Choosing Your Favorite Wax: Soy versus Coconut
One of the best qualities of the modern world comes from the options available to us. There is such an abundance of product that we are not limited to one choice. This is further true in the use of candle wax. Like most wine, there are properties and consistencies across candle wax. Similarly, these properties have their own effects, enough to create a unique candle every time. Though, there are so many options, we will focus on what we think are the best two: soy and coconut wax. We don’t think there is one wax that is clearly and definitively superior than any other, but we do recognize that the unique properties lead to different candle qualities and preferences so we hope to help you isolate your favorite parts of a candle and which wax will provide that for you.
Between the two, coconut is the softer wax. This makes it easier to work with allowing for a stronger overall blend of fragrance. This softness also gives coconut wax a cleaner burn, coming from the fewer ingredients list. On the other hand, soy wax is just a little stiffer which gives it many similar properties. However, you will notice that soy has a need for more precise measurement. Soy has a greater firmness to it, enough to make a difference, but not so much that you need to look for other alternatives.
There is not much difference in the cold throws between soy and coconut wax. Where you will notice the difference is in the hot throws. As the coconut wax has a lower melting point, it becomes harder for the fragrance to be overpowered by the wax. This allows the coconut wax to have a better hot throw because of the coconut’s flexibility and base consistency.
One of the main worries about coconut wax candles is their low melting point. This can be a problem on hotter days or hotter climates. While this can occur for soy wax as well, it is less of a problem due to its higher melting point. Similarly, soy wax candles have a longer burn time, due to their extra firmness. Though, coconut wax candles have a lower burn threshold, allowing for a quicker release of fragrance.
Soy wax production occurs on a larger scale. As soy is a major consumer product, methods already exist for its high demand. Though there is similar interest for coconut and coconut products, it is not equal to soy. Additionally, coconut – specifically coconut wax – has a much lower demand which limits its methods of production as that would drive up its price, even further. There is also the matter of environmentally-friendly methods of production. While soy is a better product than the petroleum byproduct, paraffin, there are still debates over the ethics of its production. There are less such debates around coconut wax, though it is a newer product and it will be important to review the development of these methods.
Due to the production process and the existing practices around the harvesting process, soy is the less expensive wax. It is widely available and has a higher demand, which contributes to its lower price. There is also the matter of soy usually being a genetically-modified organism (GMO), whereas coconut is not, meaning that soy is often changed to better serve the needs of production.
There is not a large gap between coconut and soy wax. However, with properties like a purer burn, better production, practices, and superior pliability allowing for permeating fragrance: we have to choose coconut wax as the better wax, even if it does edge soy by a very thin margin. Soy wax is also likely to have issues like frosting which do not do much for the smell but can be less appealing to the eye. These slight improvements all contribute to a wax that is better-suited for fragrant candles.
There are so many different properties that you should consider when choosing your candle and the wax used. Even beyond the properties listed here, there are other factors to consider but those become more personal, based on your needs and preferences. There isn't a huge gap in differences between these or any other candle wax but each wax carries unique properties and give to differences between each candle. In any case, you should make sure you know which candle is best for you and find out which wax gives you exactly what you want.