The Soothing Science Of Soy Candles
By Mara Dobyns
When I think about candles I think about the relaxation, peace, and warmth that they bring. Knowing what I know now I can never think that way about paraffin wax-based candles again, which is why I am so excited and eager to share my new knowledge of soy wax.
Soy wax is a vegetable wax made from the oil of soybeans. After harvesting, the beans are cleaned, cracked, de-hulled, and rolled into flakes. The oil is then extracted from the flakes and hydrogenated. The hydrogenated process dramatically alters the melting point of the oil, making it a solid at room temperature. It is not uncommon for the leftover bean husks to be used as animal feed, making this process a completely renewable resource.
Interestingly enough, soy wax candles were invented by a group of Purdue University college students. In 1996 the students were given an assignment to develop a birthday candle using a renewable resource. They chose to use soybean oil, helping to establish the beginning of soybean candles and winning first place in a competition, sponsored by the Indiana Soybean Development Council and Purdue’s Department of Agronomy.
Making soy wax candles takes hard work and experience like anything else. The process includes a double boiler for melting the wax, a color chip for coloring, fragrance oils, wicks, jars, and of course patience. Each scent has its own science and testing until the best possible version has been created.
Today there is an entire enterprise of soy wax candle entrepreneurs. So why soy, you ask? Soy wax candles are a natural, renewable resource, often grown by local farmers. On the other hand, paraffin wax is made of elements collected from decaying plants and animals. Paraffin releases carcinogenic chemicals when burned. The soot/fumes are similar to that released from a diesel engine and can be as dangerous as second-hand cigarette smoke. Gross! They may also contain lead and other cancer causing chemicals.
Soy wax offers cleaner burning without toxins, carcinogens or pollutants which means it’s less likely to trigger allergies. Plus there is no petrol-carbon soot or any of the other garbage you get from paraffin wax.
Soy wax burns cooler which means that you can enjoy your soy wax candle for generally 30-50% longer than a paraffin wax based candle. Soy candles are often scented with essential oils creating a candle that is all around good for your well being.
“The Pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” – William W. Ward.
It’s time to adjust our sails, friends, and step into a healthier more sustainable world. So where can you get these superb non-toxic soy wax candles? Meet local Redding artists Elena Walla and Ryan Crowe. They have been dating for eight years and candle making on their own for five. When Elena’s mom Peachie passed away in 2010, Elena and Ryan carried on the heart of the business in her memory.
Their candles are made of 100% sox wax and essential oils are used for scenting. They are 100% handmade, too. Both Ryan and Elena share a passion for candle making and strive to make an everlasting impression that exceeds any customer’s expectations. They were kind enough to give us a few candles to sample and WOW! My favorite was the Buttercream Cupcake. Every time anyone came into the office they commented on how wonderful it smelled and asked what we were baking.
They offer a variety of scents including but not limited to: blueberry muffin, apple cinnamon, sugar cookies, monkeys, and love spell. For a complete list of scents please visit their website. They can be purchased at Oregon Street Antique Mall in downtown Redding, online through their Facebook page, and on their website. On their website you can browse through and pick your own preference of scent, color, and size. They specialize in custom orders too, so don’t be shy. Let their experience and passion set your standards for soy wax candles and make sure to visit their Facebook page or website to take your first step towards a brighter, healthier future. www.facebook. com/peachtreesoy- candles