The truth about candles (& how to make your own organic scented candles)
So, recently I’ve become a little obsessed with all things organic. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still a bit of a bad-food fiend. But I’ve just started thinking a little more about some of the things we use everyday without knowing their effects.
One such things is every girl’s favourite indulgence, candles. I love a good scented candle. I always thought they were a much safer, natural option than room sprays, plug in air-fresheners and aerosols. So it was a huge shock to find that some candles can be harmful, as their burning creates some pretty nasty effects.
But the good news is that not all candles are bad. Plus, you can make your own using organic ingredients which tick the health boxes.
Which leads me onto today’s guest post, which is from the fab Louise Maxine-Edwards. Louise is studying reflexology and complementary therapies. So she can not only share the lowdown on the not-so-serene truth behind candles, she’s got an organic DIY recipe to boot.
How to make your own organic candles, by Louise Maxine Edwards
I absolutely love my candles. There’s nothing like getting home after a long day, putting your comfy clothes and granny knickers on, getting the kettle going and lighting your favourite candles.
But since studying reflexology and massage, I began exploring my favourite indulgence in more detail. This led me to ask the question…
What is really in a candle?
Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news. I kind of knew that they produced a little bit of something naughty, but not to this extent!
Though they seem safe, regular scented candles are a huge source of indoor air pollution and they give out chemicals that are considered just as dangerous as second-hand smoke. Paraffin is a petroleum waste product and has to be deodorized and chemically bleached before it can be made into wax.
Most candles are made of paraffin wax, which creates highly toxic benzene and toluene when burned (both are known carcinogens). In fact, the toxins released from paraffin candles are the same as those found in diesel fuel fumes.
On top of that, many scented candles also have wicks that contain heavy metals like lead, and even a few hours of burning them can create levels of airborne heavy metals that are much higher than the acceptable limits.
A candle with a lead-core wick releases five times the amount of lead considered hazardous for children and exceeds EPA pollution standards for outdoor air.
Many candles also contain artificial scents and dyes, which release additional chemicals when burned. There is a whole list of effects (too many to name on here) from the burning of a candle.
A (candle) light at the end of the tunnel
Ok, so I am not suggesting to chuck all your fave candles out right now. I would however encourage you to consider these points the next time you buy one.
How to make your own organic scented candles
You won’t actually believe how easy it is to make your own candles! I purchased organic beeswax and organic burning wicks to create my own. I already had some organic essential oils that I added to the candles to make a scent, my very own personal scent!
So here is my super easy method for creating your own candle
DIY candle making recipe
- Organic beeswax
- Organic burning wicks
- Essential oils of your choice
DIY candle making method
- Prepare your area as it can be a little messy. I wouldn’t advice using your usual cooking utensils as the wax is rather stubborn to remove afterwards.
- Boil water in a pan and place an old bowl (anything that can contain heat) over the top and place in the Beeswax, It’ll melt fairly quickly.
- Add your desired essential oil, a great time to experiment with blends and stir. I would add generously to overpower the bees wax’s own scent. I added Ylang Ylang and Orange to positively impact emotions and create a calm relaxing atmosphere.
- Make sure your chosen containers are ready and the wick is holds steady in the right place. I placed a pencil across the top of my container with the wick wrapped around and the end dangling in the bottom. This really helped to keep it in place.
- When ready, carefully pour the wax in your container, avoiding touching the sides. Also make sure the surface is flat to prevent the candle looking uneven. Save some wax in case of any sink holes, so you can even it out after. The wax will start to harden straight away, but be patient, give it an hour or so at least.
- Trim the wick and voila! Your very own candle with your own unique scent!
You can get more tips from Louise by following her Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/Refresh-Mind-and-Body-1991024577790790/.
 Greenlivingtips.com. (2009). Candles and the environment | Green Living Tips. [online] Available at: https://www.greenlivingtips.com/articles/candle-choices.html
Kavan, M. (2014). Are your candles toxic?. [online] Soy Candles | Unique Aromatherapy Candles and Luxury Candles. Available at: http://thepurecandle.com/blog/2014/3/29/are-your-candles-toxic
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About the Author
I’m not a makeup artist, chef, lifestyle guru or stylist. I’m just me. And like you, I’m trying to make the best of most things, only I’m sharing my warts-and-all thoughts along the way.