Saturday, January 15, 2011

Steal or splurge!! the candle question ..

Buying a scented candle these days is almost as expensive as buying a luxury perfume. So why should you go for the more expensive version when you can get a cheap one for half the price? The answer is simple!!!

It´s really all about the ingredients!

First of all it´s important to understand the difference between a paraffin based candle and a soy or vegetable wax candle.

Paraffin is the most commonly used wax to create candles, however, that doesn´t mean that it´s the better choice. It´s just the cheaper one. If you buy a candle that is not labeled soy, vegetable or beeswax, chances are that you have purchased a candle that is made from paraffin waxes.

Paraffin wax is a heavy hydrocarbon that comes from separating the waxes out of crude oil (fossil fuel). The crude oil comes from the ground and is transported to refineries where it´s refined into a finished product through a variety of complex processes. One of many products that comes from refining crude oil is lubricating oil, which in turn produces petrolium waxes. There are three categories of petroleum wax that are obtained which include paraffin, microcrystalline and petrolatum.

So to sum it all up, paraffin is a bi-product of petroleum oil!

Soy on the other hand is a completely natural product made from the oil of soybeans.

The beans are cleaned, cracked, de-hulled and rolled into little flakes. The oil is then extracted from the flakes and hydrogenated. This process alters the melting point of the oil making it a solid at room temperature. So a burning soy candle is not as hot as a burning paraffin candle, making it less of a hazard to you if you should spill the running wax.

The U.S grows the majority of the worlds soybeans so chances are when you buy a soy candle you are supporting America´s midwestern farmers, which in my opinion is a reason alone for choosing soy.

Now you may ask yourself.. what are some of the other advantages of buying a soy candle besides being natural?

Although they still give off some soot, they produce way less than the paraffin based candles. It´s important to look for a candle that has a 100% cotton wick and remember to trim it short before each burn which will keep the soot to a minimum. Some manufacturers will claim that soy candles produce no soot at all, but all organic compounds will emit some soot when burned. It´s basically the same as the soot given off by your kitchen appliances such as your toaster and cooking oils. The paraffin candles on the other hand can give off so much soot that it can leave black stains on your wall or ceiling and many say the toxins that come from burning these can be harmful. So for health, environmental reasons and If you don´t want to repaint your room after every candle I suggest you opt for the soy based kind.

Another benefit to soy is that it´s a renewable resource and is limited only by how many beans are grown. It also lasts twice as long so even if you spend more money, you get much longer burn time and get a beautiful spread of the fragrance through your home.

Last but definetly not least, the fragrance of your candle is very important... that´s the reason to buy them in the first place, right?! Look for candles that have all natural ingredients and only use fine fragrance oils and you´ll have a beautifully scented home. There´s nothing worse than a cheap perfume..and this is no different. They may cost a pretty penny, but the quality and content of your candle is really important. A nice scent is the final touch to any decorated home and will set yours apart from all the others. Once you´ve found a fragrance you love, you won´t want to live without it.

*Facts derived from article written by Stephanie Davies.

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