Choosing The Best Beeswax Candles
Candles are a traditional way of providing light and comfort in times of darkness. Even in the age of modern conveniences we still appreciate the warm glow of a candle. Beeswax Candles have a long history as a valued home item.
Today, we can purchase candles made from all different kinds of materials. But… should we? Some of the candle making materials in use may be harmful to your health.
Natural raw beeswax has been used for candle making and crafts for thousands of years. However, it is always in limited supply and often the victim of deceptive marketing practices.
What is in those Beeswax Candles?
Choosing the purest candles will require some research on your part. You do not want to pay for candles that are pure beeswax and find that paraffin has been mixed in.
Paraffin is a by-product of the petroleum industry. It is readily available and inexpensive. In recent years, the use of paraffin wax for candle making has raised some health concerns.
Labeling is a tricky thing for the American consumer. A candle can be labeled as beeswax even if it contains other substances. Read the label closely.
Candles Made from Beeswax are Special
Beeswax Candles are special. The elegance of a pure natural wax candle burning is unattainable when using man-made materials.
This is why they are highly valued. They make a great part of your home decor and people love getting them as gifts.
In recent years, rolled beeswax candles have become popular gifts. They are inexpensive and easy to make – even for kids.
Cost and Availability of Beeswax Candles
At first glance, candles made from pure beeswax seem more expensive. Their cost per pound is significantly more than many traditional candles.
Yet, when you learn more about the benefits of burning natural wax candles you will see their value.
We often value an item by its rarity. Lets face it, no one would care about diamonds if they were as common as shells on the beach.
Candles made from beeswax are special and unusual. You will not be finding this type of candle at big box discount stores. Pure beeswax is too expensive to produce to sell a cut rate prices.
Cost of Beeswax
When considering the value of beeswax, we first must consider our friend – the honey bee. Worker bees are responsible for making that beautiful beeswax.
Honey bees fly approximately 25,000 miles gathering enough nectar to produce only 1 pound of beeswax.
The effort put into beeswax production accounts for the higher cost of the candles.
Beekeepers who sell a lot of beeswax do not harvest as much honey. This results in a higher cost for the produced beeswax.
Scientists have been unable to copy the exact structure of beeswax – thank goodness. No synthetic beeswax – thank you very much.
You can only get pure beeswax from honey bees.
Different Forms of Beeswax Candles
Beeswax can be made into candles in a variety of ways. You need clean raw beeswax and a good wick.
For thousands of years, wick materials were dipped into melted beeswax to create hand dipped tapers. This is still done today.
Containers or candle molds of every shape imaginable are used to make candles with beeswax. The possibilities are endless. And the rolled wax sheets I mentioned earlier make beautiful gifts.
History of Candles Made With Beeswax
The use of beeswax as a light source goes back thousands of years. In Early American colonial times, it was a special treat to have beeswax candles.
They were hard to find and in great demand for use on special occasions such as Christmas.
Candles were often used for barter. A beekeeper would trade beeswax for other items needed such as: flour, meat, eggs etc.
The bright light and drip-less nature of beeswax was a pleasant change from the smelly animal fat candles used for everyday.
Not every homestead had bees. But it was a lucky community that had a least 1 beekeeper in the neighborhood.
Why Use Beeswax Candles?
If they are more expensive than others, why would you want to buy them? Well, sometimes you do get what you pay for.
Beeswax Candles burn bright and clean with no smoke and few drips. Also, they are naturally long burning without the addition of any hardeners.
Candles made from other types of wax can contain additives to lengthen the burn time. Considering the longer burn time than conventional candles, beeswax candles are an economical choice.
A natural clean light honey fragrance will be present from a natural beeswax candle. They do not need added fragrance that may damage your lungs or irritate sensitive sinuses.
However if you want to make your own , you can add fragrance.
Beeswax Candle Bloom
You Must Be Kidding Right ?
No Joke. Look for those made from 100% pure beeswax. Candles made from pure beeswax develop a white coating known as “bloom”.
This powdery patina coating is a natural property of beeswax. The “bloom” is more pronounced when candles are stored in an area with great changes in temperature.
If your candles do not bloom and you have not added any type of sealer to try to prevent it, you may not have pure beeswax.
The white bloom is a highly desirable effect but can be easily polished away with a soft cloth if you wish.
Why Not Conventional Candles?
Paraffin candles are made with highly refined petroleum by-products. Many contain chemicals that are possibly carcinogenic.
Some of these toxic chemicals are released into the air when the candles are burned. (Now I know why that apple pie candle I used to have made my throat itch ).
Also, these candles may have synthetic wicks or those that are zinc-cored. Who knows what kinds of chemicals may be released when that wick burns ?
Marketing managers know that scent sells . Don’t be lured into a purchase that will pollute your home and possibly damage your lungs.
What about Soy Candles ?
Soy Candles are suggested as a good substitution for paraffin. They are certainly more desirable.
And soy is sometimes mixed with beeswax for a variety of reasons. That’s fine as long as you know what you are paying for.
The problem is that candles made from soy may contain preservatives to deter spoilage. Again, this is a step away from the “natural” candles experience.
Also, soy candles are mostly made from genetically modified soy crops . These soy crops are often sprayed with toxic pesticides.
Soy candles are a step above paraffin but they still fall a little below my preference for natural candles.
Are Your Beeswax Candles Pure?
Sorry, we must talk about marketing again for just a moment. It is apparently legal to call a candle beeswax even when it is not 100% pure beeswax.
I don’t understand why that is okay but it is true. And, not all beeswax is created equal. Always look for candles made with American beeswax.
Beeswax from other countries may contain toxic chemicals that are not allowed in the US.
Cheapest isn’t always the best option. Honey bees are the only ones who produce beeswax and it can not be duplicated by man ! (Ha Ha)
Candles made from beeswax are a renewable energy source . This is another great reason to do everything in our power to save the honey bees.
Learn how to make your own natural candles – Here
Visit my Etsy store for my handmade candles.- My Candles are available through out the year in limited quantities.
Know your source, if you purchase beeswax or ready made candles – buy from someone you trust.