Soy Wax vs Beeswax
When deciding which candle wax to buy for a container candle, one of the questions I often get asked is "Should i use Soy Wax or Beeswax". Well you're at the right place for the 411 on how to choose between the two. Let me start by saying that at Selfmade Candle we use Soy Wax.
Soy candles are vegan, long burning and all natural whereas beeswax candles are made by bees, smells sweeter and has a higher burning temperature. They both produce natural candles. Which you decide on can depend on cost, burn temperature, vegan friendly and eco friendly properties.
I've found on average that Soy Wax is cheaper than Beeswax. I wish beeswax' inflated price was due to the manufacturing companies paying the bees a fair living wage. Alas, that's not the case. The additional costs can be attributed to the feed for the bees. For every 1 pound of beeswax produced, bees need to have eaten 6-8 pounds of honey . That is one expensive meal.
Beeswax has a higher burn temperature than soy. What does this mean? If you're out selling candles at a fair and have your candle lit to demonstrate, your beeswax candle will last longer than your soy wax candle. If it's an extremely sunny day and hot out, beeswax is also more likely to stay lit with a higher temperature.
This ones pretty clear. Soy wax is a vegetable based wax made from soybeans. The beans are harvested, cleaned and rolled into flakes. Once that's done, soybean oil is extracted and hydrogenated making the vegan friendly soy wax that we know and love. However, beeswax does what it says on the tin. A product produced by bees. If you're a vegan, soy is a clear prevailer for you. At Selfmade Candle this was the key reason why we picked soy. If you're brand is vegan friendly, soy wax, coconut wax or rapeseed wax are your best choices.
Soy wax is eco friendly due to the reduced amounts of soot it produces in the environment. This means that not only will the rooms in your home have less soot damaged walls, but also that the environment will be a lot cleaner too (than let's say, a paraffin candle).
Worth noting that beeswax is just as eco-friendly. Like soy, It's biodegradable, non-carcinogenic and non-hazardous.
If you're looking for a wax for unscented candles, beeswax in it's natural form will smell slightly sweeter than soy. If you like sugar hunny, beeswax is the one for you.
Ok, so this one if purely down to the individual. Soy wax produces a creamy milk like colour when poured. Expect your soy candle to be soy milk colour as opposed to almond. Whereas, Beeswax can be white-brown in colour. I'm a fan of soy for the flexibility of colour it brings. What starts as a creamy milk can be quite easily turned into anything else with a colour dye. Not that we use colour dyes in any Selfmade Candle products, but it's nice to know the option exists.
When producing a scented candle you want optimum scent throw. Both in terms of Cold Throw (how strong the scent is pre-burn) and Hot Throw (how strong the scent is during the burn). Whilst burning paraffin candles has been said to provide great scent throw, Soy is a great natural alternative. It mixes well with fragrance and essential oils and has both a great cold and hot throw. Beeswax can also be mixed well with fragrance or essential oil. However, from our community experience, we've found anecdotally that soy performs better than beeswax in this respect.
There you have it, when comparing wax, soy wax is arguably better than beeswax due to cost, aesthetics, oil retention, vegan friendly and eco friendly properties. However on sweetness, and burn temperature, beeswax wins out. Let us know which natural wax you decide to go with when making your candle. There isn't a right answer here, that's why we love candle making. Part science, part art.