Handy Discusses the Differences Between Soy and Wax Candles


According to Handy, when most people talk about candles, they mean those soft, whitish paraffin wax candles. These candles are derived from petroleum, shale oil, or coal and mainly unscented and un-dyed. Unfortunately, these are not the best types of candles for their purpose and can leave you less than impressed. Fortunately, there are many other types of candles available in the market, and candles made of soy wax are some of the best. Here are a few differences between soy and paraffin wax candles:

The Differences

  1. Soy wax emits less soot than paraffin wax candles – Every type of candle leaves a residue known as soot, and many things, including the presence of a draft and the length of the wick, can determine how much sediment is produced when a candle is burned. Soot is an undesirable compound that can stain and discolor the candle container. When compared to paraffin wax candles, soy wax candles leave less soot.
  2. Soy wax candles burn longer than paraffin wax candles – For most people, the amount of time it takes for their candle to burn completely is the most crucial factor. The candle’s height and width, along with the length of the wick, usually determine the burn-time of every candle. Many other factors can find themselves in this equation, but when all things are left equal, a soy wax candle burns about 30-50% longer than a paraffin wax candle.
  3. Paraffin wax produces more toxins than soy wax – If you are health conscious, you should choose soy wax candles over paraffin wax candles. Soy wax doesn’t contain any toxins or carcinogens as they are made from soybeans and are biodegradable. However, paraffin wax releases 11 known toxins, including two carcinogens, when it melts. Thus, soy wax candles are much healthier for regular use around your family or pets and more suitable for the environment.
  4. Soy wax produces a more intense fragrance – Compared to paraffin wax candles, soy wax candles have a more robust scent profile as they don’t include any extra chemicals that may interfere with the scent during burning. Thus, if you prefer scented candles and prefer a clean aroma, it is better to select candles made from soy wax.
  5. Soy wax is made from renewable resources – Paraffin wax is made from fossil fuels (i.e., after separating the waxy substance from crude oil). It is a non-renewable resource and cannot be replenished once over. Soy candle wax is a hydrogenated form of soybean oil which is derived from soybeans. Since we can grow soybeans, it’s a sustainable resource. It supports many American farmers.
  6. Soy wax is safer than paraffin wax – Paraffin wax has a defined crystal structure, and a melting point of 49-71°C (120-160°F). Soy wax is softer, more pliable, and has a lower melting point than paraffin wax. Thus, if you accidentally drop hot soy wax on your skin, you may get away with minor injuries.


Handy suggests you take your time when choosing candles to get the best value for your money. Don’t select candles just based on their brands, consider their types and uses as well.