Disclosure: Thank you to Northern Flicker for partnering with me for this post. They provided me with some of the candles you will see below, and I purchased some myself. The opinions I share about these candles are 100% honest and my own!
I’m pretty addicted to candles. I usually have one in each room of the house, minus the baby’s room, so it’s not a stretch to say I’m steadily rotating up to 5 or more candles at any given time. But I had been reading so much about chemicals and fragrances, and I was trying to eliminate them from my home as much as I could. And for me, that meant getting rid of my candles! What could I do!?
Honestly, I had no idea what the difference between paraffin and soy candles was before I looked into it. I obviously knew they were different kinds of wax, but that was the extent of my knowledge.
How come? And why is this the case for most people?
Most people are in the dark about regular candles because candle companies are not required to list their ingredients. Just like with food and other labels, candles are often labeled in such a way that people THINK they are buying clean, healthy candles, when in reality the candle is made of primarily petroleum wax, synthetic scents and preservatives. Even if a candle is labeled as being made of soy or beeswax, unless it says it is 100%, often there is paraffin as well. The wicks of these candles are usually made of chemically grown cotton that has been bleached. And any wicks that have a metal or zinc core contain small amounts of lead.
Needless to say, I was shocked to learn all of that! I knew that others must be in the same boat as me, and I wanted to help you understand WHY you should choose soy when looking for candles for your home or for a gift.
- They’re natural and non-toxic.
Soy wax is made from vegetable oil (soybeans) whereas paraffin wax is made from petroleum oil (yuck!). If your soy candle uses essential oils for scent, and is made 100% of soy wax (some soy candles are blended with other types of wax), then it is all natural. Soy candles do not require chemical fragrances to scent them. My favourite soy candle company, Northern Flicker, produces an all-natural, 100% US grown soy wax candle, scented with natural fragrance and essential oil blends. Soy wax candles don’t contribute to the CO2 in the air like paraffin candles do. Compared to their paraffin counterpart, soy wax candles are significantly healthier for humans, animals, and the environment. Paraffin releases toxins when burned that stain your walls and furniture, and circulate through your home. According to Researchers at South Carolina State University, these toxins contain known carcinogens (toluene and benzene), among others! You can read more here: c/o cnn.comOh, and they’re biodegradable, too!
- They burn cleaner.
Both in the atmosphere, and in your jar! Soy candles don’t produce as much black soot as paraffin candles do. I personally can’t stand when the sides of the glass jars turn black, or when soot gets on my things.
- They last longer.
Not only do they burn cleaner, but they last 50% longer, too. That’s twice the candle, y’all!
I used to buy candles based on their scent and their price ONLY, and soy candles tend to cost a bit more than paraffin (quality ingredients, after all!). But even though soy wax candles can be a touch more expensive than paraffin wax candles, they are more cost-effective in the long run. They also cost less than beeswax candles, which are another natural alternative to paraffin, by the way!
- They burn evenly.
Soy candles burn evenly (as long as they’re on a flat surface), which means they don’t leave any excess wax on the sides of the jar.
- They’re easy to clean up.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve spilled hot wax before. It’s a pain because depending on the surface it can be kind of tricky to clean up. But soy wax is easier to remove from surfaces and materials than paraffin wax is, all you need is soap and water!
- Their scent is stronger, but not too strong.
Essential oils are often used to scent soy candles (these are what Northern Flicker use to scent their candles). Soy holds scent from essential oils well, and because soy candles burn more slowly, the scent is released gradually and evenly. You won’t feel choked by a strong scent, and it’s a more pleasant atmosphere for people – both those who are sensitive to smells and not.
- Soy is sustainable
Soy wax is a sustainable source that is not taxing on the planet and is completely renewable. Every part of the plant can be used from the seeds/beans for us to eat or make food with, to the husks for animals, to the oil for cooking! Making things from soy is something we can control responsibly; we decide how much or how little we grow for use.
- Their creation supports North American farmers!
Speaking of growing soy, and how it is grown for a multitude of purposes (including to make soy wax), supporting North American farmers in this growth of sustainable soy crops is SO important. The soy wax used in Northern Flicker‘s candles is 100% US grown.
As I’m sure you can see, the choice is clear – soy candles are the way to go if you want to help take care of yourself, your family, your household, and the environment. There is just no disputing it. My mind is forever changed, and my friend Amber from Northern Flicker helped convince me.
Amber so generously sent me mason jar candles to try, and I purchased a tart for my burner. My favourite scent so far is Apple Cider! The scent fills the whole room without being overpowering, and the candles and pieces of tart last forever. I can leave them burning all day and there’s still plenty left for future use. I’m super impressed. Especially that the jars have stayed soot-free. Even other soy candle companies I’ve tried in the past haven’t achieved that. Makes me wonder what was in their candles. You don’t even have to trim the wicks on Northern Flicker candles because they have no core, so they’re self-trimming! It’s awesome.
The candles arrived super quick and snuggly safe in their box. In addition to being speedy, shipping was SUPER reasonable (which other candle companies can’t seem to achieve!).
I highly recommend scooping up some soy candle or tart gifts for your loved ones from Northern Flicker. And Amber has offered all of you 15% OFF with the coupon code “usandhim15” at checkout! Be sure to order ASAP to ensure they arrive in time for Christmas.
Get to know more about Northern Flicker, Canadian makers of 100% soy wax, all-natural candles, below:
Northern Flicker is a small batch candle company based in Southampton, Ontario (Canada), run by a girl and her cute little family. We are passionate about illuminating your life (and your hearts) with hand poured, eco friendly, all natural product.
Northern Flicker was founded by Amber Indoe in the winter of 2014. What started as a hobby (being stuck inside during our cruel winters can be daunting), blossomed into so much more. Amber became obsessed with pouring her creations and coming up with scents. With friends and family dying to test out our candles we gave it a name, created labels and started selling them in a local coffeehouse. Northern Flicker started to take off and now we look forward to sharing it with the world, so we started an online shop.
All of our candles are made with 100% US grown soy wax, quality fragrance oils, cotton-core wicks, fun packaging and a whole lotta love. Each scent is carefully chosen and every jar is hand poured and packaged by Amber herself in our home.