With Valentine’s Day soon upon us again, the idea of sitting down to a romantic, candlelit dinner is very appealing. But, do you know what kind of candles you are burning? There’s soy, beeswax and paraffin candles just to name a few, and then there’s the various scented kinds and all of the different shapes and sizes…it’s no wonder that candle shopping has become so confusing!
People use candles for many different reasons including to create a relaxing mood, enhance a festive occasion or to help get rid of nasty odors.
Unfortunately, many people who burn candles are unaware of the dangers of burning petroleum-based paraffin (a sludge and waste product from the refining of petroleum) and scented candles which produce highly toxic fumes and soot when burned.
The highly toxic fumes and soot released by burning paraffin wax are the same as those found in burning diesel fuel – yuk!
Poisonous chemicals present in paraffin (and released into the air through burning) include known carcinogens such as: Acetone, Benzene, Toluene, Trichlorofluoromethane, Carbon Disulfide, 2-Butanone, Trichloroethane, Carbon Tetrachloride, Tetrachloroethene, Chlorobenzene, Ethylbenzene, Styrene, Xylene, Phenol, Cresol and Cyclopentene. That’s an awful lot of chemicals burned for one candlelit dinner!
To find out more about this subject, type “Paraffin Candles Toxic”, “Toxic Fumes Scented Candles” or something similar into Google but, be warned, you might be horrified by what you learn!
The unfortunate truth is that when you burn petroleum-based paraffin wax candles or scented candles, you are filling your home with highly toxic chemicals and fumes.
Many trips to the Emergency Room for children with unexplainable breathing problems, asthma attacks or adults with COPD flare-ups could be prevented by not burning petroleum-based paraffin candles or scented candles.
Luckily there are alternatives to paraffin candles like soy and beeswax candles, but which ones should you use?
Let’s look at the differences between beeswax and soy candles and find out which type is best for you.
Soy Wax Candles
Standardized labeling of soy candles is not enforced or regulated, which unfortunately means that many so called “100% soy wax candles” contain a small amount of paraffin. This means that any claims of ingredients or “benefits”, are left up to the discretion of the soy wax manufacturer. So, you may not be burning what you think you are burning.
Another thing to think about in regards to soy wax candles is that over 90% of soybeans grown are genetically modified and sprayed with toxic pesticides. So, if you are buying soy candles, you are more than likely to be supporting the production of GMOs.
So, the bottom line is, while soy wax candles are no doubt better than paraffin candles, they may not be quite as good as soy wax candle manufacturers make out.
100% Pure Beeswax Candles
So, is beeswax or soy wax better for candles? We think you can probably guess the answer!
Honey and beeswax are gifts from honey bees that have been used by humans since very early in our history, for a multitude of purposes. Pure beeswax candles are actually one of the oldest sources of artificial light.
100% pure beeswax candles burn cleanly and have their own natural honey/floral scent even when not burning, so they’re perfect for adding a natural ambience to any room. Unlike paraffin candles, they do not contain any additives, synthetic chemicals or leave behind black soot from smoke when they are burned.
Types of Beeswax Candles
Beeswax taper candles are a timeless staple in home décor. Offering approximately 12 hours of burning time, they will provide a memorable luminance and ambience to even the longest of celebrations.
Beeswax taper candles are made by either dipping or using a mold and must be placed in a specific holder to ensure that they stand up straight to burn properly. Because they are one of the oldest types of candles it is easy to find a candle holder that will suit a beeswax taper candle.
Beeswax pillar candles come in a wide range of sizes in both width and height. The size and shape of a pillar candle will determine the burn time it can offer.
Thanks to their wide base and pillar shape, beeswax pillar candles can be burned on a flat, heat resistant surface and don’t need a specific candle holder, so they’re extremely versatile both indoors and out.
Beeswax tea light candles although small, create an ambiance that is warm and inviting. They are perfect for table settings at home and for large events such as weddings and banquets.
Even in the largest of spaces, these compact candles create an intimate glow that will not be forgotten. Despite their small size, beeswax tea light candles burn for an impressive four to five hours, making them a perfect addition to your relaxation time both in and outdoors.
Beeswax votive candles are small free-standing candles that are about 2.5 inches tall and need to be placed in a votive holder to contain the melting wax. A beeswax votive candle burns for about 15 hours and when it has burned to the bottom of the holder, the flame will safely extinguish itself.
Beeswax birthday candles (celebration candles) are small sized taper candles that are usually made by dipping and sold in packs of 12.
Because they are so small and have such a short burn time, there aren’t many candle holders made for them. Beeswax birthday candles are usually stuck into a cake to celebrate a birthday, milestone or event – perfect for singing “Happy Birthday”.
Hanukkah menorah candles are made by either pouring melted wax into molds or dipping candle wicks into melted wax. Whether they are made by hand or machine, dipped Hanukkah menorah candles are just small taper candles made specially for celebrating Hanukkah.
Since both dipped Hanukkah menorah candles and birthday candles are small taper candles that are available in a variety of similar dimensions; they are actually interchangeable.
100% Pure Beeswax Novelty Candles
Novelty beeswax candles are unusual, fun or unique shaped candles that are most commonly made with molds. Although candles are meant to be burned, some novelty beeswax candles are used mainly for decoration and don’t ever get burned.
Beeswax Candle Burning Tips
So, when it comes to choosing a candle for your candlelit Valentine’s dinner, go with the natural option, 100% pure beeswax candles.