Why Beeswax Candles are Better
Let’s dig into the benefits of beeswax candles. I think you will find them compelling. And, you just might rethink your candle shopping tendencies. Beeswax candles are very special and have been valued for hundreds of years. Making candles is one of the most popular uses for beeswax and its no wonder.
Candles were once a necessary part of every homestead. Giving light inside the home after the sun had set, evening chores were possible with candles.
Today, people still love candles. If you have a love affair with the candle flame, beeswax has a lot to offer. They are one of the most sought after types of candles worldwide.
Beeswax Candles are More Expensive
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.
Beeswax candles are much less common than candles made from other waxes. Only honey bees make beeswax and there is a limited supply available.
Expect to pay more for pure beeswax candles. The main reason for the increased cost is the energy required by bees to produce wax.
Honey bees produce wax from glands on their bodies. Bees must consume a lot of food (nectar/honey) to make wax.
For every 1-2 pounds of wax produced, the bees lose production of around 6 pounds of honey.
Bees use wax to create the honeycomb that fill their homes. Beeswax has many uses around our homes too – not just inside a beehive.
There is a great demand for wax in the cosmetic and health and beauty industry. There just does not seem to be enough good beeswax to go around and this develops a scarcity.
Beeswax Candles vs Paraffin Candles
There is a reason those paraffin tealight candles are so cheap at the discount stores. There are several major differences between candles made from beeswax vs paraffin.
Paraffin is easily available and thus – cheap. It is actually an oil-based petroleum by-product.
Paraffin candles contain artificial dyes, synthetic fragrances and other toxic chemicals. Many of these chemicals are added to this toxic crude oil sludge to make it look and smell attractive.
Paraffin candles have shorter burn times than those made of beeswax. They won’t last as long.
You will pay less for paraffin candles but may not experience savings in the end. They are drippy and often produce a lot of soot.
Candles made from pure beeswax are a renewable resource. And they produce a bright, white light (in the same spectrum as sunlight). They are also drip less and clean burning.
Let’s see, paraffin candles are petroleum by-products and pure beeswax candles are all natural.
Hmmmm, seems to be several benefits of beeswax candles over paraffin.
What are the 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.
Beeswax candles are also known for being hypo-allergenic. People with asthma or allergies report fewer problems with beeswax candles.
Do Beeswax Candles Clean the Air?
Researchers disagree on the air cleaning ability of burning beeswax. But some feel that a beeswax candle is a natural ionizer – it emits 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 beeswax 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 beeswax is a good candle 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!
Some people choose to burn a beeswax candle in the bedroom a couple of hours before going to bed. (Never leave a candle burning unattended!!) They report better sleep after cleaning the air with the beeswax!
If better sleep is a benefit of beeswax candles, I need to have even more in my home. Maybe the negative ions emitted by the beeswax candle is the secret.
Or perhaps the heavenly, bright light and honey scent is soothing? Either way, there is something extra special about beeswax candles.
Choosing Your Beeswax Candles
If they are less common, how do you shop for beeswax candles? You can find these candles-you just may have to do a little research before you purchase.
If you find very inexpensive beeswax candles, I would be extra cautious. Chances are that this candle will not be pure beeswax or it will be imported from China.
When you are shopping for beeswax candles, be vigilant. In the United States, current labeling laws only require a candle to be 51% beeswax to carry the beeswax label.
Seriously? That’s nuts. Read labels carefully if you are shopping for pure beeswax candles.
You may also find beeswax candles at local craft fairs. Ask if the seller makes them him/herself. The candle should have a light honey fragrance.
If you enjoy votive candles, I prefer to use a metal holder due to the heat produced by burning beeswax candles.
If using glass candle holders, be sure it is thick and approved for use with the heat produced by beeswax.
The light-weight inexpensive glass holders may break when exposed to burning beeswax. This causes a fire hazard and danger of cuts or burns.
Mixing Beeswax with Other Oils
Some folks want a “designer candle” that still allows them to enjoy some of the qualities of beeswax candles.
That’s okay. Just be sure that you know what you are buying. And , remember my comment about the beeswax candle label. I wish the advertisers would make that information clearer.
If you prefer to mix beeswax with another oil, such as, coconut or soy, you can. While these mixtures do not qualify as pure beeswax, there may be situations where the blend would be a good choice.
Some candle makers like to use a blend when making candles in glass jars – it provides a cooler burning candle.
When you buy beeswax candles you are supporting beekeepers and the beekeeping industry.
Search around your neighborhood, perhaps you have a local beekeeper. I know he/she would greatly appreciate your business.
Make Your Own Beeswax Candles
Purchasing beeswax to make your own candles, can be a lot of fun and a great Winter family project.
Candle making materials are fairly easy to find. With a little preparation and knowledge, you can create some great candles for your home or gift giving. Beeswax Seashell Tealights make great wedding favors too!
Recap of the Benefits of Beeswax Candles
- all natural
- 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 beeswax – renewable resource
Pure beeswax candles are available online (and sometimes I have a few in my Etsy store during the off season).
I would suggest that you only purchase beeswax candles (or raw wax) made in the USA.
This will give you the best chance of enjoying all the benefits of beeswax candles burning brightly in your home.