Many people enjoy burning candles in the home, and some do it on a regular basis. It helps to add comfort to the home atmosphere and the fragrance of candles can be pleasant. However, if you have done any research on the subject, you will also recognize the fact that many commercial candles can be harmful to your health. After all, paraffin candles are made with a byproduct of the oil industry, which is hardly something that we would want to be breathing into our bodies as the candles burn.
There are healthier choices that are available, such as purchasing soy candles. These candles burn cleaner than paraffin candles and do not contain many of the chemicals, including those that are carcinogens. These carcinogens and other un-natural elements can wreck havoc on people with sensitivities due to allergies. Prolonged exposure can also lead to long-term heath problems. These problems can be exacerbated in people who choose to burn paraffin candles in non-ventilated rooms. When you also consider the fact that soy candles are made from a renewable resource, it helps to protect the earth around us as well.
Having an understanding of soy candles and the product that is used to make them will give you a greater appreciation of the benefits they provide for you and your family. Soybeans are grown throughout the United States, as well as around the world. The bean itself is a legume and there are a variety of products that are produced from this plant, such as vegetable oil, textured vegetable protein, and defatted soybean meal. It is also the resource that is used for making soy wax.
Soybeans are also subjected to a rigorous cleaning process. Cleaning the soybeans is important because it eliminates the debris and impurities collected during the harvesting process. This debris, which can include soil, plant waste, pebbles, and weeds can slow down processing and decreases the quality of the finished product. Debris can be removed by simply tossing the beans and letting air clear out the impurities, although specialized machines are needed to handle heavier debris in large quantities of beans. After cleaning, they are prepared by being cracked and hulled. The hull is the protective outer layer of the bean, which needs to be removed before the process can continue.
At this point, the bean can be rolled into flakes, after which the oil is extracted and hydrogenated. During the hydrogenation process, the oil that is pressed from the soybean is changed from unsaturated to saturated. That is why the oil, which is actually soy wax, is solid at room temperature but melts easily on the stove or in a microwave.
Any of the waste products from the production of soy wax are not truly going to go to waste. In most cases, the discarded hulls of soybeans are ground up for use as a high-protein meal for livestock, emphasizing the environmentally friendly nature of this unique form of candle wax.