Do you like to burn candles in your home for ambience? Perhaps for that special romantic evening or dinner party. You might even be like me and just love the lovely scent and warm glow that a candle puts off. There is just something so comforting about watching the wick flicker.
You might know that candles come in all shapes, sizes, and scents. What you might not know is that the material they are made from also varies and some of that material is healthier than others. The three most common types of candles are paraffin, soy, and beeswax. Let’s take a quick look at each.
3 Most Common Types Of Candles
1. Paraffin Candles
While they may seem safe, paraffin candles are a major source of indoor air pollution and contain up to 20 different types of toxins.
Don’t let their sweet scent fool you. When burned, they emit a known carcinogen, benzene, and toluene, a chemical that can cause brain damage, into the air. Not only that, paraffin is a petroleum waste product that is deodorized and bleached before it is made into a wax.
It’s not just the wax that is dangerous in paraffin candles, the wicks of many scented candles contain dirty heavy metals that when lit send metals into the air at a rate higher than the acceptable limits. Research shows that as many as 30% of paraffin scented candle wicks contain toxic heavy metals.
It is no surprise that the Environmental Protection Agency found that paraffin candles contain harmful amounts of toxins that are released into the air when burned.
All those pretty scents and colors come at a cost as well. Many paraffin candles contain artificial dyes and perfumes that release even more chemicals when burned. Among these are tetrachloroethane, chlorobenzene, ethylbenzene, styrene, xylene, phenol, cresol, cyclopentene, lead, carbon monoxide, particulate matter, and soot.
The soot that comes off of paraffin candles is the same as that which is given by a diesel engine – gross right? This soot can cause a wide range of medical conditions including headaches and lung cancer.
According to Debra Lynn Dadd, author of Home Safe Home, some homeowners have reported enough soot damage from candles that they have filed insurance claims. However, such damages are not covered in most policies.
2. Soy Candles
So, maybe you have made the switch from paraffin to soy thinking you are doing a good thing for your health and the health of your family members. While they are marketed to be a healthy alternative to traditional paraffin candles, they may not live up to these claims.
There is no regulation of labeling of soy candles and this means that any claims of ingredients or benefits are left to the discretion of the candle maker. Soy candle wax is not used in Europe or Asia and only produced in America where producers use soy wax solvent extracted from GMO soy seed that is commercially farmed with pesticides and insecticides. This seems a little contrary to claims that candles are eco-friendly, non-toxic and healthy. Don’t let yourself be deceived, all soy used to make soy candles is commercially farmed using fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, and chemicals as well well as GMO seed.
The majority of soy candles found on the market are not 100% soy but contain some amount of paraffin. This means that when you are burning a “100%” soy candle you are not actually burning all soy but soy mixed with paraffin which means poisonous chemicals.
3. Beeswax Candles
Candles made from beeswax are not a novel idea. They were used by the Ancient Egyptians, Ancient Greeks and in both Rome and China. For this reason, alone we should trust their “naturalness”.
Beeswax candles are a long, burning, soot-free candle that is not only sweet smelling but also 100% natural. When bees eat honey they produce wax. Beekeepers filter the beeswax from the honeycombs, cool it and use it to make candles.
5 Reasons You Should Always Choose Beeswax Candles
Here are five more reasons why candles made from beeswax should be the only type of candle you burn in your home.
1. Beeswax candles are 100% natural
Look for 100% pure beeswax candles that are nothing but natural goodness from the bees. These candles do not contain any paraffin or chemicals that may harm your health.
2. Beeswax candles are environmentally friendly
Candles made from beeswax not only burn clean but undergo no chemical processing and are entirely biodegradable and renewable.
3. Beeswax smells amazing
Beeswax candles are carbon neutral and have a sweet enticing aroma that comes from the floral nectar in the honeycomb.
4. Beeswax candles burn longer and brighter
Although beeswax candles cost more than paraffin and soy candles, they are actually more cost-effective Beeswax candles will burn much longer and brighter than either paraffin or soy.
5. Beeswax candles cleanse and purify the air
Beeswax candles are the only candle to contain negative ions. These ions purify and cleanse the air making your home air safer and healthier. Most air particles are positively charged. Negative ions and positive ions are magnetically attracted to each other. This means that the particle becomes too heavy to stay in the air, drops to the ground where regular cleaning such as vacuuming or dusting will clean it up. This helps to purify the air of things like dust, odors, pollen, and dander.
Using Beeswax Candles For Health & A Fresh Home
There are numerous ways to burn beeswax candles for health. If you suffer from respiratory issues or have allergies or asthma you should burn beeswax candles in your bedroom for 30-60 minutes before bed. This will clear the air and promote a restful nights’ sleep. If your kitchen has a lingering odor from cooking, burn a beeswax candle to clear the air.
Burning beeswax candles can help promote a sense of calm and relaxation. If you have had a particularly stressful day, simply light a couple of beeswax candles and you will immediately feel yourself letting down from the hectic day.
The subtle yet powerful natural fragrance of beeswax candles can even tackle tough kitchen odors like those from fish or curry dishes.
The Best Beeswax Candles You Can Buy
Making the switch to all natural beeswax candles is not only great for your health but also great for beekeepers. Purchase candles from local beekeepers and support your local economy and healthy bee colonies.
If you can’t find beeswax candles in your local stores, then opt for Bluecorn Beeswax range of candles.
Bluecorn candles are made from 100% beeswax, are scented by honey and colored by pollen. They are hand crafted in Ridgway, Colorado and they offer a range of different candles, from pillar candles to tealights to tapers and even large glass candles.