What are candles made of?

Updated: Sep 4

Nowadays you can buy candles everywhere. They can be found in all kinds of places and in different shapes, for example in the supermarket. Most of these candles are made of paraffin and/or stearin, but what exactly is it and why do they use it? Are you as curious as we were when we first researched it? Then read on quickly!

What is paraffin?

Paraffin is an odorless and colorless by-product of oil refining. After separating the crude oil into gasoline, kerosene and diesel, a thick, greasy mass remains. What can you do with that mass? You can make candles with it! Tea lights are also made of parrafin. When paraffin candles burn, it gives off noxious fumes and produces quite a bit of soot. As soon as this soot floats through the air, it can be inhaled. These particles can then find their way into the deepest regions of our lungs, as well as the lower airways and alveoli. Despite the health risks, many brands use it because it's cheaper than other types of wax.

What is stearin?

In addition to paraffin, stearin can also be used to make candles. This is also an odorless and colorless substance made from the fat of animals that have been slaughtered. Originally, stearin was only obtained from beef fat, but later the fats of animals, such as chickens and pigs, were also used. It is also used in combination with paraffin to keep a candle straight and to make it shine. When burning a stearin or paraffin candle, there is a good chance that you are actually cremating an animal. In addition, various harmful substances are released when such a candle is burned, which contributes to air pollution in the house. In the past, candles were even edible. Soldiers were given candles for light, but also to eat in an emergency. This happened regularly, because stearin candles are made from a kind of bacon fat.

The solution? Natural soy wax!

Fortunately, there is an alternative to these problems, which is vegetable wax. We only use natural soy wax and coconut wax for our candles. We have deliberately done this because of a number of important advantages. First of all, soy wax is vegan. Where paraffin comes from petroleum, soy wax is extracted from soybeans. That means that it melts completely, as it were. This is not harmful to the environment and is sustainable. In addition, when burning candles, particulate matter is released. This happens with every candle, but because soy wax is a natural source, significantly fewer harmful substances are released. It is also easy to clean, so you can reuse the recyclable glass jars in which our candles are supplied without much effort. Finally, compared to other waxes, soy wax has a lower burning point, which means that it takes longer for the candle to completely melt. This way you can enjoy your candle longer!

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