I am a candle fanatic. I enjoy the scents and they do a great job of ridding (actually just covering up) any pungent odor I can throw their way. There’s a slight problem, though. They’re not good for you. There are a couple of reasons why they aren’t. First, most commercially manufactured candles are made from paraffin wax and scented with artificial scents. Secondly, while most candle manufacturers have agreed to no longer use lead wicks, there’s always the chance that the wick does have a lead center, especially if that candle was imported.
Paraffin is dangerous
Paraffin is a petroleum byproduct from crude oil being refined into fuel. It is chemically processed and whitened with bleach in order to make it useable. It produces soot, that soot becomes airborne particles inside your home that can be equated to the fumes of burning diesel fuel. No thank you!!
Natural alternative to paraffin wax
While I didn’t have a desire to stop burning candles, I didn’t want lead and diesel fumes floating all over our home either. There are a few natural alternatives out there, including soy. We choose not to use soy products in our family because most soy is genetically modified and has a whole list of issues all on its own. So, we decided that beeswax was the choice for us!
Beeswax candles are completely natural and have the added benefit of reducing positive ions in the air. If science isn’t your strong point, what that means is burning a beeswax candle naturally cleans your air!
How to Make Beeswax Candles
Note: I highly recommend having tools that you exclusively use to make candles (and other natural goodies like salves) to make these. Beeswax hardens up quickly and it’s almost impossible to remove. I don’t have to do a thorough cleaning every time the mood strikes me to make candles because I have tools exclusive to making them.
- 1 lb Beeswax
- 1 Cup coconut oil
- #4 or #6 Square Braided, Cotton Wicks (use #4 on small mouth jars, #6 on large mouth jars)
- 2 Pint mason jars or 4 Half Pint Mason Jars
- Large heat resistant pitcher (glass or Metal) to melt ingredients in
- Pan for water
- Place your pound of beeswax into the pitcher. If you have a big 1 pound block, you may need to chop it up a bit.
- Place pitcher full of beeswax into a pan filled with a couple inches of water.
- Melt beeswax over medium heat. Keep an eye on your beeswax, and never heat it over super high heat. Beeswax is highly flammable and we don’t want any unexpected kitchen fires!!!
- While it’s melting, go ahead and get your wicks ready. You want the wicks to be about 2 inches taller than the jar you’re using. So, for half pint jars, you will want them to be 6 inches long. For pint jars, about 6 1/2 inches long.
- Your beeswax should be on its way to melting by now. Go ahead and dip your wicks, one at a time in the wax. Coating up to about your fingers all the way to the bottom. Set these aside on a piece of wax paper to dry.
- Once your beeswax is almost all the way melted, add your cup of coconut oil.
- When the entire mixture is completely melted, pour about 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch of the wax into your jars one at a time. Once you’ve poured the wax into one jar, set your wick immediately into the center of the jar. Hold the wick in place until the wax has hardened enough to keep it there. Repeat with all the jars and set them aside to harden completely. This takes about 10 minutes.
- Place a pencil on top of each jar and ever so gently wrap the wick around the pencil. Do not pull too hard!! I did and my wick came out. While the wax in the bottom is hard, there isn’t a lot and it won’t take much yanking to pull the wick out and then you have to get the jar hot enough to get the wax to melt…. It’s fixable, but trust me, it’s a pain.
- Now it’s safe to pour the wax into the jars. Fill them until there is about 1 inch of headspace, which is where the bands start.
- Leave the jars to cool for 24 hours, then cut the wicks to 1/2″. Light and enjoy. Note: you should burn the candles at least 2 hours before blowing them out. This helps with the tunneling. If they do tunnel, you can remelt the wax and use it again the next time you make candles!
That’s it! Not too bad, huh? They give off a light honey scent and naturally clean my air. I know that there isn’t any lead in the wicks because I used cotton braided wicks!