BEESWAX CANDLES August 11 2015, 0 Comments
I can spend hours in the candle section of department stores, I sniff them all, appreciate the colors, labels and wish I had come up with some of their witty names.
But after reading a few dozen mommy blogs and a few serious researches, I simply can't buy them anymore.
What is bad about them? Apparently EVERYTHING, the wax, wick, scents and colors:
"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. In the US, candle wicks are supposed to be made of cotton or paper, but studies have found that as much as 30% of candles contain heavy metals in the wicks." source
Beeswax candles are the way to go:
"Beeswax releases negative ions when it burns. Pollen, dust, dirt, pollutants, and any other junk in the air all carry a positive charge, and that is how they can be suspended in the air. The negative ions released from burning beeswax negate the positive charge of air contaminants, and the neutralized ions are sucked back into the burning candle or fall to the ground. Many air purifiers and water filters harness this effective negative ion technology." source
Since they can be quite expensive and SUPER easy to make, this project is right down my alley. #nomarthastewart
I found this recipe for Beeswax and Coconut Oil Candles and decided to incorporate my Andiroba Oil for its mosquito repellent properties and Buriti to add some color to a couple of them. If you want a super detailed, perfect DIY recipe go somewhere else, this one is the fast track, "they will come out ok", "I am no Martha Stewart" recipe.
I get my wax here, about 8 bucks for a pound, the owner told he will give discounts for larger quantities, since this whole "organic beeswax" is a bunch of baloney, I try to at least stick with raw beeswax.
I bought Dr. Bronners Whole Kernel Unrefined Coconut Oil because it is organic and also fair trade, but any virgin coconut oil will do.
Wicks come in sizes, and people recommend them to be square braided cotton, I got some organic cotton ones on eBay but I have no idea how they were braided!
Wick size #1 = Candle diameter of 1 – 1.5″
Wick size #2 = Candle diameter of 1.5 – 2″
Wick size #3 = Candle diameter of of 2 – 2.5″
Wick size #4 = Candle diameter of 2.5 – 2.8″
Wick size #6 = Candle diameter of 2.8 – 3.2″
Wick size #7 = Candle diameter of 3.2 – 3.5"
I had 4 of those cute small glass jars leftover from my Pies in a Jar, you can also use molds. To fill them up I would need 24 oz of mix, half beeswax, half oils.
12 oz. of Beeswax
7 oz. of Coconut Oil
4 oz of Andiroba Oil
1 oz. Buriti Oil
STEP 1 - cut the wick a few inches longer than the container/mold.
STEP 2 - melt all the wax in a glass jar dipped in a pot with water on low to medium heat. I had to use 2 jars.
STEP 3 - dip the wicks in the wax when it starts melting - try not to burn your fingers like I did. Straighten then and set them on wax paper, I didn't have it so I used aluminum foil. It was ok.
STEP 4 - after they are dry and stiff. roll the end of the wicks around a piece of wood, a pen, anything that will sit flat on top of your jars.
STEP 5 - Mix the oils in the melted wax, it will cause part of the wax to solidify again, you can always heat the oils a bit, but I was too lazy for that. Wait until the mix is all melted again. I used the Buriti in just one jar. I was really expecting it to get redder (more red?)
STEP 6 - Pour just a little bit of the wax and set your wick down, make sure it is centered and touches the bottom.
STEP 7 - Once it is solid and the wick firm in place, fill up with the rest of the wax. If your container is too big, do it in 2 steps, so the wax won't melt the bottom wax and displace the wick.
The darker one is the one with buriti, but as soon as it got cold and solid it became pretty yellow, no much different than the non-buriti one.
I added no scents, since I have read that even essential oils can be toxic when burning, but it is something that I will let you research, please don't add artificial scents, you will be ruining the whole point of making beeswax candles!
Some people let the candles rest for 24 hours, I didn't (of course) but I am happy to say they did burn ok and I am pretty happy with the results.