Did you know that the type of wax used in a scented candle can have a major influence on the aromatic experience it provides? Plant-based waxes such as coconut and soy are popular choices for scented candles as these waxes are natural with little to no toxins. However, which is better? Coconut wax or soy wax?
Coconut wax has a longer burn time than soy wax. It can also hold more fragrance oil and produces a superior scent throw. Coconut wax is non-toxic, and made naturally, without the use of fertilizers, pesticides, and GMO seeds, unlike soy wax. Pure coconut wax is twice as expensive as soy wax. Both soy and coconut wax are considered natural plant-based waxes that have limited to no toxicity.
Candle wax acts as the fuel for your candle flame. Depending on what your candle wax is made from, it can produce different levels of scent throw, burn time, sustainability and toxins.
Therefore, choosing the right type of candle wax, for your scented or unscented candles, can enhance the entire candlelight and aromatherapy experience. To learn more about whether coconut or soy wax would work better for you, read on!
Coconut Wax Vs. Soy Wax – A Detailed Comparison
If you are a DIY candle-making hobbyist that loves to make unique candles that look great, burn great and smell heavenly, then you need to give natural waxes such as coconut and soy a try. However, both these waxes are not the same. They come with their own unique set of benefits and drawbacks. So, let’s take a look at these in more detail.
“Scent Throw” is a term used in candle making to describe how strong the fragrance in a candle is and how far its scent is able to travel. The scent throw is further categorized into two parts; cold throw and hot throw.
Cold throw refers to the strength of the fragrance when the candle is solid or unlit. Whereas, a hot throw is a term used to describe the strength of the aroma produced by the candle when it is lit or burning.
Coconut wax has a much better ‘scent throw’ than soy wax. Not only can coconut wax blend in seamlessly with fragrance oils and essential oils it can also hold a lot more fragrance, 12% as compared to 10% for most other wax types.
Soy wax, on the other hand, works best with essential oils. The low melting point of the wax allows the release of aromatic essential oils easily with the scent quickly filling up a room. However, it can not hold as much scent as coconut wax (only 10%) and some fragrance oils might not be suitable for blending.
Thus, coconut wax has a much better cold throw and hot throw than soy wax. This is why when it comes to making scented candles with a longer scent throw, nothing beats coconut wax!
Both coconut and soy wax is considered to be ‘slow burners’, making them excellent choices for candle making. The slow burn time means you get a lot more use out of your candles and more value for your money.
However, coconut wax has a slightly longer burn time than soy wax. In fact, coconut wax has the longest burn time as compared to any other type of wax available on the market!
The other advantage that coconut wax has as compared to other types of waxes is that this wax doesn’t require a full melt pool. What we mean by this is that for most other types of candles you need to make sure that the top wax is completely melted before blowing out the flame.
If you snuff out the flame too soon it can result in ‘tunneling’ or wax hanging on the sides of your candle.
With a coconut wax candle, you can light up the flame and blow it out as many times as you want without compromising the structural integrity of your candle.
Coconut wax ensures an even burn without your candle flame flickering or making popping or crackling noises.
Soy wax also offers a slow, even burn but is more prone to tunneling than coconut wax if used incorrectly.
You may be surprised to learn that most paraffin wax candles that have been infused with synthetic fragrance oils can produce harmful toxins and even soot into the air when lit. The last thing anyone wants is to be breathing in toxic fumes, black smoke, or soot into their lungs.
This is why many DIY candle makers and even large-scale manufacturers prefer to use natural waxes derived from plants and animals. Beeswax, soy wax, coconut wax, palm wax, and rapeseed wax are all considered natural waxes but the best among them is coconut wax.
Coconut wax is the only natural wax that contains zero soot particles and is completely non-toxic. 100% coconut wax candles are the cleanest burning candles one can make or buy as they contain zero carcinogens or toxins. Soy wax also burns clean but nothing tops coconut wax.
In a world that is increasingly becoming more and more environmentally conscious, it is important that the ingredients and materials used in candle making are sourced from sustainable and environmentally friendly conditions.
Coconut wax is made from coconuts that do not require any kind of synthetic fertilizer, GMOs, or pesticides to grow. Soy, on the other hand, does require the use of harmful pesticides, GMO seeds, and fertilizers in order to grow. This makes coconut wax a much more sustainable and eco-friendly option than other types of wax.
Coconut wax is made from a process called hydrogenation. This is a naturally occurring process that converts coconut oil into a solid wax form. Therefore, even though soy is a natural product when it comes to being 100% renewable and sustainable, nothing beats coconut wax!
This is where soy wax has a distinct edge over coconut wax. As soy is grown on much larger scales, it is readily available in many forms. This makes it a lot cheaper to source than coconut wax. On average, one jar of pure coconut wax can cost more than double that of the same size jar of soy wax.
If you are a hobbyist that loves making your own candles in small batches, the price differences may not be that steep of a deterrent to you. However, candle makers that have small businesses using pure coconut wax can more than double their cost which can hurt their business’s bottom line.
As such, many candle makers prefer to blend coconut wax with other wax types, such as soy, which makes the candles more affordable to make while still getting most of the benefits of a pure coconut wax candle.
The melting point of pure Coconut wax is 100-107 F, whereas the melting point of pure soy wax is 115-120 F. Ideally, a candle wax should have a melting point of 130 F as this allows the candle to burn longer and be denser.
However, when it comes to scented candles having a lower melting point is ideal. This is because fragrance or essential oils mixed within the wax can release more easily giving off a much better aromatherapy experience.
Pure coconut wax candles have too low of a melting point that can cause them to melt during transport or shipping. This is why many candle makers blend coconut and soy wax. This way, they can have a slightly higher burn time and melting point without having to compromise too much on scent throw.
Which Is Better For Candle Making? Soy Wax Or Coconut Wax
There is no clear-cut answer to this question. Yes, in many ways coconut wax does appear to be superior as compared to soy wax. However, depending on what type of candle you are looking to make, both materials can be suitable options.
To help you decide which one would be more suited to your needs, we have compiled a table with a list of everything you need to know about coconut wax and soy wax. This should hopefully point you in the right direction.
|Determining Factors||Soy Wax||Coconut Wax|
|Purpose||For container candles||For container candles, massage candles, and soap-making|
|Form/Format Options||Flakes||Flakes, pellets, solid wax blocks|
|Melting Points||115-120 F (46.11-48.89 C)||100-107 F (37.78-41.67 C)|
|Fragrance Amount||Up to 10%||Up to 12%|
|Burn Time||Up to 50% higher than paraffin wax||Up to 60% higher than paraffin wax|
|Wax Color||Creamy white||Bright white|
|Curation Period||2 weeks||2 weeks|
|Wax Texture||Bumpy and crumbly||Smooth and luxurious finish|
|Shrinkage||Slight shrinkage||No shrinkage|
|Adhesion To Glass||Wax can separate||Good – better than soy|
|Density||0.9 g/ml||0.92 g/ml|
|Organic/Eco-Friendly||Yes||Even more so than soy|
|Shelf Life||2 years||1-2 years|
This comprehensive comparison tells you everything you need to know about these two types of waxes and how they can impact the candle-making process. Remember, coconut wax has an extremely soft consistency and low melting point which is why it is often blended with other types of waxes.
If you are looking for 100% pure coconut wax, always check the label to make sure that is the case. Plenty of waxes are available that are marketed as plant-based or organic waxes but are in fact blends of plenty of non-plant-based ingredients. Blended waxes can never be 100% natural or organic and neither can they be sustainable or eco-friendly.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q) Can You Make 100% Pure Coconut Wax Candles?
Yes, you can make 100% pure coconut wax candles. However, keep in mind that these candles will be expensive to make as coconut wax isn’t cheap. Also, due to its low melting point, the wax can melt on hot days or during shipping.
Q) Why Is Coconut Wax More Sustainable Than Soy Wax?
Coconut wax is the most eco-friendly and sustainable wax money can buy for candle making. This is because coconuts are a renewable and high-yield crop that doesn’t require the use of pesticides, fertilizer, or GMO seeds to grow and flourish.
Also, fewer coconuts are needed to produce sizable quantities of wax. Even the manufacturing process is natural and organic.
Q) What Is The Easiest Wax To Use For Candle Making?
The most versatile wax for candle making has to be paraffin wax. Even though this is a non-organic wax, it is still the most widely used wax type for candle making. This is because it is inexpensive, can hold high amounts of fragrance, comes in different colors, has different melting points, and can be used for both container and pillar candles.
In terms of reliability, versatility, and availability, paraffin wax is the easiest wax type to use for candle making, especially, if you are a beginner or amateur candle maker.
For candle lovers who want a truly organic aromatherapy experience, nothing beats coconut wax candles. Coconut wax is renowned for its ability to hold greater fragrance loads and produce an exceptional scent throw.
However, using pure coconut wax isn’t easy. The wax is extremely soft and has a very low melting point making it quite tricky to work with during the candle-making process. As such, many candle makers prefer to use a blend of 100% pure soy wax and coconut wax to make the ideal scented container candle!