When I was a little girl, I stuck a ball of beeswax up my nose.
“I wish I could smell this forever!” were my famous last words before breaking out into panicked hysteria. I was making homemade candles with my family to enter into the annual Fall Fair competition in Milton, and I just couldn’t get enough of that sweet and hearty beeswax smell. Was I old enough to know better? Yes, but that’s just how fantastic real, natural beeswax smells.
In case anyone wondered about my wellbeing, my mom eventually calmed me down and walked me through the process of blocking off my other nostril to shoot that sucker out.
In case you were also wondering, no, I did not win the candle award at the fair.
So, after a decade, I’m giving candle-making with beeswax another shot using some wax I had leftover from my DIY Lip Balm recipe!
What I didn’t know as a pre-teen was that natural beeswax candles are a natural air-purifier. As opposed to the typical paraffin wax candle, beeswax candles produce negative ions when burned. These negative ions attach to positively charged particles in the air — such as bacteria, viruses, and allergens like dust and pollen. These particles then become heavy and fall to the ground where they can be swept or vacuumed rather than floating about in the air – straight into our nostrils (bringing back bad memories!).
I’ve been buying soy candles for a while thinking they were the best option, but even soy candles can’t compare to beeswax, since most soy is actually genetically modified and highly contaminated with pesticides. Even 100% soy candles must be processed with a small amount of chemically paraffin, which means those nasty chemicals are still being released when burned. To ensure you’re getting a healthy candle, making your own is the way to go.
How to Make Beeswax Candles
- Candle Wicks
- Coconut Oil
- Essential Oil (optional)
- Double boiler ( or place a Pyrex measuring cup in a pot)
I got my jars at Michaels ($1.49 each), as well as my wicks (pack of 6 for $4.50). I got my beeswax from a Natural Health Food store (used approx. $5 worth.) as well as my coconut oil ($2 worth) and essential oil. This makes each candle around $3.25 to make.
1) Melt beeswax in a double boiler. I don’t have a double boiler so I simply placed a Pyrex measuring cup (any oven-safe bowl will do) in a saucepan with boiling water. When I made my homemade lip-balm, I put the wax directly into the pot, and it made for a messy clean-up and was hard to pour from, so Pyrex all the way.
2) While wax melts, secure your wicks to the bottom of the jars. You can do this by dipping the foot ends of the wicks into the wax that has melted.
Alternatively, if your wicks didn’t come with fancy metal feet, you can pour a small amount of whatever wax has melted so far into the base of the jars to secure your wick. You may need to hold it in place for a few minutes until it holds by itself.
3) Next, you need to hold your wicks in place! Using strips of tape at least as wide as the mouth of your jars, poke (or in my case, bite) a hole in the center of a strip and poke the wick through, securing the tape to the sides of the jar. Thanks to A Beautiful Mess for the tape tip. Alternatively, if your wicks are long enough, you can rest a skewer, pencil, popsicle stick or toothpick across the mouth of the jar and wind the wick around and around it, as shown here.
4) Once wax has melted, add coconut oil and any essential oil you might want to keep it smelling yummy. Stir it up and pour into jars, ensuring enough wick is sticking out.
These candles are natural, free of parabins, help cleanse the air and make for some lovely ambiance!