Candles are a dominating force in the home decor market. They are easy to swap out for every season, can make the home feel warm and comfortable as well as provide a pleasant aroma. Because they are relatively inexpensive it is easy to amass a large collection that is fun to display and simple to store. They are also a great gift idea, either alone or as part of a gift basket. Unfortunately recent studies proved they are not as perfect as many have thought. In fact many are not even believed to be safe for home use.
The problem has been the paraffin wax used to make most of the candles purchased in retail shops. This wax is a petroleum by-product that has been shown to release known carcinogens into the air as they melt. This information has spread quickly, and many homes are eliminating their older candles in favor of safer alternatives, such as soy.
Soy is a natural product that does not release harmful chemicals when lit. They can be scented or not, with the scented ones using natural essential oils for their fragrances. However, creating a safe candle did not end there. Another component to consider was the wick. Traditional wicks were also unsafe, also dipped in paraffin and released chemicals of their own. In addition, it is generally the wick that has been responsible for the unattractive black soot that sticks to the candle holder, and sometimes nearby walls or ceilings, when the candles have been in use.
This is why the best wicks for soy candles are those that are made from chemical-free, all natural organic cotton. They are pre-waxed and are typically coated in either a soy wax or vegetable wax. They do not have the paper core that traditional wicks once had, preventing that troublesome soot. Most cotton wicks are braided, a method that helps them to burn a little slower and increases the life of the candle.
Candles are still a wonderful item for any home when consumers are careful about the type of product they purchase. To make certain family members are safe, always purchase all candles that use only essential oils and natural wicks. Keep in mind that almost any candles that are not labeled are almost always paraffin.