Beeswax Candles

For those who love candles, ambience and scent are the main attraction. How candles effect indoor air quality as an invisible health liability is easy to ignore. Many posts on this blog are dedicated to keeping the air we breathe safe – and candles don’t get a pass.

That deceptively benign word, Paraffin, begins as the sludge (literally, the bottom of the barrel) of oil’s pre-refining process. To get those little tea lights and slender tapers white, bleaching and chemical treatments (which include benzene and toulene) are in order, in addition to the cocktail of chemical fragrances and decorative colors incorporated to make the candles market ready. Researchers have shown some scented candles produce smoke laced with almost as many toxins as those produced by cigarettes.

So what to we do? We light them on fire, in poorly ventilated environments… bathrooms, dining rooms, or at night, when windows are more likely to be shut.

I have previously posted that I cannot recommend any type of candle other than 100% natural beeswax. They are more expensive for sure, but they actually have health benefits. It all has to do with negative ions. Many air purifying systems use the power of negative ions, which attach themselves to positive ion particles – pollen, dust, dirt, mold and VOCs – causing them to fall to the ground. Beeswax releases negative ions in much the same way when heated. Beeswax candles are considered an air purifier since they actually increase the ratio of negative ions to positive ions in the environment, which is necessary to have clean air. It has been reported that people with sinus problems, allergies and asthma find considerable relief using Beeswax candles.

Beeswax candles don’t drip or smoke and have an extra long burning time due to their high melting point. They are 100% pure IF they are 100% Beeswax. Make sure that you aren’t getting a mixture of Beeswax with Paraffin. They may be scented with pure, essential fragrances but it’s more common to get them in their natural state. The light honey scent is delicate and pleasing and won’t offend even a table of diners. If scented candles are your thing, consider aroma diffusers or pure essential oil lamps instead.


FlowerIconTinyMetal-core wicks

Inspect the wick for a wire. Peel the cloth gently back to insure there is not any metal in the wick. Cheaper candles from China may have a metal wick that contains lead.

FlowerIconTinyCheap candles

Candles from the dollar store – or even the grocery store, ie. Glade, Febreze…or any other super smelly, synthetically fragranced candle.

FlowerIconTinyGel candles

Gel candles are made from mineral oil and polymer resin. If the gel “wax” is not contained in a high-heat resistant vessel, they can explode.

FlowerIconTinyCandles in small spaces

Bathrooms are a popular place to keep a candle burning. It has to do with odor control no doubt. But a small, unventilated bathroom is a terrible location for candles – and they shouldn’t be unsupervised regardless.

Shop for Beeswax candles here.

Tags: ,

About the Author

Here at Jenny Green Jeans, by sharing success stories and easy-to- implement tips, I hope to inspire and empower you to continue to make sustainable choices in your life and watch how far the impact goes. Please contact me with any questions or suggestions you may have. Also visit the Green Design Goods store for my favorite environmentally sustainable products.

4 Enlightened Replies

Trackback  •  Comments RSS

  1.' JoAnn Hunter says:

    I learn so much from YOU!
    thank you

  2.' Monica says:

    Does heating up a beeswax candle on a heat pad, produce the same effect as burning it, as far as cleaning the air goes?

    • Jennifer says:

      Hi Monica! I know that you sent this question ages ago and I have not been able to definitively find an answer. My instincts would be that heating the beeswax from underneath, with a clean flame – like a bunsen-burner – or induction heat, would release the beneficial properties of the beeswax. I can see what you’re after though, a non-ingnited burning situation. I would go with an electrical heat source like an induction plate heat source. Place the wax in a heat safe container with a little water at the base and allow it to melt at very low heat. Let me know what your experiment yields! We have a wide variety of Beeswax candles at Cheers! : )

Post a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *