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Does it really matter what type of candle you burn? Well, you may find the benefits of beeswax candles rather compelling. And, you just might rethink your shopping tendencies. Beeswax candles are very special and have been valued for hundreds of years. Let’s explore what makes these natural candles so popular.
Why Beeswax Candles are Better
The use of wax as a light source goes back thousands of years. In Early American colonial times, it was a special treat to have these in your home as they were most expensive that regular tallow or lard candles.
Today, people still love them. If you have a love affair with the open flame, these natural candles have a lot to offer. They are one of the most sought after types of candles worldwide and the most popular way to use beeswax.
Paraffin Candles vs Beeswax Candles
To understand everything this natural wax offers, we must compare them to some of the more readily available options.
There is a reason those small tealights are so cheap at the discount stores. They are made with less expensive ingredients. There are times this may not matter.
If you are burning them at an outside even – air quality is not a big issue. However, for inside use – you should consider how clean burning (or not) the ones you are using will be.
Paraffin Candle Properties
Paraffin is probably the king of cheap candles and you will find it as a major ingredients in many different products.
- cheap and easily available
- burns well in most situations
- contain artificial dyes and other toxic substances
- use synthetic wicks
- shorter burn time
- produce soot
Paraffin is easily available and thus – cheap. It is actually an oil-based petroleum by-product. They contain artificial dyes, synthetic fragrances and other toxic chemicals known to be carcinogens.
Many of these chemicals are added to this toxic crude oil sludge to make it look and smell attractive. Who would want an ugly grey stinking candle?
What happens when these products are burned? Some of the toxic chemicals are released into the air. (Now I know why that apple pie candle I used to have made my throat itch).
Also, many cheap candles may have synthetic wicks or those that are zinc-cored. Who knows what kinds of chemicals may be released when that wick burns ?
Can you save money with them? It depends on the use. They have shorter burn times so they won’t last as long.
You will pay less for paraffin at first but may not experience savings in the end. Also, they are drippy and often produce a lot of soot.
Beeswax Candle Benefits
- all natural
- produces light spectrum similar to natural sunlight
- no added colors or fragrances necessary
- dripless in a draft free area
- clean burning – no soot
- may clean air and/or improve mood
- made from bee wax – renewable resource
Beeswax candles produce a bright, white light (in the same spectrum as sunlight). They are also drip-less and clean burning.
A natural clean light honey fragrance will be present. They do not need added fragrance that may damage your lungs or irritate sensitive sinuses.
However, if you prefer to add scent to your beeswax candles you can do so with essential oils and other clean products.
Let’s see, paraffin candles are petroleum by-products containing possible toxins and pure beeswax candles are all natural. Hmmmm, seems to be several benefits of beeswax candles over paraffin.
Candle Bloom- You Must Be Kidding Right ?
There is one property of these natural wax candles that some folks find surprising. They will develop a white coating known as “bloom”. This powdery patina coating is a natural occurrence.
The “bloom” is more pronounced when they are stored in an area with great changes in temperature. All 100% pure beeswax candles will bloom over time.
The white bloom is a highly desirable effect but can be easily polished away with a soft cloth if you wish.
Health Benefits of Beeswax Candles
We can easily see that cleaner burning is one of the major health benefits of beeswax candles. By not producing toxic smoke or soot, you should be breathing cleaner air.
They are also known for being hypo-allergenic. People with asthma or allergies report fewer breathing problems with them.
Do Beeswax Candles Clean the Air?
Researchers disagree on the air cleaning ability of burning beeswax. But, some feel that they are a natural ionizer – emitting negative ions.
The stuff floating in the air that we don’t want to breath in (dust, dander etc.) – carries a positive charge. So, the negative ions produced by your beeswax candles helps to neutralize pollutants.
If using these candles does reduce indoor air pollution, perhaps that is why asthma and allergy sufferers breathe easier. At the very least, we can all agree that by not contributing to air pollution they are a good choice.
Can Beeswax Candles Improve Your Mood?
No scientific studies have proven without a doubt that beeswax candles improve your mood. But, many people swear that they do! There are used for meditation and relaxation therapy.
Some people choose to burn one in the bedroom a couple of hours before going to bed. (Never leave a one burning unattended!!) They report better sleep after cleaning the air with the beeswax!
Why do Beeswax Candles Cost More?
You won’t find a lot (or any) pure beeswax candles on the shelf at the local discount store and there is a good reason for that.
They cost more and are less common than those made from other waxes. Only honey bees make this natural wax and there is a limited supply available.
Honey bees produce wax from glands on their bodies. This requires a lot of energy. As the colony works to produce more wax, they produce less honey.
For every 1-2 pounds of wax produced, the bees lose production of around 6 pounds of honey. The beekeeper makes less honey but is able to sell wax to make up for the loss.
Also, there is a great demand for beeswax in the cosmetic and beauty industry. There just does not seem to be enough to go around and this develops a scarcity.
How to Buy Pure Beeswax Candles
If they are less common, how do you shop for beeswax candles? You can find them – you just may have to do a little research.
If you find very inexpensive ones, I would be extra cautious. Chances are that it will not be pure or it will be imported from China.
When you are shopping for candles, be vigilant. In the United States, current labeling laws only require a candle to be 51% beeswax to carry the label.
Seriously? That’s nuts. Read labels carefully if you want pure candles. You may also find them at local craft fairs. Ask if the seller makes them him/herself.
Suitable Beeswax Candle Accessories
If you enjoy votives, I prefer to use a metal candle holder due to the heat produced by burning beeswax candles.
If using glass holders, be sure it is thick and approved for use with heat. Those light-weight inexpensive glass holders may break when exposed to burning wax. This causes a fire hazard and danger of cuts or burns.
Why Mix Beeswax with Coconut Oil?
Some folks want a “designer candle” that still allows them to enjoy some of the qualities of beeswax but has other properties too. That’s okay. Just be sure that you know what you are buying.
Beeswax burns hot and mixing it with other waxes or oils produces a cooler burning candle. You will sometimes find beeswax in soy candles too.
Make Your Own Beeswax Candles
Making your own beeswax candles can be a lot of fun and a great family project. Candle making materials are fairly easy to find. You basically need wax and wick.
Of course, you may choose to get fancy and make some candles with dried flowers. They are a nice touch and very elegant.
You may choose to buy raw wax from a local beekeeper but keep in mind that you will need to clean the wax properly or your candle will not burn well.
Easy Candle Projects
With a little preparation and knowledge, you can create some great items for your home or gift giving. Seashell tealights are really cute and they make great wedding favors too!
For a natural shaped candle, you can create egg shaped beeswax candles using empty egg shells.
For a unique gift idea, collect some old cups from the local thrift store and make elegant tea cup candles for someone special.
Why You Should Consider Using Beeswax Candles
Beeswax candles have a lot to offer to those who appreciate quality. They are good for people who suffer sensitivities to other types and are hypoallergenic.
When shopping for candles, I would suggest that you only purchase those made in the USA. This will give you the best chance of enjoying all the benefits of beeswax candles burning brightly in your home. And for elegant ambient lighting consider making some beeswax luminaires too!