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000's of Quality Products

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Outrageous Customer Service

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28 Day No Quibble Guarantee

 Go Zero Waste Today -  000's of Quality Products

 Shop with Confidence - Outrageous Customer Service

 Free Returns - 28 Day No Quibble Guarantee

What is the Most Eco Friendly Type of Candle?

what is the most eco friendly type of candle

With the nights drawing in I’ve been looking for some new candles. I love the beautiful scents that are now available but most of all, I love how candles make your home feel cosy and safe in the coldest months. With my values in mind, I’ve just done some research on which are the most natural types of candles?

The most eco-friendly candles are made from Stearin wax, Soy wax or Beeswax. In addition to these natural ingredients, wicks made from other natural materials such as cotton or wood should also be used during the manufacturing process. Any combination will ensure you have a 100% eco-friendly candle.

Let’s explore the benefits of these natural candles but first, we should investigate the most common type of candle which is made from Parafin wax,

Why are Paraffin Candles not Eco Friendly

Paraffin is widely used to make most of the inexpensive varieties of candles on the market today.

There is an awful lot of information on the internet about paraffin candles and their effect on our health.

We see many reports that paraffin candles are full of harmful chemicals and ingredients and that these chemicals can lead to cancer, brain damage, allergies, and other health-related problems.

If you are interested in knowing more specifically about allergies I’d recommend you read my article “Can Soy Candles Cause Allergies?” after this.

From the research I’ve done there doesn’t seem to be any hard evidence to say that these risks are there.

Of course, we do need to recognise that burning candles will release soot (carbon particles) into the air. This is true of all types of candles including those made from paraffin.

From the information I have read, the main reason we think of paraffin candles as not being eco-friendly is that the wax is derived from petroleum.

It is essentially a by-product of making gasoline and whilst it is, of course, better to make use of it, we really need to stop using petroleum products altogether, especially when there are so many great sustainable alternatives.

Here are three of the most common eco-friendly ingredients used in making eco-friendly candles.

1. Stearin Wax Candles

Eco Friendly Stearin Wax Candles

Candles made from 100% stearin are becoming more popular and so make my top 3 list.

What are Stearin Candles Made Of?

Stearin candles can be made from vegetable or animal fats. In the case of animal fats, stearin is usually produced as a by-product of producing beef and the majority of stearin produced from vegetation comes from the palm. Suitable wicks made from cotton or wood complete this eco-friendly candle.

Benefits of Stearin Candles

There are several benefits of candles made from 100% stearin.

  • Made from natural raw materials, biodegradable
  • Considered a more eco-friendly, sustainable candle option than paraffin
  • Releases less soot
  • Have a high melting point, they drip less
  • Have greater durability, have a longer burn time
  • Burn brighter and cleaner

Tips for Buying Stearin Candles

Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil

Make sure you check the source of the palm oil with the manufacturer. Look for the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO for short) certification or similar quality mark when purchasing stearin candles. This type of document ensures that the candlemakers sustainably gathered the ingredients.

If you are vegan then clearly you’ll need to look out for stearin candles made from vegetation. This should be clearly marked on the product labelling and if not I would avoid the product altogether.

As with all of these candle types do make sure that the packaging and the candle container, for example, a glass jar are also made from eco-friendly materials.

2. Soy Candles

Eco Friendly Soy Candles

Soy candles are extremely popular having been on the commercial market for several decades now.

The popularity of these eco-friendly candles has changed the lives of many small artisan candle makers who started in their kitchens and now run very successful businesses.

What are Soy Candles Made Of?

Soy candles are made from soybeans which are a type of edible bean. Soybeans are native to East Asia but are now grown across the world with the United States, Brazil, and Argentina being the largest producers. It’s common for wicks to be made from cotton and the candle contained in a glass jar.

Benefits of Soy Candles

There are several benefits of candles made from 100% soy.

  • Made from natural raw materials, biodegradable
  • Considered a more eco-friendly, sustainable candle option than paraffin
  • Releases less soot
  • Lower melting point, they are safer when it comes to drips
  • Longer burn time (approx 50% slower than paraffin candles), brighter and cleaner
  • Fragrances and scents are divine

Tips for Buying Soy Candles

Although quite rare with smaller artisan candle makers it’s actually more common than you think for manufacturers to include paraffin wax in their soy candles. Clearly, candles made from 100% soy wax is the way to go so do check the labelling carefully.

In the case of soy candles, it really is worth reading the product reviews. I don’t always like reading reviews but there are just so many different soy candle companies out there it is difficult to see a clear winner.

Again, check the packaging and container to ensure eco-friendliness

3. Beeswax Candles

Eco Friendly Beeswax Candles

Finally, the last ingredient you should consider for your eco-friendly candle is beeswax.

This option is the most natural and raw of the three options but is also the most expensive mainly due to how difficult it is to scale the production of the raw material.

What are Beeswax Candles Made Of?

Beeswax candles are made from the wax produced by the honeybee. The female worker bees use their glands to produce the wax that creates the honeycomb. This wax can be harvested to produce various products including candles. A suitable natural wick completes the eco-friendly candle.

Benefits of Beeswax Candles

There are several benefits of candles made from 100% beeswax.

  • Made from a natural raw material, biodegradable
  • Considered the most eco-friendly, sustainable candle option
  • Clean burn, releases less soot
  • Longer burn time lasts longer than soy and paraffin candles
  • Purely natural scent – nothing more

Tips for Buying Beeswax Candles

Again it’s all about making sure you buy 100% beeswax candles. In order to bring the cost down, manufacturers are introducing other materials into the candle mix.

Be wary of cheaper beeswax candles and always check the packaging as with the other two options.

Eco-Friendly Candle Wick Materials

The next consideration when looking for an eco-friendly candle is the materials used for the wick.

Running through the centre, a candle wick is an important part of the candle as it holds the flame in place for an even and gentle burn.

What are Candles Wick Made Of?

As a general rule candle wicks are made from braided cotton with natural materials such as organic cotton and wood being used as a more sustainable option. Older candles had wicks made from lead or other types of metal however these are not as common these days due to the toxins they release.

So make sure the next candles you buy have sustainable options when it comes to the wick. Most small artisan candle makers are using them nowadays.

Natural Candle Scents

Eco Friendly Candles – Essential Oils

My final recommendation is to look for a candle that has natural additives.

As we’ve discussed candles made from any three of these materials could be bulked out by mixing with another ingredient such as paraffin so do check the labelling.

In the section though, I’d like to discuss the scents and colours of candles.

Many candle manufacturers add artificial scents which again are derived from petroleum. Avoid candles containing these at all costs and go for candles that are naturally scented by essential oils.

Essential oils come directly from plants and are commonly extracted using a process called distillation.

No need to get scientific, just to know they are natural and make your candles smell lovely.

Look out for natural dyes as well. Not as popular with beeswax candles but for soy and stearin candles colouring does make the product beautiful and of course, we all buy candles for decoration rather than to use.

Final Thoughts

The most eco-friendly type of candle is one that uses natural ingredients in the creation process. Look for beeswax, soy, or stearin options and steer away from candles using paraffin and other harmful substances.

Ensure the candles you buy use a natural wick such as organic cotton or wood and ignore those with metal wicks.

Finally, make sure that the candle you choose does not use artificial scents but essential oils instead. These ingredients release strong fragrances into the air, making your loved ones and visitors alike happy to be in your home.

Products Featured in this Article

Wax and Oils Soy Wax Aromatherapy Scented Candles

Wax & Oil candles are free from any harmful chemicals or additives. They contain NO pesticides, NO herbicides, and NO genetically modified materials. Our Packaging is 100% recyclable and the foam inserts are made from 65% recycled ingredients.
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100% Pure Beeswax Pillar Candle

Paraffin-Free; Lead-Free; Non-Toxic & Hypoallergenic – High Quality Beeswax Candles, sensuous to hold, smell or burn. Even unlit they fill a room with the warm, sweet scent of honey.
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