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Saturday, February 02, 2013

The Whole Ball of Wax

These days we have choices in so many elements of our lives that were once unthinkable. This is true for candles as well as just about every other product on the market. Here is a brief summary of the more common types of materials candle wax is made from and the pros and cons of each.


Beeswax:
Beeswax comes from bees. Beeswax candles are long burning, sweet smelling, natural, and aromatic. Beeswax candles are considered a good value and an important contribution to the natural home because they come from an almost entirely natural source, apart from their formation. You can purchase these from craftsmen and beekeepers at farmers' markets in your community. The con against beeswax candles is that their price is generally higher than other candles. Vegans and followers of some religions would not find an insect product like beeswax to be in keeping with their beliefs.

Paraffin:
Paraffin is the most common candle material today. Paraffin is a petroleum by-product. Paraffin wax candles are easy to find, burn efficiently, and are inexpensive to purchase. The problem many people find with paraffin wax is that it is derived from a fossil fuel, which is not renewable or earth friendly. Because of its source, some users find that paraffin wax candles give off more soot and leave an unpleasant after-smell in the room. Some manufacturers are using food-grade paraffin wax to make what they call healthier candles as a compromise.

Soy:
Soy candles are said to burn efficiently, cleanly, and to hold fragrance very well. American farmers grow soybeans, and by purchasing soy candles you help support their efforts. Purchasing in this manner means a lot to those involved with right-living. Soy is natural but not derived from animals, making it acceptable for vegans. It is also a renewable source, growing in abundance domestically. On the downside, soy candles may not be available in every area and they sometimes cost more than paraffin wax candles because their current demand is lower.

From: Four Seasons of Mojo
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