Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Soy Wax Candles

Soy wax candles, as the name suggests, are made from soy wax. In the early 1990s, Michael Richards, a candle maker by profession, wanted to cash on the growing demand for natural wax candles, and decided to create and alternative candle wax. Beeswax had been commonly used for candle making until then. It was 10 times costlier than paraffin. Following a series of experiments with plant waxes, Michael succeeded in creating a wax using hydrogenated soy oil. Initially, this wax was mixed with beeswax to create a cheaper material for candles. Soy wax candles were first launched in 1995 by the Body Shop chain of stores. These candles contained some quantities of beeswax and almond oil. Pure soy wax candles were first manufactured in 1996.

Soy wax candles contain hydrogenated soybean oil as their chief ingredient. Candles with varying strengths and melting points are made adding some other materials in different proportions. The soybean oil helps to lower the melting point, resulting in a more even burning. This low heat wax is ideal for making scented candles since lower heat helps in dispersing more fragrance. Soy wax candles produce low quantities of soot, and are less toxic.

Soy wax candles are biodegradable. They emit less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, when compared to paraffin wax candles. Moreover, no animal products are used. People who are environmentally conscious therefore, prefer these candles. Another major promoter of soy wax candles is the farming community, as it is another market for them to sell their soybeans to. The wide usage of soy candles helps the United States to reduce the use of paraffin, thereby reducing the need for petroleum imports for candle making.

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