You may be surprised to learn that, not only does soy taste good, it also shows up in many of your favorite home goods such as candles, cleaning supplies, décor and even furniture. For many of us, home goods are truly what make our house a home!

One of the great things about soy is that it offers a more sustainable, “clean” alternative to common household materials like waxes, solvents or foams. This is good news for those of us seeking to prioritize sustainability in our daily lives! Soy can also help increase functionality and user safety for a variety of home goods. Let’s dive into some of the home goods that soy may show up in and the benefits it offers.

Soy in Candles

Most people who enjoy candles have probably heard about soy-based wax, but they might not know what makes it special. Compared to other popular wax options, like paraffin, soy wax burns at a slower rate. It has an overall lower melting point which allows for a longer, cleaner and more even burn. Not only can soy candles burn longer, but soy-based wax can also hold fragrance longer than other waxes, due to its higher molecular density, maximizing the candle’s life and fragrance.

Some people tend to steer away from burning candles in their homes, concerned about the potential toxicity. Yet, research shows soy-based candles not only produce less soot compared to other paraffin waxes – which can damage walls, ceilings and curtains – but they are also a non-toxic, natural and renewable option.

If you’re looking for soy-based candles, companies like P.F. Candle Co. and Hyggelight are prioritizing “clean” and sustainable products and use 100% soy-based wax in their candles. With that in mind, don’t be afraid to light a refreshing soy-based candle (or two!) to give your home its signature scent.

Soy in Household Cleaners

Cleaning products have often sparked controversy due to their potentially harmful ingredients. Luckily, soy-based solvents can help. Cleaners developed with the soy solvent methyl soyate are a popular household choice, thanks to their improved product safety. Methyl soyate is a methyl ester derived from soybean oil, and it offers a more sustainable, “green” alternative to other industrial solvents that are used in cleaners, degreasers and adhesives.

Soy-based cleaning supplies also have reduced flammability, which can keep your home safe. For soy-based cleaning supplies, check out companies like Soy Technologies, LLC and SoySolv. They’re leveraging soy ingredients to do their part in developing products that are both environmentally responsible and safe.

Soy in Furniture

You may be surprised to discover that soy is also used in furniture. Yes, you heard that right! It can be found in mattresses and couch cushions. Typically, this type of furniture uses an ingredient named polyols, which are often made with petroleum and can have a negative impact on the environment. Soy-based polyols are able to successfully replicate petroleum-based polyols and are a more sustainable option that can be used in these applications. In some cases, soy-based polyols even offer better functionality. In fact, memory foam made with BiOH’s soy-based visco polyols dissipated heat 25% faster than other memory foam that used conventional infused-gel technology. Soy-based memory foams were also shown to be less temperature sensitive overall.

In addition to couches and mattresses, soy polymers can be used for rug backings and rug pads. Soy-based rug backings use soy polymer to lock in the rug fibers, keeping the rug together. This type of polyurethane backing is not only more sustainable, it also provides a longer rug life cycle, as it is able to endure repetitive cleanings throughout the years.

Soybean oil can also be used in rug pads, which are placed under the rug to reduce rug slippage and provide extra comfort, because who doesn’t love a comfy rug. Plus, rug pads made with soybean oil are naturally mildew and mold resistant, making them an ideal choice for the home.

Soy-based products and solvents can help you achieve a more “green” home while ridding your space of potentially harmful toxins. They’re also a great way to support local economies and U.S. soybean farmers, so you can feel good about your purchases.

Next time you’re looking for a new couch for your living room, need to restock your cleaning products or run out of your favorite candle, look for goods made with soy. And, in the meantime, check out more soy products and their benefits.