Whether they are candles for home décor or mediation; dare I say that candles add the spice we desire from life. When the right candles are burned(scented or unscented), they always give the desired ambience.
By now, it’s no news to you that there are different types of candles. These candles are also called wax candles because of the presence of wax in them that acts as fuel for their flame. Not all wax candles are healthy to burn. This article will be letting you in on the types of wax candles, and the healthiest to burn. After this article, you’ll be sure to pick not just the right candles when you shop but the healthiest.
TYPES OF WAX CANDLES
- Votive Candles: These are thick cylindrical pillar-shaped candles that are often encased in glass casings. They can also stand without casings. From its name, votive(originating from votum meaning vow), it is often lit when making a private vow or prayer. They are used in churches and homes.
- Tea Light Candles: Low-lit candles that come in small circular cases whose width is greater than its height and can not burn without these cases. As a result of their low light, they burn in numerous amounts simultaneously. They can be used as food warmers, for warming teapots, heating scent oils, and accent lighting. Their ability to float on water is another decor effect of theirs.
- Taper Candles: Taper candles are small lighted candles that are long, thin, and are taper in form(narrower) at the lit end. They are inexpensive and used on dining tables, at romantic dinners and dinner parties. They cannot be used with a holder and come in different colours.
- Cartridge Candles: A mimic of taper candles in looks but lasting longer. They are made with spring-loaded cartridges inside each one, so the wax doesn’t form a mess when it burns. This is why they are usually used at anniversaries, weddings, holiday parties, and some religious ceremonies.
- Pillar Candles: What distinguishes this candle from the taper type, and cartridge candles is its width. Wider than the aforementioned, it is capable of burning without a holder. They are unscented but sometimes scented. They are long-lasting and when not in holders should be put in plates or glass tumblers to avoid wax from getting on furniture.
- Birthday Candles: Birthday candles are small and short taper candles. Because they are used on cakes, they are healthy candles to burn. It is safe to drip into the cake if its wax drips.
- Candle Pots: Pottery pieces can be used as candle containers. A piece is usually filled with wax and has a hole for the flame. They are mostly used as ornamental elements around a Christmas tree.
- Floating Candles: These are tea-light candles that are allowed to float on water. For the candles to float, the casings are removed. They are candles you would find in reception areas of offices or restaurants. They add a decorative effect to spaces and can be used in dining areas. If they are scented that’s a plus!
- Gel Candles: Named after the wax it’s produced from, gel; It burns in glass jars or mason jars. The gel candles may be made of low-density or high-density gel. Commonly used to decorate poolsides and dining areas. For safety reasons, they are not allowed to burn for long (more than 2 hours) because their containers easily heat up.
- Liquid Candles: Here’s another candle that has its name from its wax. These candles are made up of soft and pure liquid paraffin wax which is similar to butane lighters.
These wax candles are made with different waxes some of which are paraffin wax, beeswax, and soy wax. Candles can also be made with a blend of waxes.
Let’s take a look at some of the impacts of these wax candles on health and find out which is the healthiest candle to burn.
PARAFFIN WAX, BEESWAX AND SOY WAX CANDLES
Paraffin wax candles are the cheapest candles to make, hence the most affordable candles to buy. The downside to this is there are extra costs that the sellers don’t tell us about. Some of these costs are paid for by the harm caused to our health.
Paraffin wax is a solid hydrocarbon (like petrol!) and when burned releases carcinogenic chemicals like benzene and toluene. Keep in mind that carcinogenic chemicals are cancer-forming chemicals. This is how lung-damaging these candles can be. They can also cause allergies, asthma, and respiratory problems. They also stain surfaces, ceilings etc, with black coal soot.
This is unlike Soy wax, a by-product of soybean which is made from its oil —the healthiest and cleanest candles to burn. They are more expensive but last 50% longer than paraffin wax candles. So we are certainly getting the best out of our candles when it comes to soy wax. They also burn evenly unlike some paraffin wax candles that burn unevenly forming a mushroom-like shape.
You don’t have soy candles staining their holders with grease this we can’t say for our paraffin colleagues. And did I mention that soy scented candles easily released their aroma?
THE HEALTHIEST CANDLES TO BURN
Now we are settled on getting soy candles, I’ll like to let you know that not all soy candles are as healthy. Recall earlier, that I mentioned some candles are a blend. If it’s not a 100% GMO-free (genetically modified organisms) soy wax candle then it should be a blend of soy wax and beeswax. This is because beeswax is a natural wax secreted by bees and burns as healthy as soy wax. But a blend of soy wax and paraffin wax is a no-no!
When looking out for the healthiest candle to burn, the wax type isn’t the only factor to consider. You’ll also need to make sure the candle has a lead-free wick and scented candles are made with natural fragrance. This is because the fewer chemicals, the healthier!