I burn candles every single day. One of the first things I do when I get home is light a candle in every room. I’m not sure where and when the obsession began, but i’ve always loved candles. It clears the air, and sets a calm mood.
But one thing that I absolutely cannot stand is synthetic fragrances, especially candles made with synthetic perfumes. I can almost immediately tell when a candle is fragranced with synthetic scent, I get a headache and my nose becomes stuffy.
Synthetically fragranced candles are actually really harmful to humans, children and pets. Though a regular candle may seem harmless, they pollute our indoor air by burning off 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 in to wax. (source)
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. Additionally, 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.
“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, says the CPSC. Exposure to high amounts of lead has been linked to hormone disruption, behavioral problems, learning disabilities, and numerous health problems.” (source)
“Other toxic chemicals that may be present in the paraffin mixture and released through burning include: Acetone, Trichlorofluoromethane, Carbon Disulfide, 2-Butanone, Trichloroethane, Trichloroethene, Carbon Tetrachloride, Tetrachloroethene, Chlorobenzene, Ethylbenzene, Styrene, Xylene, Phenol, Cresol, Cyclopentene. Some of the toxins are found in other products such as paint, laquer and varnish removers– that’s potent and powerful stuff!” (from Keeper of the Home)
Okay so now you know how harmful candles can be. But if you’re like me, unwilling to give up my candle burning obsession, you can purchase all natural candles that are hand poured with bees wax or soy wax, cotton wicks and scented with essential oil. The issue….paying $30 for a little candle is B.S.! One day I realized how much money I was wasting buying these special candles when I can just make them myself.
So thanks to amazon, I ordered all the materials needed to pour my own candles, and I already have essential oils and candle jars that are empty. Its actually really easy, but patience is key.
These are all of the materials that I used, linked to amazon for your convenience. Any type of essential oil is fine, you will need quite a bit of it however. The fun part? Picking out and putting together your own scents.
Let’s get started
Empty old candles and/or jars by pouring boiling water into the jar. Let the hot water sit in the candle for a few minutes, and then begin by using a butter knife to scrape up the bottom wax and wick stand. It should come out relatively easy. Once you have the old wax and wick stand scraped out, you can wipe it clean with a damp paper towel.
Using cotton or hemp wick, measure out how much length you need and snip with scissors. Feed the wick through a wick stand, tying a knot at the bottom to secure it in place.
Using melted wax, hot glue, tape or the previous glue left in the candle (this is what I did unintentionally, it worked well!) stick the wick stand onto the bottom of the jar and press down with finger or pencil/knife/anything long that can reach the bottom of your jar.
Pick out and prepare your scents. I used doterra essential oils and chose the following combinations: lemon + bergamont, lavender + rosemary, cinnamon bark + frankincense, and lastly, rose all by itself.
You’ll want to use about 100 drops or so in a small sized candle. If doing multiple scents, you can put the essential oils directly into your candle jars. If doing one large batch of the same scent, you can add your essential oil in during the next step.
Melt your soy wax or bees wax. Bring a pot of water to a boil on the stove. Using a metal bowl, place it in the boiling water. (See photo). Add your wax and let it melt. This takes a bit of time, so be patient. If doing a large batch of the same scent, you can add your essential oils into the bowl with wax at this time.
(PS it took 2.5 bags of the beeswax to fill all of the jars shown in pictures.)
Once your wax is melted, carefully remove bowl from boiling pot of water, and gently pour the melted wax into your candle jar. (it takes quite a bit of wax to melt down and fill a jar so buy more than you think you’ll need)
Prop up your wicks with a pencil, knife or any utensil long enough to cover the span of the candle jar opening. Drape your wicks over chosen utensil to hold them up and in place until the wax cools and hardens.
Optional Step 9.
Add dried herbs or flowers to the top of your candle before wax is totally hardened to add a delicate touch of earthiness.
Once the wax is cooled and hardened, you can trim your excess wick.