Compared to other candles available on the market, there are few traditional candles that come close to the health and environmental health benefits of pure beeswax candles. Beeswax and soy candles both come from renewable sources, but there are differences. Soy wax candles produce a cool, white bright light similar to fluorescent light. In contrast, beeswax candles emit a more natural light. It is the purest light of any candles in the light spectrum, and is comparable to natural sunlight.
Short History of Candles
The oldest candles were made from animal fat, such as whale fat. These materials, while they provided a durable flame, had their drawbacks – the smell in particular being an unfavorable trait. In addition, the burning fat produced black sludge and black soot, making the eyes strain.
In ancient times beeswax being also a natural product, became commonplace for candle-making. This was because beeswax burns cleaner and lasts longer compared to other candle-making ingredients. As time progressed, beeswax candles eventually gained popularity, – and for good reason! The beeswax was poured in small vessels or bangles which gave the users a portable light source.
The Candle Market
It is undeniable that candles are in great demand worldwide. Candles of all shapes and forms are widely used for the holiday season and other religious occasions. However, irrespective of the season, they always add a popular feature to everything. They are used in restaurants, for meditation, stress relief, and other spiritual work, or as a simple act to decorate a room and create a cozy, warm atmosphere.
In the United States alone candle products retail at an estimated value of around $3.14 billion annually. Candle-makers often use a variety of waxes, including beeswax, soy wax, paraffin wax, gel wax, rapeseed, or coconut wax. Some of the most popular candles are container candles, including glass jar candles, and white bloom candles.
Pure beeswax candles have a higher cost compared to cheap candles, which are often made from a mixture of different waxes. On the price spectrum the cheapest candles are usually paraffin tealight candles, whereas the most expensive candles are made from pure beeswax. Although beeswax candles are more expensive they are a good choice in the long run because they also burn a long time.
What is Beeswax and How is it Harvested?
Beeswax, also known as Cera Alba in scientific terms, is a natural product made by honey bees in form of thin scales or flakes. It is a natural wax collected from beehives. The beekeeper removes the honey frames and scrapes off the wax cap. These seal each honeycomb cell before the honey is extracted. This wax capping is then melted down to create beeswax candles or other products like cosmetics and furniture polish.
The molten wax is filtered to remove debris and foreign matter before being packaged for sale. The next time you buy a pure wax candle, think about this: It takes one single bee ca. 69 days of work to produce just 1 single gram (0.04 oz) of wax! That means theoretically, one single pound of beeswax would take one bee just over 31 years to produce. This is one of the reasons why beeswax candles are more expense than soy candles, paraffin candles or other types of candles.
The Chemical Consistency of Beeswax
The chemical composition of beeswax consists mainly of hydrocarbons (C20H34) with traces of esters (C21H34O4), acids (C17H26O6) and alcohols (C25H52O). When burned it releases energy in the form of heat and light. The large hydrocarbon molecules break down into smaller molecules, which are released into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide gas. In theory burning beeswax candles help reduce global warming compared to petroleum-derived paraffin wax candles that create more carbon dioxide gas when burned!
Benefits of Beeswax Candles Over Other Candles
Beeswax candles have many benefits over their paraffin-based counterparts. They are made from a completely natural substance without any chemical processing, and produce no toxic byproducts when burnt. Bees wax has higher burning temperatures and a higher melting point than paraffin or soy wax candles. This means they have a longer burn time.
Beeswax candles are a natural ionizer. They produce negative ions that can neutralize static electricity. In addition, like natural air purifiers, they increase indoor air quality by reducing air pollutants like dust, pollen, smoke particles and mould spores. Furthermore, when beeswax burns, it releases very little soot into your home or office compared to other types of candles. This makes them much safer to use indoors on a regular basis – even around children or pets!
Paraffin Wax Candles
Paraffin is a by-product of petroleum that releases toxic chemicals when burnt and is not sustainable. Studies have shown that paraffin wax candles are bad for allergy sufferers as they cause indoor pollution. They also release minute traces of carcinogenic chemicals and other toxic compounds similar to diesel fumes that can provoke asthma symptoms. Paraffin candles can also emit black soot when burnt that affect interior surfaces like discolor walls, ceilings, fabrics and furniture.
Soy Wax Candles
Soy wax is also a natural product and a renewable source, and a great alternative to beeswax candles for vegans. However, soybean production has a negative environmental impact as large areas of the Amazon rain forest are cleared to grow soybeans for commercial profit.
On the plus side, natural candles made from soy wax are also non-toxic and are less likely to trigger allergies. It is also easier to add fragrance oil or natural essential oil to soy wax when candle making, as beeswax has its own natural scent. Soy candles often have a white film, called frosting. This is a unique and natural effect of candles made from vegetable waxes, especially soy wax candles. It is worth mentioning that some synthetic fragrances or artificial dyes can also release toxic chemicals!
What happens to the wax when you burn a candle?
Soot Emission from Burning Beeswax Candles
The soot emitted while burning beeswax candles contains no carcinogens. Therefore they emit little smoke resulting in cleaner air. Paraffin-based candles can produce up to 15 times more soot when burnt for an extended period of time than those made from pure beeswax. This makes beeswax candles much safer for indoor use around people, plants and animals alike! Furthermore, beeswax candles have a slow burn rate, meaning that you’ll get longer lasting enjoyment out your candle without sacrificing safety or air quality within your home!
Beeswax Candles Health Benefits
Pure beeswax candles not only just improve air quality. Studies prove that these types of candles can actually benefit one’s health too!
Burning natural bees wax produces negative ions in the air which can help increase levels of serotonin in our bodies leading us towards feelings happiness whilst also helping reduce stress levels & fatigue. Additionally the specialized hydrocarbon molecules that are in bees wax emit far infrared radiation. When burnt in our living space they can contribute towards improved circulation throughout our body. In addition, it can improve our sleep quality at night due to reduced EMF exposure caused by other electrical devices nearby like computers & TVs! It is the only type of candle that can reduce EMF exposure!
Environmental Benefits of Beeswax Candles
Whilst we tend to think about how burning different types candle affects indoor air quality inside our homes or offices, not many consider how they affect environments outside too; this makes bees wax an even better choice due to its many benefits over non-renewable resources like petroleum-based paraffin – especially if you’re looking for ways to reduce your ecological impact on earth’s climate systems & ecosystems!
As mentioned previously burning pure bee waxy emits far less carbon dioxide gas than other alternatives allowing us to contribute towards reduced greenhouse gases whilst still enjoying the benefits a candle provides! Plus since these specialized hydrocarbons last longer than most traditional forms you’ll also get longer lasting enjoyment out your candle without having buy new ones constantly; this helps minimize wastage & keep money in your pocket too!