DIY Beeswax Candles (and why you need them)

If you knew the kind of money I spend on candles, you'd think I was insane. And yet in my mind - totally worth it. Candles are not only great for aromatherapy, but they also set the mood in your home to help lower stress and tension. And just like the plants outlined in this post, beeswax candles can actually help siphon the toxins in your home out of the air so you can breathe cleaner oxygen. Beeswax candles emit negative ions in the air the same way that a Himalayan salt lamp does. Some other candles can actually release toxins into the air rather then absorb them. I know we don't really think of these things while we're burning candles and relaxing, but it's worth noting. Below is a recipe using beeswax and coconut oil for healthy, homemade candles that also happen to make great Christmas gifts:

ABOUT BEESWAX CANDLES

Beeswax candles actually burn slower than most other candles, saving you money. You can nearly double the burn hours with a beeswax candle than the same sized candle made of paraffin. The gentle honey-like aroma from beeswax isn't as sweet as true honey, and it's not as strong. Burning these candles doesn't emit a lot of scent or smoke. I am cutting my wax with coconut oil - a "cooler" as beeswax burns very hot and can actually crack the jar it is poured into. The coconut oil acts as a coolant to help prevent this from happening. It is also a healthy burner. I'm adding vanilla essential oil to my candle. This is optional as technically it wouldn't burn as purely as just the beeswax would.


WHAT YOU'LL NEED

MATERIALS

• one pound of beeswax
• 1/2 cup coconut oil
• wood or wax wick (I'm using wood)
• essential oil (optional)

EQUIPMENT

• stovetop
• large metal pot
• small metal pourer
• mason jar lid
• mason jar/container

DIRECTIONS

1. Bring two inches of water to a boil in your large pot. Make sure your pot is large enough that your small pot can fit inside it without touching any sides. Be sure that while you boil your water it doesn't completely evaporate. Always have water in the pot.

2. Place your mason jar lid (pictured below) in the middle bottom of the pot of boiling water and place your smaller metal pot on top, sitting on the lid. Insert your beeswax into the small pot and turn the boiling water down to a simmer.

3. Once the wax has completely melted (approximately 45 minutes to an hour), add the coconut oil, and if you choose to add essential oil, add it to the mixture. I added 15 drops of vanilla to my wax. This complements the light coconut and honey scent, but isn't overwhelming like other candles. There is just a hint of vanilla.

4. Pour a bit of wax mixture into a mason jar or container of your choice and stick the metal plate of your wick into it, holding it upright. I used a wooden wick, so I did not need to cut extra to hold it upright. Personally, I like the crackle of a wooden wick.

5. Fill your jar with wax just up until the top ridge. Let cool slightly before topping off with the remainder of your wax, being sure the wax pours into the sides of the ridge. Trim your wick, and cool for a full 24 hours before using.


BURNING TIPS

Always try to let your candle burn long enough that the entire top layer melts. To melt your candle for a short amount of time, not allowing the entire top layer to melt causes your candle to "tunnel" and leave wax along the sides of your jar or container. By burning the entire top layer, your candle will burn down and melt at the same level, using all the wax.

Wood wicks are finicky and you may find you need to trim it to get it going just right. Try to leave it too long at first rather than too short, and always be sure to give it one good long light for its first time.