Home, Home and Garden

7 Best Soy Candles For A Sustainable Glow

Today let’s talk soy candles.  And not just any old soy candles.  The best soy candles that are eco-friendly for a cosy and sustainable glow.

The thing I love buying most isn’t ethical shoes. It isn’t houseplants. It’s candles.  On a dark night, there’s nothing better than closing the curtains, dimming the lights, and lighting some soy or beeswax candles to create a lovely relaxing atmosphere. Especially after a hectic day at work or if I’ve spent the day with my young kids, and I’ve finally got them into bed.

What’s Wrong With Standard Candles?

Standard candles I don’t love so much.  Standard candles are made from paraffin wax.  This is a fossil fuel-based petroleum by-product that is made when crude oil is refined into petrol.  As well as being made from non-renewable fossil fuels, burning these kinds of candles can affect your indoor air quality when you burn them.  And that’s before we’ve even covered the artificial fragrances contained in candles, which can hide a cocktail of particularly undesirable chemicals.

Soy candles are made from soy wax.  This is a renewable vegetable wax made from the oil of soybeans.  This means they are petroleum-free, which benefits the environment. 

Isn’t Soy Bad For the Environment?

Soy does have a bad reputation because it is linked to deforestation of the Amazonian rainforest. It’s important to remember that soy is the primary source of protein for most animal feed, and it is the demand for meat that has seen the demand for soy rocket. Approximately 75% of all soy grown is used for animal feed, so it really isn’t the soy candle industry that is driving this deforestation. Burn your soy candles without remorse.

If you want to avoid any Amazonian source soy, then many candle makers do source their wax from EU-based sources. European soy is grown in Italy, France, Romania, and Croatia, so more locally sourced soy is available.

Seven of the Best Sustainable Soy Candles

Two candles on a white background with some purple flowers and a blue text box that says the best soy candles for a sustainable glow

I’ve tried a lot of candles in my time.  Here are seven of the best soy candles in case you’re in the market for some candles.  Or maybe you’re like me and candles are your fail-safe thing to buy for people who are really hard to buy for!

In order to help support the running costs of Moral Fibres, this post contains affiliate links, denoted by *. Moral Fibres may earn a small commission, at no extra cost to readers, on items that have been purchased through those links. This income helps keep this site running.

Handmade Candle Co

Handmade Candle Co's amber glass sustainable candles, pictured on a wooden plinth on a bath in a white tiled bathroom full of plants

Handmade Candle Co’s* luxury soy wax candles are hand-poured in Shropshire. Made with 100% vegetable soy wax, these are fragranced with phthalate-free fragrance oils.

Price: from £14

Old Man & Magpie

Old Man and Magpie's soy candle, in sequoia wood fragrance.  The candle is sat on top of a Lonely Planet guide to California book.

Old Man and Magpie* make sustainable soy candles in Manchester. Made using only 100% pure and natural soy wax, alongside phthalate-free essential and fragrance oils, and using cotton wicks, these candles come in beautiful apothecary style and recyclable amber glass jars. 

Price: from £15

Osie Norfolk Soy Candles

Osie Norfolk's candle in a terracotta pot, sitting on top of green book and next to pink dried flowers.

Osie Norfolk’s* beautiful sustainable candles are hand-poured in Norfolk and are vegan and cruelty-free, as well as palm oil-free. Made from 100% soy wax, they are also scented will all-natural phthalate-free ingredients and essential oils. And for an added eco-friendly bonus, you can buy a candle refill* from Osie for just £7.99 once you’ve burned the candle. Alternatively, you can reuse the lovely terracotta pots for plants in your home or garden.

Price: £7.99 for refills, £18 for the candle and terracotta pot.

Paddy Wax

Paddy Wax, one of the best soy candle makers, candles, sat on a cosy dinner table, next to a stack of plates.

Paddy Wax soy candles, available online from Ethical Superstore*, are one of my long-standing favourites.  I’m currently burning the redwood amber candle, which has a lovely sweet yet earthy scent (derived from essential oils) that I find hard-pushed to describe.

Paddy Wax candles are a little more strongly scented than other scented soy candles I have tried.  I find that a good thing when you are trying to fragrance a larger area, such as a living room.  However, they may be a bit overpowering in a small bathroom, for example.  Save your Paddy Wax candle for fragrance purposes, rather than mood lighting when you’re in the bath!

What I love most about Paddy Wax is that the candles come in a wide variety of holders.   I have had a few of the recycled bottle and apothecary jar candles in the past, and have saved the empty jars for candle making.  I also have a wooden octagon candle pot that has now been reused as a plant pot.  Meanwhile, the ceramic candle, pictured above, could easily be reused as a vase.

Price: from £11.95

Vegan Bunny

Vegan Bunny soy candle in a copper candle tin, sat on top of a pile of pink books.

Vegan Bunny’s* eco-friendly candles tick a lot of boxes. Handmade in Britain from 100% natural and sustainably sourced ingredients, not only are they plastic-free, but vegan and cruelty-free too.

Price: from £10

YR Studio Soy Candles

YR Studio's Into The Woods candle, in a glass jar, sat on a round wicker mat, and surrounded by ferns.

All of YR Studio’s soy candles* are hand-poured in Somerset, using only vegan ingredients that are not tested on animals. Coupled with eco-friendly packaging, including home compostable and water dissolvable packing peanuts made of corn starch, these are a sturdy sustainable swap for standard petroleum-based candles.

Price: from £14.99

PF Candles

PF candle in amber and moss

I’m a fan of PF Candles’ stylish ethical soy candles*. In particular the amber and moss fragrance. PF Candles are pretty strong smelling, so they are best suited if you want to fragrance a room, rather than wanting to create an ambience through candlelight.

Price: from £24.99

Do you have a particular favourite soy candle brand?

Once you’ve finished burning your candle, here’s how to remove candle wax from your jar so that you can reuse the jar again. I’ve even put information in there on how to recycle your leftover candle wax, for a zero-waste burn. You can also make your own beeswax candles.  It’s really easy and fun.  And if you’d rather use soy then simply replace the beeswax with soy flakes to make soy candles.

Home, Home and Garden

Can You Paint UPVC Doors? Yes, Let me Show You How!

Can you paint UPVC doors? Yes, I painted my front door two years ago and it’s still looking great! Let me show you how!

Regular readers will know that for the last six years we have been very slowly renovating our house. About two years ago I painted my UPVC front door. Our door was formerly a brown wood effect UPVC door. It was such a sad-looking door that negatively impacted the exterior of our house. In some houses, this brown wood effect would look good, but in ours, it didn’t. In order to maintain privacy, I’m just going to show you a close-up of the door rather than the full external view of our house. You’ll just have to take my word for it that the brown door did nothing for our house.

Can you paint UPVC doors?  Yes - here's how to paint them, from what paint to use, to the prep needed, how it holds up and more.

We had talked about replacing the door. However, binning a perfectly functional hulking bit of plastic didn’t sit well with me. Nor did the cost of a replacement door. Boy, those things are eye-wateringly expensive. So, I did some research and decided to paint the UPVC door.

I shared the process on Instagram at the time and got SO many questions asking about the paint I was using. At the time, I didn’t want to recommend the UPVC door paint I was using as I didn’t know how it was going to stand up to a) Scottish weather and b) general life. So I sat on writing this post for a long time. Two years long!

This two-year-long review in the making means that so far my door has gone through one whole summer, and two whole Scottish winters, and I now know how the paint stands up to all weathers, time, and life. I’d hate to recommend something and for it to ruin your door, let alone my door. You’ll understand why I really wanted to take my time on this before recommending paint for painting UPVC doors. I’m now at the point where I definitely 100% feel confident in talking about door painting with some degree of authority!

What Paint Should You Use On UPVC Doors?

You can’t use any old paint to paint a UPVc door. For this purpose, I would really recommend Zinnser All Coat Exterior paint. I did some pretty extensive research before taking the plunge in painting my door, and also talked to a few people more experienced in DIY than I am. Every time Zinnser All Coat was the paint recommended to me for painting UPVC exterior doors. This is the paint I used.

You can buy the anthracite grey paint I used from JDC Paints who sell via Amazon* and offer free delivery. If you’d rather avoid Amazon then you can also purchase the paint from Rawlins. Here you can select from a multitude of different colours, although there is a hefty £8 postage charge.

I’d just like to point out that this post is not sponsored in any way by Zinnser. The paint wasn’t a freebie. I bought it at full price with my own money. This is simply an impartial guide as to what worked for me, and I think might work for you if you are also looking to paint your UPVC door.

Matt or Satin – Which to Choose?

There are two different types of All Coat paint for use on UPVC doors – matt and satin. I initially painted my front door with the matt version of the paint. For about a week or so, the door looked great. However, then the entire door developed an unsightly white bloom that appeared in dry weather:

I emailed Zinnser, who was really helpful. They asked me to fill in a report – including details on how I prepped the door, the weather conditions when I painted it, and details on where my door is located. They also asked me to send photos of the bloom so they could investigate the cause.

It turned out that because my front door is north facing, in a more exposed location then salts were being pushed to the surface of the paint, causing a white bloom. Zinnser told me the satin version of Allcoat Exterior was a better option in this case and arranged for a replacement tin of satin paint to be sent to me. Top-notch customer service.

If your door is north facing or in an exposed location then I would therefore really recommend using the satin paint. I have re-painted my door in satin, and have not had any further problems.

Is The Paint Eco-Friendly?

As this is an eco-blog, you might be wondering about the ingredients of the paint itself. I make no claims that UPVC paint for doors is an eco-friendly product. What I think though, is that if you have an old door that is functional but ugly, that you are considering replacing, then do consider trying UPVC paint before replacing the door. Because of being able to paint our door, and how good it now looks, we have decided not to replace our door, which has saved a significant amount of waste. Not only that but we’ve also saved on the resources needed to make a new door too. For me, it’s an eco win.

The Preparation

Preparation is key when it comes to painting UPVC doors! First off, give your door a brush down to remove any spider webs, dust, or leaves. Next, wash your door with warm soapy water, and rinse well. Then dry your door with a cloth or towel, or leave to dry. Then wipe down with methylated spirits to remove any residue. There is no need to sand your door.

Next, using masking tape, mask off all the parts of the door that you don’t want to paint. I spent a lot of time masking off the door handle, letterbox, and glass. In fact, I probably spent more time masking than I did painting, but it was well worth it for a sharp finish.

The great thing with the Allcoat Exterior paint is that you don’t need a separate primer. The first coat acts as a primer, meaning that you can get straight on to painting!

How To Paint A UPVC Door

guide to painting front doors

I’m not going to lie, it is pretty daunting painting something so expensive as a UPVC door. I would say that if you have never painted anything before, then your front door probably isn’t the best place to start. The paint dries very quickly. Pretty much as soon as it’s on the brush it starts to dry – so you do have to work fast. If you’re a semi-experienced at painting, then as soon as you get your head around how fast you need to work then it will be a really straightforward job. The Allcoat Exterior paint gives really good smooth coverage, and I was able to fully coat the door and frame within half an hour.

I used a brush to paint my door because of the glass section and various panels on my door. I figured it would be easier to get in with a brush than try to use a roller. If your door is less detailed than mine then do try a roller. The paint dries so quickly and can leave brush marks if you aren’t careful, so a roller would help avoid this.

Zinnser suggests leaving one hour between coats, and they recommend using two coats of paint. The first coat acts as a primer, and the second coat acts as the topcoat and sealer. I was initially skeptical that two coats would give the desired coverage, but two coats worked a dream. In fact, I had two-thirds of a can leftover. I then painted my back door to match, and I have stored the remainder to be able to patch up any chips or scratches.

I was worried about not being able to close my door after painting. However, the Allcoat Exterior is touch dry within 30 minutes, and re-coatable within one hour, so you don’t have to worry too much! I’d leave it at least two hours before closing your door, just to allow the paint to cure.

How Durable Is UPVC Paint?

UPVC door painted with Zinnser All Coat Exterior paint

I was a little worried about how durable a painted UPVC door really be. Thankfully, it’s been two years since I painted my door, and it’s stood up really well to the elements and to life. The above photo is my door after two years, and it hasn’t been touched up. The tile paint I used, however, leaves a lot to be desired!

The paint hasn’t weathered or faded. There are also no signs of blistering, flaking, or cracking. Zinnser says the finish can last for 15 years, and I quite believe this.

Of course, life happens. There are a couple of small scratches to the paintwork, as our door has taken some knocks in this time.

Is UPVC door paint durable

Our joiner hit the door with some wood when he was here doing some work in our hallway, and that did chip the paint. My daughter also managed to scrape the threshold bar and bottom of the door with her scooter. I guess this would be similar to how a painted wooden door would perform. There are a couple of small scratches around the lock, from where keys have scraped it. I took some photos before I patched up these scrapes so you can see, but overall though, I’m mightly impressed.

If you have an unsightly UPVC door, then I would definitely recommend painting your door, rather than replacing it. Although the paint itself is not an eco-friendly product, if it makes the difference between replacing your door or not, then I think it’s a great compromise that yields great, long-lasting results.