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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 in candles. 

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 burn….  

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 your lungs.

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. 

Are scented candles a health hazard?
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 lead). 

I 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?
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 to form.

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 next question). 
 

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.
 

Do Caterpillars Soy Candles' wicks contain lead?  
No. Caterpillars Soy Candles are crafted with 100% cotton and paper wicks.
 

Q: 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.
 

Q: 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.
 

Our Thoughts:
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. 

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