Soy-based candles have now captured a quarter of the candle market, and Iowa now boasts more soy candle manufacturers than any other state. Sarah Van Gorp of the Iowa Soybean Promotion Board says over the past two years, her group has made soy candles a top priority, and the number of manufacturers has increased significantly.About a year ago, there were 50 companies in Iowa making soy-based candles. Now, there are more than a hundred. Van Gorp says it’s a combination of the demand for soy candles as well as the Soybean Promotion Board’s emphasis on this new market for soybeans. Soy candles burn longer and cleaner than traditional paraffin candles.Michael Richards of Cedar Rapids is known as the “father of soy wax” because he helped discover that soy wax produces less soot and burns twice as long as a candle made of paraffin wax. Van Gorp says another great thing about soy wax is that if you spill it on the carpet or table cloth, it can be washed out with just soap and water. Wintertime is candle season and Van Gorp says Iowa’s soy-candle manufacturers will use a lot of soybeans this year.She says about 110 million bushels of soybeans will be used to make soy candles.
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