Soy candles are candles made from soy wax, which is a processed form of soybean oil. They are usually container candles, because soy wax typically has a lower melting point than traditional waxes, but can also be made into pillar candles if certain additives are mixed into the soy wax. The wax blend in soy candles prevents tunneling, with a soot-free and even burn.
Soy wax is made by the full hydrogenation of soybean oil; chemically this gives a triglyceride, containing a high proportion of stearic acid. It is typically softer than paraffin wax and with a lower melting temperature, in most combinations. However, additives can raise this melting point to temperatures typical for paraffin-based candles. The melting point ranges from 49 to 82 degrees Celsius (120 to 180 degrees Fahrenheit), depending on the blend. The density of soy wax is about 90% that of water or 0.9 g/ml. This means nine pounds (144 oz) of wax will fill about ten 16-oz jars (160 fluid ounces of volume). Soy wax is available in flake and pellet form and has an off-white, opaque appearance. Its lower melting temperature can mean that candles will melt in hot weather. Since soy wax is usually used in container candles, this is not much of an issue.
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- "Soy Wax Material Data Safety Sheet" (PDF).