Soy wax is a vegetable wax made from the oil of soybeans. After harvesting, the beans are cleaned, cracked, de-hulled, and rolled into flakes. The oil is then extracted from the flakes and hydrogenated.
The hydrogenation process converts some of the fatty acids in the oil from unsaturated to saturated. This process dramatically alters the melting point of the oil, making it a solid at room temperature. The leftover bean husks are commonly used as animal feed.
The U.S. grows the vast majority of the world's soy beans, primarily in Illinois, Iowa, and Indiana.
How is it used?
Soy wax is used by candle makers in a number of ways. It can be used straight as in Golden Brands 415 soy wax, blended with other natural oils like Ecosoya CB 135 or Advanced Soy, or mixed with paraffin to form a parasoy wax like IGI 6006.
Soy's greatest advantage is that it is completely renewable. While the global reserves of oil shrink and paraffin prices increase, the only limit to the soy supply is how much we choose to grow. The soy that you buy from CandleScience today was likely in the ground less than a year ago. And chances are that same field is growing more soy for the candles to be made in the future.
In addition to sustainability, a well-made soy candle will burn cleanly and slowly, much to the delight of your customers. While the performance and beauty of soy candles speak for themselves, soy wax is truly a marketer's dream. If you are making soy candles, you can market them as eco-friendly, renewable, American grown, sustainable, carbon neutral; the list goes on and on.