What are soy candles
Natural waxes such as soy
waxes are gaining in popularity but natural waxes are not
new. Beeswax and tallow were used in colonial times to
produce candles. Beeswax is a great natural alternative to
paraffin, but unfortunately, to get the same results as a
soy-based candle, it is cost prohibitive to use 100% beeswax
Soy wax is a new alternative to paraffin wax, made from
soybeans, is renewable and cost effective. The soybean is
one of the most versatile products used today. It has been a
high protein source for millions of people for thousands of
years. Soybean wax also seems to be the most promising
natural wax available.
It's in lots of things like body & skin care products, hair
products, crayons, paint removers, and cleaning products.
The production and burning of soy wax candles can greatly
benefit the American agricultural economy. When soy wax
replaces common paraffin wax, an estimated 60 million pounds
of soy beans will be required for annual candle production.
I predict we'll see some happy farmers!
Q: Are soy
candles really soot free?
Unlike other soy-based candle manufacturers, we
are not going to guarantee that our soybean wax is
soot-free. To make a claim such as that would be misleading,
and no wax can make that claim. While soy wax is
all-natural and will not produce the thick black soot that
you see on paraffin containers, it does produce soot. You
buy a paraffin candle that smells nice, it’s colorful, the
presentation is perfect…then you light it. Within minutes,
you can see the black residue rising from the lit wick,
staining the jar or container from which these candles
Paraffin candles will not only further blacken the jar or
container it sits in…it can blacken your walls, ceilings,
vents, AC units, heaters, curtains or blinds, and even
carpets… Now, imagine that same soot being inhaled into
Soy candles don’t put your health at risk. Soy
candles do not release the toxins that paraffin candles
emit. According to the state of California’s Proposition 65
(Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986),
there are at least seven toxins in paraffin candle wax,
including benzene, an affirmed carcinogen.
Anytime you have a flame and combustion you may have soot
and anytime you add synthetics such as fragrance oils and
dyes, you will have soot. Additionally, using too large of a
wick or the incorrect wick can produce soot as well. Do
remember, however, that not all soot is black. Soot can be a
"white soot" that cannot be seen with the naked eye. Soy wax
will produce little black soot---you will not see that thick
black ring on the jars, nor will it do the black soot damage
to homes, but it may produce white soot. No other
manufacturer will tell you that.
scented candles a health hazard?
noticed on the last few candles that I have burned that
there is black soot around the tops of the jars. What causes
this and how can I avoid it?
Caterpillars Soy Candles are made from biodegradable
vegetable wax with 100% cotton and paper wicks. Our high
quality fragrance oils contain no heavy metals (such as
Now, you may have read or
heard other candle manufacturers claim that their all
natural wax candles are "Soot Free". This is a big
misconception. No candle can be "soot free", but natural wax
candles do have less soot. The only way a candle can be
soot free is if the flame is completely blue (ie: propane
torch), meaning there is 100% combustion. Black soot is
caused by a candle that is smoking (in our candles this is
typically from too long of a wick!).
There could be several reasons why you are getting black
soot. First, you should only burn your candles 1 hour for
every inch the candle is in diameter. For votives - this is
1 1/2-2 hours, for jars a maximum of 5 hours.
Second, make sure that you trim the wick to 1/4" each
and every time before you light your candle. Third,
make sure that you are not burning your candle in a draft.
Any draft of wind will make the candle flame flicker and
smoke. Fourth, when you are trimming your candle wicks -
do not leave the trimmings in the candle wax.
This will cause black soot. Fifth, ensure that there is
enough air space around your candle. Do not burn in a cubby
or bookshelf. This inhibits the amount of oxygen that is
getting to the wick of the candle and will cause black soot
What are the
differences between Caterpillars Soy Candles 100% all
natural soybean wax candles and other company's paraffin wax
candles or soy blend candles?
Caterpillars Soy Candles are made from 100% all natural
waxes, which are soy and vegetable waxes (palm plant wax is
used for our pillars). This renewable source of wax burns
cleaner than paraffin wax candles, (paraffin is a by-product
of gasoline refining). Soy wax also burns longer as natural
waxes burn cooler than paraffin wax. Soy wax is creamy.
opaque and soft. You might notice soy candles have the
natural appearance of white crusty tops after burning. This
is a common occurrence and does not affect the burn quality
of the soy candle in anyway. The candles may also exhibit
some "sweating" during extreme temperature changes. (See the
My jar candle has a small pool of wetness on
the top of the wax. What is this?
This is called "sweat". Soy wax has a lower melting point
than regular paraffin wax, and will release excess moisture
that it cannot hold. You can leave it or wipe it out with a
paper towel. It does not affect the burn quality, and will
generally not show up again after your first burn. This
typically only shows up in the jar candles. For optimum
performance, store your caterpillars candle in a cool area,
out of direct sunlight.
Caterpillars Soy Candles' wicks contain lead?
No. Caterpillars Soy Candles are crafted with 100% cotton
and paper wicks.
Is there really a "triple scented" candle?
With any candle, whether it's paraffin or soy,
adding excessive amounts of fragrance oil will also
contribute to soot---be it thick, black soot or white soot.
Recommended usage is one ounce of fragrance oil or less
per pound of wax. More is not always better and we know
that the "Triple Scented" is just a sales
pitch used by some candle manufacturers. More scent or
fragrance oil does not mean more aroma. The true secret to
“scent throw” as it is called in the candle industry is the
burn quality. The scent is “thrown” from the wax pool that
is created. Candlemaking is an art and a science. A good
candle manufacturer plans, designs, and tests their candles
with their fragrances per each candle container and size
to ensure good scent "throw" and candle performance. Each
fragrance has different “throw” qualities, and just “triple
scenting” does not mean more fragrance. In fact too much
fragrance can cause the candle wick to mushroom, smoke when
burned, and could even cause the candle itself to combust
causing shooting flames eight inches above the candle (guess
how we know that! :) ). Caterpillars Soy Candles are all
designed and tested to burn properly, creating the safest,
cleanest, and most aromatic candle on the market.
Are soy candles really "all natural"?
Soy wax candles are crafted from soy beans. That
part of your candle is absolutely all natural. Soy wax
candles are not “all-natural” when you add dyes and
fragrance oils. Once you add those two elements, your candle
is no longer natural as they both contain chemicals.
However, the slight risk of soot or chemical discharge
from scented soy candles is by far, a much better option
than that of a paraffin scented candle.
The fact is that Soy wax is a
cleaner burning, healthier alternative to paraffin. It burns
longer than paraffin and burns cooler than paraffin. In many
ways it is better than paraffin, but realize that it is
different than paraffin. The scent throw from soy based
candles is much stronger. In addition, soy wax alone cannot
be made into a pillar. Either Palm wax or Paraffin must be
added to allow the wax release from the mold. Soy wax is
also very creamy, opaque and soft.
We think you will be pleased with both the appearance and
the performance of caterpillars soy candles. We believe that
in order to produce a quality candle, you must start out
with high quality ingredients. Sometimes, you have to pay a
little more for high quality. We guarantee that you will
find that our candles are well worth the money.