase co2 level in the atmosphere.We can easily remove it from furniture or textiles.So that i always use soy candles.

  37. look at www.grannyskountrycandles.com We order them for our store and LOVE LOVE them. You can order right from their site.

  38. I'm just starting my home made, hand poured soy candle business. It's called Scents1. If anyone would like to know about ordering and any questions please email me at scents1one@gmail.com

  39. I'm just starting my home made, hand poured soy candle business. It's called Scents1. If anyone would like to know about ordering and any questions please email me at scents1one@gmail.com

  40. wow, its so lovely and attractive things...
    soy vs paraffin wax......
    soy is so useful than wax....
    thanks for sharing.....
    i like this...

  41. Bath and Body Works---the only ones I will burn!!!! They go on sale for $10 for big 3-wick and then you can use a coupon to bring it down even more!

  42. My own are the only ones that I burn!! =)
    100% all soy!! Cotton wicks!
    My prices are super competitive!!!!!
    Check out my products at




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