DIY Natural Soy Candle
If scented candles are often associated with an idea of well-being and relaxation, you should know they can have harmful effects on our health and on the planet. In this article we will tell you what kind of candles you should avoid, why and how you can make your own!
WHY AVOID (PARAFFIN) CANDLES?
Most candles are made out of paraffin, a component obtained in refineries from petroleum. According to Dr Maud Deschampheleire, pulmonologist and allergist, the oxidization of petroleum has an irritant effect on the respiratory tract. The oxidization will cause the emanation of particles and volatile organic compounds, some of which are carcinogenic. The scents contained in these candles play an additional irritating role. It’s important to know perfumes are amongst the most powerful allergens. It is also quite difficult to know what exactly goes into the composition of candles nowadays. The labelling is often little or not at all explicit, so beware when buying natural candles. Sometimes it happens that they are not 100% natural.
There are three main families of waxes used to make candles: paraffin wax, beeswax and vegetable waxes (soy, palm, etc.). Paraffin is the least expensive wax but the most harmful one, while beeswax and vegetable waxes are natural but more expensive. However, natural waxes are sometimes mixed with paraffin for reasons of cost but also for the candles to last longer. Concerning the scents, you should know that essential oils are less chemical than synthetic perfumes but that these candles will often be more expensive. Finally, there is the wick. Some candle brands also use a wick where the cotton is wrapped around another material such as metal, producing a toxic soot, which may also lead to lung problems. Again, to be completely sure of what you are burning, prefer ecological wicks: 100% natural and have not undergone any treatment.
RECIPE TO MAKE A NATURAL SOY CANDLE
What you will need:
Essential Oils of Your Choice
Step 1: Heat a pot of water to a boil and add your melting pot. When measuring out your wax, it is important to know that whatever you measure in solid form melts down to about half in its liquid state. So, for a candle of 230gr I will need 460gr of wax.
Step 2: When the wax starts to melt, use a teaspoon of melted wax that you will put on the bottom center of your jar to secure your wooden wick. Do this quite quickly, because the wax will harden quite fast.
Step 3: Once the wax is melted, check the temperature. Once it’s at 82 degrees Celsius, reduce the heat on the stove. We want the wax to stay at a constant temperature of about 82 degrees Celsius. This will help us to make sure that the wax will stay warm enough when it will be poured into a mixing bowl.
Step 4: Pour the wax into a mixing bowl and add the essential oils of your choice. You can mix multiple essential oils together. Add a maximum of 1,5 teaspoons of your desired essential oil(s). My favourite one’s would be sandalwood, cedar, bergamot and ylang ylang.
Step 4: Stir very well for about 30 seconds. Make sure the essential oils bind to the wax and blend evenly throughout the mixture.
Step 5: Pour slowly into your jar with the wick and leave it like this for at least 24 hours before moving or burning.
Step 6: Be ready to enjoy these beautiful, natural candles !