Candles, candles, and more candles! All of us are on the lookout for a great candle. So much so that it seems that most candle lovers have at least a few unused candles waiting patiently to be burned. I have to admit, sadly, I’m guilty. Yes, I have a box of store-bought candles sitting in my basement. So why don’t I throw these impulse purchases away? Or give them away? Good question!
In the spring of 2022, Mossberry Woods was still a bit new. I spent about a year and a half learning, researching, making, and testing soy candles. I had learned so much including the various waxes, their ingredients, the different fragrances oils and ‘scary’ words like flashpoints. Flash what?!. It’s been quite a journey to say the least! But an amazing one full of self-discovery and realizations about that box of candles in my basement.
I was excited! Excited to finally hit the craft markets to see what people think and discover their own candle owning pain points. I quickly learned that every reason I chose to make candles with soy wax was exactly the same as why I, and others, have a box candles sitting around unused.
Discovering Candle Lover’s Pain Points
Our first craft fair was at the Daffodil Festival in Candor, NY. I was armed with several cases of new candles. I was nervous! So much so, that I mostly observed people coming to my table, or not coming to my table when they saw the ‘dreaded’ words ‘candles for sale’. Thinking of that unused candle box—yes, still in my basement—I empathized with the candle fatigue plastered on some of the faces in the crowd. Some frustrated, they would take a look and say any one of the following:
“I stopped burning candles because they never last! Too expensive.
“I’m allergic, sorry. But your candles really are beautiful!”
“Oh, candles always smell too strong for me.”
“It took me a whole weekend to clean my mother’s walls the last time I bought candles! Never again!”
“Oh! Candles! But I have way too many candles. I think I need to finish burning the ones I have!”
Yikes! Sadly, I wasn’t prepared for these responses. These were all my own pain points as well before I switched to soy candles. These were the reasons for the big box of candles sitting in my basement unused. I knew then that it was time to teach people about the benefits of switching to soy candles, and the purpose for the creation of Mossberry Woods.
What are soy candles?
Soy candles are an eco-friendly alternative to paraffin candles. It’s made from partially hydrogenated soybean oil and a natural soy emulsifier. Two ingredients. That’s it! Its natural color is creamy white, which gives a beautiful, natural feel to any home’s décor.
Soy Candles Last Much Longer
Compared to other candles, soy candles begin forming a melt pool at a cooler temperature. During our own testing, we found that the average burn time for one of our 11-ounce candles is between 50 and 60 hours. When burning a soy candle for three to four hours a day, you can expect it to last 15 to 30 days, depending on how often you burn it and your environment. Soy candles are more expensive than store-bought candles. But the benefit of enjoying a long-lasting candle definitely outweighs the price.
Not Overpowering to the Senses
Have you ever avoided the candle aisle at a store? I feel your pain! When we decided to start candle making, we were a bit leery, since I’m very sensitive to strong fragrances due to allergies. But after some research and just simply trying it, I instantly fell in love with soy wax.
Raw soy wax smells a lot like vegetable oil. It’s a bit harder to fragrance due to its thicker composition. Yet, we found that it’s the perfect base for a candle because it tones down the fragrances. There aren’t any underlying chemical smells—just fresh clean fragrance, not overpowering. No need to blow out the candle too early or hide it in a box somewhere!
Clean Burning with Less Soot
Before switching to soy candles, we didn’t burn candles too often. When we did, it was to create a warm environment, or to cover up some smell produced from one of my many cooking experiments. Yes, we’re all guilty! After burning them the glass turned black, as well as my walls, ceiling, and furniture. Once we burned one of our own candles, it burned beautifully without producing any soot.
Why is this? I looked to the experts to find out.
Soot is produced during combustion, which occurs when oxygen meets a flame. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Oil Chemists' Society, “little or no [soot] was observed from soy wax candles” when compared to burning beeswax and paraffin candles. This is because soy wax “burned at a significantly slower rate and required less air”. This is of course when the candle is trimmed properly, so that less oxygen is required to feed the flame.
Soy Wax is Easy to Clean Up
Like most waxes soy wax is oily, but it’s easier to clean up with a few paper towels and warm soapy water. This goes for carpets, hardwood floors, and clothing. Our candle studio is equipped with hardwood floors, so we were pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to clean up.
Here’s a cleaning tip.
Be careful not to pour the wax down your drains. Soy wax is an oil. And like other oils it may stick to the sides of your home’s pipes, causing damaging and expensive clogs. We haven't personally experienced this. But we aren't taking any chances! So, we pre-clean jars first by melting the wax and pouring it in the garbage. Then wiping the remaining wax with paper towels and wash with a mild dish soap.
Soy Candles are Sustainable.
We set out to create Mossberry Woods with two goals. First, the raw materials we use to make candles are eco-friendly and sustainable. Second, they must sourced from businesses that support the American economy.
I love the fact that soybean farming doesn't damage our beautiful, oxygen-producing trees! Soybeans come from plants—easily renewable in large quantities without taking up too much space. And we know that when we make and burn a soy candle, we are helping to support farmers, their businesses, and our economy.
What to do about that box of unused candles
Years ago, I saw an interview with Suze Orman, a personal finance expert and motivational speaker talking about decluttering. As humans we tend to collect things that don’t serve our needs, only to have them end up in a box in the basement. This creates friction within ourselves, and actually prevents us from achieving freedom—psychologically and financially.
Thinking back now, my store-bought candle box has been sitting in the basement because they don’t give me joy. On the contrary, it causes frustration! Every time I walk by it on my way to the laundry, I’m reminded that they didn’t live up to my expectations. So, what am I going to do with that box of unused candles? THROW IT AWAY! That’s right! I’m going to throw them away!
In the past few years making and testing soy candles, I’ve finally found a way to make a candle that can actually be used and brings peace and joy to so many of our customers. It fills me with joy to hear from many of them that they feel the same way. If you haven’t made the switch like millions of other candle lovers, try one! I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised!