Soy candles are in many ways perceived better than paraffin candles and that drives their value up. This is a normal human psychic. The things we perceive as attractive or valuable create a demand. And to meet the demand, the companies put industrious labor at resource extraction. This creates a competitive market in which the prices are bound to spike to keep up the quality standards.
The prices are also based on how much you value something, or how much are you willing to pay for it? The most sought after soy wax candles are also getting expensive by the day. This is because the candles are priced for their raw material i.e. wax, wick, or fragrance.
Soy candles are being in fashion for their uses in home improvement, celebrations, aroma-therapy, body massages, ear candles, and DIY eco-friendly school projects. People obsessed over soy candles are willing to pay even elevated prices. So, let us wrap our heads around features that make the soy candles more expensive than normal candles.
- Soy candles are naturally plant-derived
The soy wax candles are plant-based, extracted from hydrogenated soybean oil (triglyceride). The soy wax is a naturally scented, renewable product. Traditional candles are made from paraffin wax. Paraffin is a by-product of petroleum. These candles are usually cheaper than soybean wax candles because fossil products are an everyday commodity.
The process starts with soybean harvest. The soybean flakes are either mechanically pressed or passed through solvent extraction to extract oil. The crude oil is refined and hydrogenated. In the hydrogenation process, under high temperature and in the presence of a catalyst (Nickel), the unsaturated oils are converted into saturated oils essential to form solid soy wax. This also lowers the melting point of the wax.
- Soy candles are good for the environment
The soy candles are extracted from the vegetable oil. The organic candle is biodegradable as well. Most other candles are made of Paraffin. Paraffin is a petroleum (gasoline) by-product. Fossil fuel by-products are non-renewable in nature.
Alternatively, for their organic (plant-based) origin, soy candles are 100% renewable. The soy candles are known as human and environment friendly innovation. Even the accidental candle spills of soy candles are also easy to clean.
However, not all soy candles are 100% pure; some other forms of wax and essential oil are also mixed to enhance durability and induce scent. Yet soy candles produce pretty less soot as compared to the traditional paraffin candles. That is why environment friendly soy candles are preferred over other candles.
- Soy candles are long lasting
Soy candles are made from soybean oil after hydrogenation. The hydrogenation lowers the melting point of the wax, setting it to a cooler burning temperature. And that is why the soy wax candles burn almost 30 percent to 50 percent longer than the traditional paraffin candles. Soy wax candles of the size same as paraffin wax candles burn longer. Thus, it is definitely worth the money for you don’t have to buy new candles over and over.
- Soy candles have a better scent
Most people buy soy candles because they like their scent more than the paraffin wax. Also, the scent from the essential oils in soy candles “throws” well. The low melting point of the candle allows the gradual burning of the candle that leads to a pleasant scent that fills the entire space.
For reference, you can use the soy rating system of Candle Science;
- 3 leaves: Intense fragrance that fills large spaces promptly.
- 2 leaves: A mild fragrance like paraffin wax
- 1 leaf: Excellent for small spaces and Aromatherapy
- Soy candles burn clean
Being plant-derived, the soy candles don’t produce the petro-carbon soot as produced by paraffin candles. The paraffin candle produces soot when there is incomplete combustion. The soot residue is also known as a toxic and carcinogenic by-product. It is reported that soot contains 11 toxic substances, and two of them are carcinogenic.
For their particulate size, they can penetrate deeper into our lungs and cause serious respiratory diseases. It can pose serious health risks to asthma patients.
The soy candles do not blacken the jars, walls or curtains with soot residue. If your soy candle leaves a black smudge inside the jar or on the drapes, know that it was a proportionate blend of paraffin and soy wax.
Nonetheless, for the same size, soy candles are clean burning and long lasting, thus these are definitely worth some extra cents.
- Soy candles support local farmers
Being plant-based, the soy wax candles support local farmers that grow and harvest soybean. It also supports small businesses that make home-based soy candles. Thus, buying soy candles not only helps the environment (paraffin is a fossil by-product in origin), but also supports local farmers and the economy.
Expensive Soy Candles
All these factors make the soy candles much more desirable over the traditional paraffin candles. But, as I said earlier, goods and services are priced for their raw materials. Since, soy candles are locally harvested in some countries; it takes more input in growing, harvesting, oil extraction, and hydrogenation processes.
Furthermore, in 2018 FDA has passed regulations against hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated food products that are responsible for the hiking prices ever since. This is because the price industries would invest to comply with FDA regulations is going to be compensated with the inflated consumer prices.
One can also argue that the soy candles are getting expensive because of their long term environmental impact. This can be a reason for the rising prices. Since, soy candles are made from naturally grown and also GMO (genetically modified organisms) soybeans, they foster the clearing of land and forests for soybean cultivation. Thus, their environment-friendly burning process can have long-term environmental impacts. Therefore, cost must rebate for this loss.
Increased prices for increased Demand
There is a popular belief that the cost varies with the demand. We can ascribe the increasing prices with increased demands. But what are soy wax candles used for?
- The soy wax candles have been widely used for body massages and Aromatherapy in Spa. Soy body massage is an effective Swedish technique especially for women. It hydrates the skin and relaxes muscles.
- They are also used in Aromatherapy. In Aromatherapy, the fragrant throw of the soy candle creates an ambiance in the atmosphere that rejuvenates nerves and relaxes the mind.
Therefore, there is a high demand for soy candles in spa and salon business. That gives a boost to businesses. And with many competitors in the market, the prices reach sky heights.
They are also used in Ear Candling.
Yes, the natural soybean wax candles are also used for removing ear wax in a process called Ear Candling. This is done by placing a cone shaped lit candle near your ear. You must be aware that wax is the fuel for burning candles. It is believed that the heat produced by burning of the wax creates a vacuum and pulls the wax upward.
However, the FDA disapproved of this. The studies claim that there is no such suction process, and that it is not safe to practice as well. And I don’t think this is as common as soy candle massages. Therefore, we cannot say anything about it yet.
Soy candles can be expensive for all the reasons. But none of it would not stop soy candle lovers to pay some extra cents for their biodegradable, scented, clean burning, long lasting, and environment-friendly candles.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can we make cheap soy candles at home?
Making soy candles at home would not save you any money. Instead, it would considerably double the cost for you to need a whole rack of candle making supplies and raw materials. In her blog post “Five DIY projects that don’t save you money” Caroline Thompson has estimated the cost for DIY soy candles around $97.16 excluding the efforts you are going to input. While the candles available at online stores from famous brands range $14 to $24.It is not a wise choice to DIY soy candles.
Also, the price fluctuates gradually and the candle burns longer owing to cooler burning temperature, therefore, instead of investing in a DIY start up, you should invest in buying one or two packs of soy candles.
Why are brands like Yankee selling the most expensive candles?
It is true that the soybean harvest and certain regulations have led the price surge. But the popularity and market competition of the brands also plays a role in fluctuating prices. People also desire to own a branded product, and are willing to pay high prices to buy from their favorite brands. Also, the above listed factors make the soy candle an obsession worth the price.
How long do the soy candles last?
The clean burning soy candles last longer, but they do not last indefinitely like paraffin wax candles. They have a shelf life of two years. Thus, at a stable price, you can stock and cherish soy candles for two years.