When I first started making candles in 2004, I did my due diligence by researching everything I possibly could regarding safety of making/burning candles. I chose to follow only the guidelines presented by the National Candle Association, fragrance safety standards established by the International Fragrance Association (IFRA) and glass container heat safety standards as set by the ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials).
This means that each and every ingredient that goes into my candles have been approved for use in candle making, tested for safety.
Now, here's what I have learned from these companies who have been in the business for more than 40 years:
The soy vs. paraffin debate is a marketing ploy.
Candles are truly, strictly, entirely a personal preference! Yankee Candle, the industry leader, an internationally-recognized brand uses....get this....PARAFFIN
Candle manufacturers choose their wax based on application an their own candle-making preference. Here at White Oak Candle, we chose to use a soy/paraffin blend. (More on why, later)
Paraffin wax – like all candle wax – is non-toxic. Food-grade paraffin, which is approved by the USFDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) is most commonly used for manufacturing candles.
"Validated scientific studies have shown that all major candle waxes exhibit the same basic burn behavior and produce virtually identical combustion byproducts, both in terms of composition and amount. To date, no peer-reviewed scientific study has ever collected or analyzed any emissions data on any candle wax, including petroleum-based paraffin, and proven them to be harmful to human health." - National Candle Assoc.
Essential oils are "healthier" than synthetic fragrances:
Fragrances approved for candle usage – whether synthesized or “natural” – do not release toxic chemicals.
Soy candles don't soot
No! The minuscule amount of soot produced by a candle is the natural byproduct of incomplete combustion. Sooting is primarily due to flame and combustion disturbances. All candles produce soot! Any candle will soot if the flame is disturbed. Small amounts of unburned carbon particles (soot) will escape from the flame as a visible wisp of smoke.
To avoid this, always trim the wick to ¼ inch before every use and be sure to place candles away from drafts, vents or air currents.