A common meditative and self-care item now, candles were created a whole 5000 years ago. The Ancient Egyptians are credited with their creation and initial use.
They designed ingenious ways to make rushlights and torches by soaking the compact cores of reeds in melted animal fat, and thus, the candle was born.
The candle, we know today, has surpassed its initial composition. It is a brick of hardened wax or grease with a wick in its centre. This wick, when lit, generates an incandescent light as it burns.
Before Thomas Edison gave us the light bulb, the candle was how our forefathers staved off the ominous darkness.
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Now candles are more than just tools to light the dark. They have been assigned different uses and meanings all over the world.
Candles are now used to start romances, accent religious ceremonies, and add flair to your home décor.
This article will carry you on a journey unlike any other. We’ll be learning about some exciting, engaging, and entertaining discussions about clean-burning candles that are widely used across the world.
What Is a Candle Typically Made Of?
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Different candles produce different spices, aromas, and even toxins. These scents and possible contagions are released upon burning the candle.
Therefore, it is critically important to follow two basic guidelines before choosing to light certain candles in your house.
Rule 1: Seek out candles that impact the natural air quality in your home the least. Vegetable-based soy and beeswax candles are excellent choices to this end.
Rule 2: You must ensure that this soy, beeswax, and vegetable-based candles are 100% what they say they are and not blended with chemicals like paraffin. Paraffin is a common ingredient in candles today, so be on the lookout for this hidden additive.
You might face difficulty acquiring beeswax candles as they are significantly less in volume when compared to paraffin candles.
Not to worry, though, with the advancements made in technology today, synthetic waxes are being used in candles mixed with a variety of other waxes like the European-based stearin candle wax to make customized wax formulas.
Benefits of Having Clean Burning Candles
Burning candles is a perfectly suitable method to assist with maintaining a healthy mind.
Self-care has become a routine part of mental health; keeping lit candles around creates a soothing, peaceful atmosphere conducive to your mental well-being.
Fear, anxiety, and despair can be combated by burning specific aromatic candles.
Candles are even helpful for preserving physical health. For example, ear candling is a method of removing ear wax build-up.
MEDITATION & PRAYER
Candles are used in prayer and medication, not just to superficially create a ceremonial air but to aid in concentration.
The candle’s flame acts as a focal point for the person meditating, drawing their minds away from the present and submerging that person into a state of calm and stillness, an emulation of the lit candle.
This effect transfers to prayer and is why burning candles is said to aid one’s commune with their supreme being.
Most artisan candles already come with specific aromas. However, there are candles created for the singular purpose of providing aromatherapy.
There are aromas for every occasion, landscape, food, or season. For example, in Fall, you can get pumpkin spice scented candles to mimic the smell of your favourite franchise coffee.
There are even candles that claim to smell like the ocean breeze, winter wonderlands, and oakwood forests, and in most cases, they do excellent jobs of actually reproducing these odours.
To up your candle burning game a bit, you can consider going with soy wax-based aromatic candles. These candles burn soot-free.
They’re non-toxic and burn much cleaner for much longer in comparison to their traditional counterpart, the paraffin wax candle, which, as was mentioned earlier, does a better job of adding toxins to your air than purifying it.
Candles add style and flair to any room of the house. Different colours and fragrances set a specific mood for any such space.
Bathroom candles can turn even a small, homely bath into an exclusive, expensive spa. Candles also look great in the dining and living rooms.
Try adding a splash of colour and scent using thick aromatic candles as a centrepiece in these places.
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What Makes a Candle Clean?
Guys, have you ever wondered what separates a candle from being clean or toxic? Well, let’s find out.
Wicks play a precious part in contributing to the toxicity of a candle. Though banned since 2003, lead was one of the poisonous materials being woven into your candle wicks.
While lead is no longer used, other metals are. These materials have a higher chance of producing a much too heavy wick for the candle and result in extra soot and residue.
We have already extolled how paraffin is not the best ingredient to have in your candle. But just in case it didn’t register, let’s affirm it again.
Paraffin (which is made from crude oil of all things!) releases dangerous toxins into the air once lit. Beeswax and soy wax are much cleaner options.
When possible, always go for candles made from ingredients that occur more organically in nature without excessive processing.
Beware of candles that mix paraffin with a smidge of beeswax but label only as a beeswax candle.
It sounds like a criminal thing to do, right? Sadly, it’s not a chargeable offense. Just be sure to read your labels carefully before purchasing candles.
Here’s a crazy fun fact: cosmetics companies in the States are allowed under state and federal law to vaguely label their fragrance without any indication of what said scent is on their labels.
Like the Colonel, they must be protecting the ‘Trade Secret’ so they are legally allowed to mislead their customers.
Unfortunately, this lack of transparency could be hiding important information, like if the product contains toxins that may pose a risk to the consumer’s mental and physical health.
Or if the ingredients can cause life-threatening diseases, impede sperm count and quality through altering the genitals and hormone levels, etc.
There are so many things that could go wrong, not having this information disclosed to the public.
The best products to pursue ideally should be 100% all-natural derived from essential oils or as close to that figure as possible.
Also, make sure that they are phthalate-free. And be certain to look at products that exhibit no heavy residue or non-toxic residues.
What Set of Candles Are Deemed as Clean?
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- Stearin Candles
Stearin, which is made from palm oil, is all-natural and biodegradable. These super candles burn longer than paraffin-based ones and produce less soot to boot.
They are plant-based and are thus Carbon Dioxide neutral, meaning that they do not contribute to an increase or decrease of CO2 in the atmosphere.
However, this is only true if no trees are cut down in production, which is often the case with any manufacturing, and more so when using conventional means to make palm oil.
Beware of the label, ladies, and gentlemen: while Stearin is primarily made from palm oil, it can also be made from coconut oil and animal fats, so pay close attention to all the ingredients listed.
Also, ensure that an RSPO (“Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil”) certificate, or its equivalent, is on the candle.
Only then can we ascertain that palm oil was produced in an environmentally friendly and sustainable way.
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- Soy Candles
Similar to how soy is made from soybeans, soy wax is made from the oil of the very same plant.
As a plant-based wax, it shares some of Stearin’s properties, such as CO2 neutrality and biodegradability. Whenever possible, we should aim to purchase non- GMO soy.
These candles are on the more expensive side of things but considering their high quality; this is only rightly so. Soy candles also make popular gifts.
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- Beeswax Candles
Beeswax candles are a cut above the rest when it comes to quality and raw materials.
The beeswax comes from organic beekeeping, and as such, these candles are exceptionally environmentally friendly, which stems from their production process.
It is considered to be even more natural than soy and is priced even higher as a result.
Nature does all the hard work in production through the worker bees’ natural secretion excretion of wax in building their honeycomb.
The beeswax-making process is naturally occurring and difficult to manipulate for outside forces. This also explains the high price tag compared to paraffin or other waxes.
Therefore, the market share of beeswax candles is probably less than two percent – rare, isn’t it?
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Which Candle Is the Cleanest?
Guidelines for selecting the cleanest candles
Seek out candles with more natural ingredients. From a health perspective, the exact brand, fragrance, shape, and size doesn’t matter (though, ideally, we want our candles to match specific wants in these criteria as well).
To minimize risk to your health, avoid candles made from known pollutants and very few irritants.
What to look for:
Not all candles are created equal: some burn more cleanly. According to Green America, American Chemical Society, and Mother Earth Living (MEL), recommended candle properties are as follows:
- The wax is made from 100% vegetable wax or other plant-based waxes.
- Wicks should be made from cotton and not metal.
- And the fragrance is provided with 100% essential oils.
The best candles include:
These use 100% beeswax and are generally made in British Columbia, Canada. The company sells a large variety ranging from traditional to decorative candles.
A large chunk of their overall volume is scentless with only a honey-like fragrance, but they do also have an Essentials Line, which stock candles of varying aromas generated from essential oils.
These candles are perfumed with essential oils. Their wicks are made from unbleached cotton.
And they are made from sustainable materials like soy, cottonseed, and coconut oils. Follain candles check all the right boxes, so you can imagine that this is why they are the #1 non-toxic candle in the world. On top of that, they’re hand-poured!
Unfortunately, we have come to the end of an enlightening article that may sure have stimulated your minds about the beautiful mysteries and stories behind candles.
Take what you read today and go on your candle buying and seeking adventure.
May your space smell like heaven, and you feel at complete peace.