If you’re looking to find more relaxing moments in your days, one of the first things you might think about is getting some candles. However, you might have heard that standard scented candles commonly emit substances that reduce air quality in your home. This is true, but there’s a better way to enjoy the simple joy of a tiny burning flame.
Here are some more natural approaches to having candles in your home and also some suggestions for making your own DIY candles for a craft project.
Risks of Standard Candles
Many candles are made from a petroleum byproduct called paraffin. This substance can release volatile organic compounds (VOCs), including known carcinogens. This might not affect everyone, but if you suffer from asthma or allergies, that scented candle might just trigger your symptoms. Candles are also often made with chemical fragrances that are synthetic and packed with VOCs. Scents like “pine” and “rain” might remind you of nature, but they are far from natural.
Better Candle Alternatives
But before you write off candles as toxic and unsafe, you should know that there are wonderful candles out there that are 100% natural and that pose no risks to your health or compromise your commitment to the environment. How your candles are made and what ingredients are in them make a big difference in how they affect your home and mood.
Look for candles that are made with organic products and that include no GMOs. Soy, beeswax, and other plant-based candles can be good options. You can also choose essential oil diffusers as an alternative to candles or make your own potpourri with fried flowers, fruits, and wood chips.
Sample DIY Candle Recipe
Sure, you can find natural and plant-based candles at farmer’s markets and local shops, but it can also be fun to make your own from scratch at home. Here is a sample DIY candle recipe to get you started and also so you know exactly what’s in the candles you’re burning in your home.
Beeswax and Coconut Candles
This is a very easy candle recipe that’s great for beginners because it doesn’t take a lot of time or complicated ingredients. Once you get the hang of it, DIY candles like these also make great gifts for birthdays and holidays!
- 1 pound beeswax
- ½ cup coconut oil
- Lavender, mint, sandalwood, or lemon essential oil (your choice, or choose a combination that you like)
- Six mason jars (4 oz. each)
- Candle wicks
- An old (washed out) coffee tin
- Wooden pencils
- Place beeswax in the coffee tin
- Put coffee tin in a large pot of water on the stove and bring to a boil
- Turn down heat to medium and stir until beeswax is melted
- Remove from heat and add coconut oil
- Add 40 drops of essential oils
- Glue candle wicks to bottom of mason jars
- Fill jars with mixture, leaving an inch empty at the top
- Wrap exposed wick around pencil and lay across top of the jar
- Allow candle wax to harden and then trim wick to ½ inch long
- Burn and enjoy your DIY candle!