Herbal Interests // Beeswax Candles
A new project grabbed our attention quite recently, and we had to try it! Pouring our own beeswax candles. We've seen quite a few people do it online and felt that it would be a fun experience. After reading up on the best way to produce our own candles, I found that there were a lot of things about beeswax that I did not know before. Did you know that it can actually purify the air? I knew that paraffin candles did not necessarily release good things into the air, but I did not realize how harmful they could be!
Paraffin is the toxic sludge found at the bottom of barrels of crude oil, which when burned results in a highly toxic and environmentally unfriendly poisons entering the air. This wax releases seven documented toxins, two of which are carcinogenic, and are also mixed with chemically made colors and fragrances. That doesn't sound good at all! That's when I read up on beeswax candles and how they purify the air when burned. What?! How amazing is that? When burned, beeswax releases negative ions, which counteract with the positive ions floating around the air such as pollen, dust, dirt, and other pollutants. Their positive charge is what causes them to float, and when in contact with beeswax, become neutral and are either sucked back into the candle or fall to the ground. Burning beeswax helps aid in asthma, allergies, and hay fever.
Now that I knew how amazing burning beeswax could be, I had to get my hands on some. Other blogs suggested purchasing it off of Amazon. When you type in beeswax or beeswax pellets (already chopped down for you) most of the prices come in at about $10 per pound. That's not terrible, but it only results in about 4 small mason jar worth of candles. So, I thought why not try and source the wax through someone local? It just so happens that Kalona has a local honey producer, Kalona Honey Company. I contacted the owner, Tim, and asked if he ever sold the wax produced by his bees, but was told that his bees don't produce a lot of wax and the wax they do produce is used by his family. However, he did send me to another website, Ebert Honey Company, out of Lynnville, Iowa. There, you can purchase three different types of beeswax (filtered, industrial grade, and unfiltered) and you know exactly where it is coming from! I was smitten. I went for the filtered wax, as I didn't want to clean out any bee parts from my candles.
Two 1 lb bricks from Ebert's cost me $16. (This is a really great price as I just passed a 12 oz brick for $14 at the grocery store, and it wasn't even local! Check out to see if you can find local beeswax in your area - you might be surprised!) I have used about a quarter of one brick making other things such as my beeswax healing salve and beeswax air fresheners. That still left with quite a bit of wax to experiment with! You will want to purchase an old crock pot from a resale shop (that's what we did) along with an old soup ladle. If you can't find this, an old stove pot made into a makeshift double boiler will work fine.
- Old crockpot or pot to make a double bouler
- 1 lb of beeswax (to make 4 poured candles)
- Candle wicks with metal bottoms
- Glass containers to pour the wax into
- Used soup ladle
- Optional, essential oils
- Using your double boiler or crockpot, melt the wax over medium/low heat. Stir occasionally until the wax is completely melted into a thick, amber liquid. There is no need to break the wax down into smaller pieces, unless you are wanting the melting process to go a bit quicker. Make sure that you are stirring with a wooden spoon or stick, as the wax will stick to and ruin any metal utensils. Hardened beeswax is quite sticky!
- Once the wax has melted, gather your wicks and glass containers. I purchased mine at our local Goodwill. There is always something there that will work perfectly! And can be reused over and over again. Take your soup ladle and gently ladle the melted wax into a container.
- If you have purchased the wicks with an attached metal bottom, the next step is really quite easy. After reading all about how tricky wicks can be, I am glad that I happened to purchase this type of wick! All you have to do is straighten out the wick and gently place it in the center of the melted wax. The wax will begin to harden rather quickly, so don't take too much time. You just want to make sure your wick is as straight as possible so that it burns the candle evenly!
- Do this same process with all of the other candle holders. This should use up all of your wax! If you purchased wick without metal bottoms, you may want to look up how to place the wick properly.
- And that's it! Let your candles harden overnight and enjoy. If you want to add a little extra scent, though I think the natural honey scent is lovely, try mixing in a little essential oil before pouring. Lavender or rosemary would be wonderful!
Thanks so much for reading! I can't wait to burn these while snuggled up with a giant cup of coffee and a good book. What are you reading this autumn? I'm stuck on the classics, but if there's something new out that you recommend, I'd love to hear about it! I love fantasy, historical fiction, and romanticism!!