Identifying a Clean Candle: Part 2- Wax

This blog is part 2 in a series.  Click here to read part 1 and here to read part 3.

There are many different options and variations in quality when it comes to the type of wax candles are made out of.  Beeswax candles have been used for thousands of years, have a lovely sweet smell and are known to burn very clean and ionize the air (as long as there isn’t lead in the wick!).  The downfall is that beeswax candles can be quite expensive.  Lower cost waxes are now readily available.  Examples such as paraffin and vegetable waxes (palm and soy) have become quite popular.

Paraffin wax is a naturally occurring by-product and gets a bad rap in the candle world.  It’s true that burning low quality (i.e., unrefined) paraffin wax candles emits soot, particulates and other potential toxins but some paraffin waxes are very clean burning.  If a candle is made with paraffin wax, be sure to ask the candle maker if it is highly refined food grade paraffin (the same stuff used to seal home made jam jars and in hand dips at spas), where all of the mineral oil, which is the primary cause of air pollution concerns from this type of candle, has been removed.

Soy and palm waxes are made through hydrogenating the vegetable oils and when candles made from these waxes are burned properly, are known to be very clean with low soot and particulates.  Here at Way Out Wax we use palm wax in our pillar candle blend.  Our container candles are all 100% soy wax and we go one step above and beyond with our soy wax, ensuring not only a clean burn, but that the soybeans used to make the wax are grown by American farmers and is pesticide and GMO-free!

Stay tuned for future parts and thanks for reading!

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Beeswax Facts:

  • Beeswax is created by the female worker bees from the nectar and pollen in the flowers they gather.  They use it to make their honeycombs.  Virgin beeswax, immediately after being secreted is white and fairly odorless.  It then becomes darker with use from holding honey, pollen, silk, and larval debris.  This is why beeswax comes in different shades of yellow, that don’t always look the same.  It also gathers its yummy smell over time and use by the bees.
  • To make one pound of beeswax, a female worker bee must visit about 30 million different flower blossoms, and eat give or take 10 pounds of honey!  This means that they sometimes must fly up to 150,000 miles to gather.  I guess the term ‘busy bee’ is truth be told.
  • Since it is all natural, beeswax is healthy and considered to be safe for human consumption.   It was approved as a safe ingredient in human food in the United States in the 1970’s.  It is inert and doesn’t interact with the human digestive system, however it is used to encapsulate or dissolve substances (homeopathic medicine), which are slowly released into the body. It is also used in all-natural make up and in CANDLES!

  • Beeswax is used in our all-natural pillar blend, as well as our Buddha candles.   Beeswax produces negative ions that help to clean air in rooms and can help improve your sense of well being.    We choose to incorporate it in our pillar blend because it makes our candles burn brighter and longer – and you don’t have to worry about chemicals being released in your air, like they are from most paraffin pillar candles out there!  We would not ever dream of dying our beeswax; as any adulteration takes away its natural, wonderful affects.
  • Ever notice a whitish film forming on your beeswax Buddha?    This is called ‘bloom’ and it is the result of certain plant materials like pollen and propolis that rise to the surface, it is actually a good sign because it means that you have high quality beeswax.   The good news is if you don’t like this added, unique finish, it is easily wiped away with a soft cloth.  The bloom does not affect how your candle burns.