Having beeswax candles around the home really makes for a nice cozy environment. They have a mild scent of honey which reminds me of past, simpler times. One of my favourite things is to finish the day off with a few beeswax candles lit and some essential oils going in my Saje Wellness Aromageni Diffuser.
After doing some research, I have discovered that there are no published studies on whether beeswax candles actually improve indoor air quality or not. I had heard that they are beneficial for this reason, but after searching around I cannot really find anything other than anecdotal evidence.
Rumour has it that burning beeswax candles emits negatively charged ions into the air, causing dust and other pollutant particles to drop to the ground, thus making the air safer to breathe. IF this is true, that would be pretty cool.
At the very least, they are a better option than conventional candles. I love having them in the home, and I really enjoy the DIY project of making them.
Why I Avoid Conventional Candles
In a nutshell, artificial fragrance is gross and bad for you. It’s seriously horrible when people wear perfume or cologne, or they’ve used scented fabric softener/detergent or when artificial air fresheners are being used.
I get headaches, nausea, fatigue and sore sinuses. While having this sensitivity may make you feel sorry for me, I actually think it is a blessing in a way to be able to sense when toxic chemicals are present. Because whether you have these reactions or not it doesn’t change the fact that they are bad for you and the environment! My friends and family should thank me for being their personal toxin detector.
Most popular candles, which are made from paraffin wax, are scented with artificial fragrance.
Artificial scents are made with a variety petrochemicals which are linked to increased cancer risks and birth defects. They also make use of phthalates, a plasticizer to make the artificial scent linger. Phthalates are well known to be detrimental to human health, and studies show that they are related to hormone disruption, “gender-bending”, cancer and improper fetal development.
Also, indoor air pollution is one of the top risks to human health because of all the products and plastics we use. It is even more of a threat than outdoor air pollution, which sucks because most us spend probably 90% of our time indoors. So, I’d rather not add to that burden if I can help it.
Conventional candles are made with paraffin wax, a petroleum product. Some researchers claim that when burned, it emits toxic chemicals into the air and therefore into our lungs, like toluene and benzene, which have been shown to be carcinogenic. Some research however, claims that there is no risk to burning paraffin wax.
I’d rather just err on the side of caution.
Especially when I can get wax that is eco-friendly to produce (unlike paraffin), supports the livelihood of bees (not sure if you heard, but their population is dwindling and if they die, we die) and also support a local business, as I get my wax from the farmer’s market.
I’m pretty sure the world doesn’t need more support for extracting petroleum and all the damage that causes. Let’s all think about the consequences of our choices people, and what you are voting for with your dollars.
How To Make Beeswax Candles
I have been loving making my candles in old bone china tea cups. Old tea cups are so pretty, but kind of impractical to use, so this gives them a really nice purpose. This also makes them kind of like a lantern because of the handle! #petitejoys
*Warning* Beeswax does not come off of things easily. Prepare an area where you will be pouring them with newspapers. You should also wear clothes you don’t care too much about.
– 1lb of beeswax
-1/4 cup coconut oil (optional)
-metal tin for double boiler
-utensil to stir
– teacups or small mason jars, or any other small glass containers
This makes about 3 or 4 candles depending on the size of your containers.
I place the wax in a metal tin in water on a pot on the stove. I turn the temperature to medium to bring it slowly to a calm boil. Eventually it will all melt, at which point the coconut oil can be stirred in.
Some people add coconut oil because beeswax candles tend to to “tunnel” if the surface is too wide. Adding the oil is supposed to help avoid this. I’ve found that is helps to create a little bit wider of a burning surface.
Before filling the containers, attach the wick to the bottom by pouring a little bit of wax and allowing it to cool so it can be used to adhere the wick to the centre. You’ll have to use your fingers which will get sticky.
Once that has dried, secure the wick by tying it to a pencil to make sure it goes straight up. Pour in the wax, and set aside to dry overnight.
In the regular sized teacups, the candles will most likely tunnel with one wick. I always reuse the wax thats leftover to be re-made into a new candle.
If you can find smaller, espresso sized cups they will burn perfectly – no tunnelling.
On the first use, burn for at least an hour to create a wider melted surface.
Let me know if you try this out and can add anymore tips!