Coconut wax vs Soy, Paraffin, Palm and Beeswax.


While paraffin has been the cheap wax of choice since the late 19th century, soy wax has recently moved into second place due to its “natural” credentials. However, if you do some research, you’ll discover that there’s a much better choice for candles: coconut wax—let's look at why.

There are many reasons coconut wax is best. Here are some facts on other waxes:

Soy wax First of all,

Non-GMO soy wax is non-existent. In addition, soy contains heavy pesticide and fertilizer additives. Soy does not have ideal burn qualities; it burns slowly, but it has trouble throwing scent and can also look unsightly. It is cheap though, due to the fact that soybean oil is a byproduct of the huge soybean industry led by agricultural giant Monsanto (now Bayer).

Parrafin wax produces toluene as a by-product, as it is petroleum derived. It may be very low cost and known for its wonderful burning and scent properties, but as a product of the oil industry it is the very definition of unsustainable. Furthermore, there is some discussion around whether there may be negative health effects associated with burning paraffin candles at home. One 2009 study found that burning paraffin candles can release harmful chemicals such as toluene. But this study has been called into question by the National Candle Association, particularly because it has not been published in a scientific journal. After reading a lot of studies, on either side of this topic, our sense is that paraffin candles are likely not a significant health hazard; that you would need to burn a lot of paraffin candles for them to cause you serious concern. But since paraffin wax has so many substitutes, there’s little need to use it.

Palm wax is dangerously sourced. The majority of palm originates from Malaysia and Indonesia where palm farmers non-consequently burn and commandeer ancient forests by thousands of acres a day. Some palm plantations developed this way even have the RSPO (responsibly sourced palm origin) certification through grandfathering or being purchased after the damage is done. Therefore, it’s best to steer clear of palm wax.

Beeswax comes from the hives of honeybees. Beeswax in many regards is one of the more sustainable options. It has a characteristically honey-like scent, and a golden color. This makes it wonderful as a standalone candle wax, but challenging to incorporate into scented candles. Bleached (white) beeswax is available, but presents issues with ‘scent trapping’—leading to sadly scented candles with very little scent throw.

Coconut wax is obtained through a natural process.— Coconut wax burns slowly and cleanly, and throws scent extremely well.— Coconut wax has been overlooked by the candle industry because it is more expensive per pound. I don’t care: it's well worth it and I price it the same as soy wax candles. You are getting a much better product for the same price! This wax is the only choice for me!

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