Do you know that the candles we love to burn are not so innocent? They are a staple in many households, but traditional candles can be harmful for your health and the environment. If you love candles, but can’t give them up, don’t fret. There are eco-friendly candles! Shifting to eco-friendly candles is an excellent way to bring a little light and warm atmosphere into your home without the negative impact. In this post, we’ll cover the different types of eco-friendly candles available, the benefits of using eco-friendly candles, and how to choose the right ones for your home. So, let’s get started!
Candles are usually made from wax, a wick, and additives such as colorants and fragrances. To make a candle, the wax is melted and then poured into a mold or container with a wick inserted into the center. As the wax cools and solidifies, it adheres to the wick and forms the candle shape.
To withstand the heat, there are different types of wicks that are used in candles. First, cotton wicks are commonly used for various types of candles and are made from braided cotton fibers. Second, wooden wicks provide a unique sound and are often used for soy and beeswax candles. Third, zinc-core wicks are typically used for paraffin wax candles.
Most common wax is paraffin wax, which is derived from crude oil (petroleum). What makes paraffin harmful is when burned, it releases potentially harmful chemicals such as toluene and benzene. Another problem is that they usually have additives such as colorants and fragrances. Yes, they do enhance the aesthetic and olfactory appeal of the candle, but they can also be harmful. Some fragrances are made from synthetic chemicals that can cause respiratory irritation or trigger allergic reactions in some people.
What are the different types of wax used in eco-friendly candles?
Beeswax is a natural wax produced by honey bees of the genus Apis. Worker bees in the hive produce a substance that serves as the base for the honeycomb. It is a magical ingredient used for the production of candles, cosmetics, and various other products like furniture polish and lip balms. One thing to keep in mind is that beeswax is not vegan, as it is an animal product.
Soy Wax Candles
Soy wax, as the name suggests, is made from soybean oil. To create soy wax, soybean oil is extracted from soybeans, then processed and hydrogenated to make it solid at room temperature. After that, the resulting substance is used to make candles. You can shift to soy wax candles for three main benefits. First, it is renewable, as it comes from a natural source - soybeans - rather than from crude oil. Second, soy wax is biodegradable with no contribution to pollution. Third, it burns more cleanly and more slowly than some other types of wax, which means soy wax candles produce less soot and last longer than traditional ones. We love the Clair De Lune Soy Wax Candle from Einnim. It comes with an aesthetic vessel that you can repurpose after the 50+ hours of burn, and it releases 90% less soot than paraffin.
Palm wax is a type of vegetable wax that is made from the oil of palm trees. It is a popular choice for making candles because it has a mottled appearance and can hold fragrances well. When the wax is poured, it creates a marbled effect! Plus, it has a longer burn time and produces less soot than the traditional candles. But it has a drawback too. Palm oil plantations lead to deforestation and habitat destruction for some endangered species, such as orangutans.
Coconut wax is a relatively new type of wax, but it has become popular these days as all coconut based products have. The wax is typically a creamy white color and has a soft, buttery texture. Coconut trees require little water to grow, and they are able to produce coconuts for up to 80 years. The unique properties of it that we love are the clean burn, higher scent throw and long-lasting fragrance.
After learning about traditional candles, and eco-friendlier wax options why make a switch to eco-friendly candles?
It is better for your health.
The paraffin, made of petroleum, inside regular candles is harmful to the human body.
Eco-friendly candle waxes have a longer burn time than traditional paraffin based candles.
Soy wax presents an eco-friendlier option compared to paraffin wax due to its lower melting point, making it easier to melt and resulting in a cooler burning wick for soy candles. It also produces less soot.
You will lower your carbon print.
Eco-friendly candles are made from renewable resources and biodegradable materials. Plus, since they burn more cleanly than traditional candles, they don’t release harmful chemicals into the air you breathe.
Before buying a candle, it's important to consider several factors to ensure it's eco-friendly. First, check the type and ingredients of the wax, making sure it's made from natural and sustainable materials like soy, beeswax or other vegetable-based waxes. Second, check the scent and burn time of the candle to make sure it meets your needs. Last, check if the ingredients are certified as eco-friendly or organic to ensure the candle is a sustainable choice.