Ever since I took the Eco-Friendly Candlemaking class at The Nova Studio, I was wondering what was in a pillar blend soy wax hard so it makes it stand on its own since pure soy wax cannot hold its shape in a pillar form. So I started to look for information
According to the website Know Heathcare, "With current technology, it is simply not possible to make a soy pillar candle completely from pure soy wax. There are some candle companies that make this claim, and it is likely that they themselves have been misinformed about the contents of the soy pillar wax they are using.
All things considered, the vast majority of soy pillar blends these days are made from pure vegetable based products. One soy wax producer, EcoSoya, says that their soy pillar blend is made from a majority of soy wax as the remaining percentage is made from botanical oils that help the soy wax hold its shape. Just because these candles are not made from pure wax is not completely negative.
To clarify, botanical oils are natural oils that are made from plants. In fact, the word botanical is a form of the word botany which is the study of plant life. Probably the most commonly used and produced botanical oil in the United States is soy bean oil. But when it comes to free standing candles, soy bean oil is too soft. Because of this, harder botanical oils such as palm oil need to be added to help the pillar candle hold its form.
EcoSoya will not disclose the other botanical oils that they use in their soy pillar blend because it is a trade secret, but it’s likely that one of the main botanical oils used to harden the soy wax is palm oil. Unlike pure soy wax, pure palm wax is capable of holding its shape when in the form of a pillar candle.
The days the majority of soy pillar blends do not contain paraffin. But if you at all concerned about the natural quality of your soy candles, it’s best to make sure you soy pillar candles contain nothing but soy wax and botanical oils. Some companies are still known to use paraffin in their soy pillar blends."
But according to David Fisher of About.com: Candle and SoapMaking says that pillar blends are blended with other vegetable oils (like coconut) and waxes (like palm and beeswax.) There are also a number of paraffin/soy blends out there that capitalize on the benefits of both waxes. However, note, that generally as long as the blend is at least 51% soy, it is called a soy wax blend.
So if you want to make sure what is in your pillar blend soy wax is to ask the place you are purchasing your wax from because it may vary from manufacturer to manfacturer.