How we select our raw materials
Frequently the question comes up: "What type of wax is this?"
We use fully refined paraffin wax, it has excellent burn qualities, burns long and cleanly, is translucent in nature and has a unique ability to transmit light. It is non-toxic and odorless. It lends itself to being molded and manipulated into unique shapes and colors only limited by our imagination. The two other widely used waxes are beeswax and soy wax.
Beeswax has a soft organic honey scent and is a high performing wax with exceptional burn qualities. The natural color of beeswax is white or yellow, and in our opinion, should be left in its natural state when making candles, not colored or scented.
Soy wax is very soft and is best used in containers. In addition, soy wax is very opaque and tends to over time develop a cloudy film on the surface when used in pillars candles. Soy wax also has a distinct odor, which is why soy candles are usually scented.
Based on the scientific studies we have read, there is no notable difference in the emissions of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) between the different waxes. Fully refined paraffin wax is non-toxic and burns away almost completely. Yes, a candle is a burning object and it does emit nominal levels of VOCs. Nominal compared to the emissions of other normal household activities, such as cooking food. VOCs are minimized when candles are well made, quality wicks are used, we use 100% cotton wicks, wicks are trimmed to the recommended length of 1/4", and no chemicals are added to the wax during the candle making process. We do add a small amount of plant based steric acid to the fully refined paraffin wax to some of our candles.
Another major consideration for us when deciding on a wax to use is the environmental impact of the manufacturing of the wax. The paraffin wax used for candles is a by-product left over from the manufacturing of commercial petroleum products. Essentially, we see this as up-cycling as it is a by-product. It burns cleanly, is drip free and emits beautiful light. It is worth noting, soy wax is made from soybeans that go through a highly chemical, energy intensive process to become wax.
There has been a lot of hype swaying people to prefer one wax over another. Just like in the food industry, a competitive producer will promote it's product by bashing the industry that preceded it. Think canola oil vs. butter.
In the research we have done, and we've done a lot, the most important aspect of a clean burning candle is the manufacturing process. "Cheap" discount store type candles are cheap because they are laden with chemicals that do not burn cleanly, are not properly tested to assure the proper wick is used for the size and type of candle, key considerations in candle making.
There are internationally recognized standards set to assure candles burn as cleanly as possible. All our candles are made to meet these standards and to assure you a positive experience when burning Nordic Candle candles.
Hope this information is helpful, if you have additional questions, do not hesitate to ask.