It’s warm enough now. Shaded tables become our dining rooms. The sun lingers, toes reunite with grass, honey bees hover.
The sun sets and there we are, still celebrating the much awaited warmth and hesitant to head indoors. Unless, we can bring the golden glow of a spring time sun into our homes.
“Bees transform the light from the sun into wax; and when we burn candles made from beeswax, we free the light again from the wax and the bee” – Queen of the Sun: What are the bees telling us?
Nothing provides the golden warmth in your home quite like the soft glow of a candle. But when we light a candle in our homes, we’re often putting more into the air than just a golden glow. Did you know that store bought paraffin candles actually release toxins into the air? And that some candles are made with wicks that contain lead, which is released into the air and can be deposited onto surfaces in your home? What?? Not what you thought you were lighting when you put that lavender votive in the kitchen?
I have good news for you. Beeswax is a great alternative to the petroleum-based paraffin candles. And… it’s not just that beeswax candles are toxin free – they are. But, beeswax candles actually work as natural air-purifiers. Here comes your science lesson.
Beeswax releases negative ions when burned. Positive ions in the air include bacteria, allergens, viruses, dust, and pollen. Opposites attract. What that means is that the negative ions from beeswax attach to the positive toxins in the air. The attached particles become heavier, and are pulled down to the ground and out of the air where you’d breathe them. Kind of amazing, right?
How about another did you know…
Bees fly roughly 150,000 miles to collect enough nectar to produce 6 pounds of honey just to secrete 1 pound of wax.
That. is. crazy. And is also why buying beeswax candles can be far more expensive than their paraffin counterpart. Avoiding the toxic chemicals in a cheaper candle seems worth the extra bucks in itself, but beeswax candles also burn for twice as long as the toxic stuff. I think what we’ve learned here is that beeswax is some sort of honey-scented golden magic.
Here’s the last thing you might not know. Making your own candles is easy. And I don’t mean easy like a weeked project. I set aside a couple hours for this first attempt. I was cleaning up in thirty minutes.
organic beeswax (make certain it is 100% otherwise it could contain petroleum based wax as well)
lemons (or the heat safe container of your choice)
newspaper to cover work area
I poured my beeswax into lemon peels, offering a subtle citrus scent to the sweet smell of honey. If you’re pouring your wax into a glass jar or container, add a bit of coconut oil to the melted beeswax before pouring. Beeswax has a very high melting temperature and the coconut oil will lower the temperature to prevent any glass from cracking.
Break your block of beeswax into pieces and place in a glass bowl over a pan filled with simmering water. Melt over medium heat.
While your wax is melting, prepare your lemons! Slice in half and carefully insert a knife around the edge to separate the fruit from the peel. Once I had a good start, I peeled away the inside just like you would peel an orange. The inside should be dry and free of any pulp.
Once the wax begins to melt, cut your wicks and dip the ends in to coat the base of your wick with enough wax to adhere it to the bottom of your lemons.
If you’d like to add an all natural scent or citronella oil to your candles, stir it into your melted wax. Here’s when you’d add your coconut oil if you’re using glass containers.
When your beeswax is entirely melted, pour into each lemon. Hold the wick steady while you’re pouring and until the wax is hardened enough for the wick to stand on its own. Repeat with each of your lemons.
Set aside to cool and harden completely – ideally 6-12 hours. I lit mine that same evening, but your candles will burn much longer if they are given more time to harden.
Trim the wicks, and breathe easy. These little homemade beauties are making things lemony and lovely, all while purifying your air.