Are these soy?
There are a lot of myths about the two most popular kinds of wax. Many claim soy is cleaner burning, soot free, more natural, and safer. Part of this depends on the origin of your candle. Many small candle manufacturers use food-grade or similar paraffin wax, which is petroleum by-product (but crude oil is as natural as soybeans), but some larger companies have candles made in places like China, where quality may not be as high.
Some argue that soy candles burn longer, and I’ve found this to be true for mine. Others say the lower melting point means they can’t burn soy candles for as many hours at a time as paraffin wax or that the containers get too hot and may crack. I’ve burned these soy candles for up to eight hours at at time without problems, and while the glass jars do get hot, I’ve had no problems with this either. I do choose to only use canning-quality Mason jars because they can get hot. Canning typically requires high heat and/or pressure, so if the jars can stand up to canning, they can handle soy candles just fine.
I’ve heard both camps (soy and paraffin) claim their wax choice holds and throws scent the best. This comes down to personal preference. I find any the fragrances used with many commercial paraffin candles are very “chemical”-smelling or cloying and I try to avoid those kinds of scents in the candles I make.
Are they strong?
About an equal number of people ask this question wanting the answer to be “yes” as “no.”
Some scents are stronger than others. Most will fill a standard-sized room. A few will fill a great room and a few are better for small rooms, such as bathrooms where a heady scent would be overwhelming. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.
I’m not a fan of overly-chemical or cloying scents so I don’t make any that I feel fall into those categories (or if I do, it’s a one and done accident). That said, everyone has his or her favorites and scents that make them nuts. My favorite might not be yours.
What about the wick?
Wicks made with metal inserts, usually zinc but sometimes lead, are easier to use and are common with some low-quality manufacturers. I use cotton wicks with a brained paper core, but other artisan sellers use hemp or wood. In general, if you see metal in a wick or it pokes you like a pen, you might not want to burn it, especially in your home.
Do you use essential oils?</b?
The short answer is "sort of."
Many of the fragrances I use contain essential oils. Some are the same scents used by soap makers and reed diffuser sellers. Some scents may also contain additional chemicals to make the scent stable or keep the scent cost reasonable. All my scents are rated safe for use in candles.
How long will it burn? How can I get it to burn the longest?
The average burn times are around 50 hours for the half pints, 60 hours for the tall jelly jars, and 70 hours for the pints.
Tips for longer burn times:
● If you can let them keep going once they get down to the metal wick guide at the bottom, they’ll burn for hours after the wick’s gone — just can’t relight because…no wick.)
● Keep out of drafts.
● Let wax melt all the way to the jar’s edge before blowing out each time.
And if I have cat/dog/rambunctious ferret?
Pet safety is another concern I’ve heard, and indeed some soy candles come with a warning that animals have been known to eat soy wax. I live with four cats and it’s never been a problem. They aren’t interested in the soy flakes before melting and they seem unconcerned by the burning candles after — even the “stupid kitty.” The bottom line is, you know your pet best.
I hope that answered some questions.