No Soot, Less Soot, More Soot Debate…Over

So there is this on going debate about soot from candles. The big issue is claims from soy candle manufacturers that soy candles don’t produce any soot or they are soot free. We have been making paraffin candles a long time and soy candles since August 2008. While we have never believed that soy candles do not produce any soot we get asked about it quite often. People want to know if the air quality in their homes will be better burning a soy candle over a paraffin. According to the National Candle Association in an answer to the question “Is candle soot harmful?” they replied:

“No. The minuscule amount of soot produced by a candle is the natural byproduct of incomplete combustion. Candle soot is composed primarily of elemental carbon particles, and is similar to the soot given off by kitchen toasters and cooking oils. These everyday household sources of soot are not considered a health concern, and are chemically different from the soot formed by the burning of diesel fuel, coal, gasoline, etc.”

In response to all the questions, I did my own test. I made two 16oz jar candles with the same fragrance and wicks, and burned them both daily for about 8 hours here at work until they were gone. I maintained both candles by trimming the wicks when they became a little to long from such a long burn period. The idea was to have the only difference be the wax type, 1 was soy, 1 was paraffin and see the amount of soot produced under a normal burn. I took this picture with the worst soot side facing the camera. The soy candle on the left has less soot around the top of the jar than the paraffin candle, but both have soot. Some of the soot around the tops of the jars was a result of blowing the candles out and the smoke that follows. The environment that these two candles were burned in was our factory and therefor quite drafty. Had these been burned in a home there would have been less soot on each jar. A second thing to keep in mind is that container candles have the hardest time burning with a still flame. They fight between hot air going out and cooler air coming in causes the flame to dance, causing more soot.
So what is the short answer to the soot question? Soy candles are not soot free but will produce less soot when burned under the same conditions as a paraffin candle.

Floating Candles

floating candlesOne of the questions we get quite often from our customers is regarding floating candles, or rather candles that float. The question is usually along the lines of ” What makes the candle float or Will any candle float?” There is a pretty consistent look of surprise when we explain to them that just about all candles will “float”. (I say “just about” since I’m sure somewhere there is a candle that won’t) It is not the shape or size of the candle that makes it float but the fact that wax is lighter than water. The shape of a floating candle is important since that determines if the wick will stay out of the water. You could put one of our biggest pillar candles, 6×9, in a tub of water and it will float, only it will float on its side, putting the wicks under water.

Nice Testimonial

I received this email the other day for an extremely happy customer and thought I’d share it.

“Just wanted to send kudos your way for such quick shipping and a high quality product. I was having trouble finding a 6×9 pillar to fill a large, floor standing candle urn and your product filled the bill. I picked up the black, Opium candle and must say that the fragrance is a pleasant incense, not at all overwhelming like some cheap head shop. Great stuff! Keep up the good work and I’ll spread the word about your business. Best, Neill – Florida”

It seems that it is more of human nature to send emails when your unhappy about an outcome then to send them when things turned out perfect. Of course we are here to help if there is a problem with anything. If you have any testimonials about our products we would love to hear them. I will be setting up a testimonials page on our site soon but for now you can either leave them as a comment here or shoot us an email.

Open For Questions.

With the many questions we get in regards to our candles and other companies candles in general I thought it would be a good idea to open up the blog for questions. I will do my best to help resolve any issues or answer any questions you may have. I’m sure that “I don’t know” will be one of the answers I use but I don’t plan on making that my favorite one. So if you have something you have been wondering, fire away.