Projects, Spring

Lemon beeswax candles

May 10, 2015

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.


You’ll need

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)

wooden wicks

newspaper to cover work area

double boiler

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.


You Might Also Like


  • Reply Paige Beisel May 10, 2015 at 8:36 pm

    is there anything you can’t do??? These look so wonderful! Hoping to really give it a try! You makes feel like I’m crafty before I even attempt! So pretty too Jen!

  • Reply Laurel Blow May 13, 2015 at 3:21 am

    I ABSOLUTLY adore these! I can’t wait to give these a try, and maybe combine the idea with other citrus fruit peels! Thank you for the additional bee info too!

    • Reply May 13, 2015 at 9:09 am

      Thanks Laurel! Send me a picture if you try it out with other citrus fruits – It would be so pretty to do a combination of grapefruit, orange, lime, and lemon. Great idea!

  • Reply Lindsay Hinesley May 16, 2015 at 11:05 am

    How long will these stay good for? I have a TON of fresh lemons & would love to do this. Do the peels mold at all, or will they just dry since there is no pulp inside?

    • Reply May 16, 2015 at 11:30 am

      Hi Lindsay, the peels don’t mold since all of the moisture is removed. After 4 or 5 days, they do get a bit darker and the peels harden (like dried lemons in potpourri). It’s still a pretty look, but if you want them to look light and fresh; it’s best to make them within a few days of using them. Hope you try it out with all your lemons!

      • Reply Trish Kaiser May 26, 2017 at 6:25 pm

        I tried this, and now a day later my lemon peels are molding very badly. What did I do wrong?

        • Reply May 27, 2017 at 11:12 am

          Hi Trish,
          I’m so sorry to hear that! I’ve never had that happen. My guess would be that there was still some moisture inside the peel. When you remove the pulp, make sure you’re peeling it like an orange. The inside of the lemon should be white and dry. Then when you pour the wax, make sure you fill to the very top so that none of the lemon’s inside is visible. The wax should seal off any exposure to moisture that could cause molding. I keep mine around for a while until I’m sure I want to light them, since after the wax level falls lower, it can lead to molding. Filled lemons that I’ve waited to light have lasted a month without molding. The peels harden and darken a little bit, but haven’t grown mold. I hope that helps and that you give it another try!
          Thanks so much,

  • Reply Jess August 11, 2015 at 11:26 am

    Can you use the same cotton wicks that you normally would for other candles? I make soy candles, but have some beeswax and want to give this a try!

    • Reply August 12, 2015 at 10:21 am

      Hi Jess!
      yes, you can definitely use your cotton wicks for these candles. It’s a little trickier since the lemons are much shallower than a jar you might have used for your soy candles. But, the beeswax hardens fairly quickly so it shouldn’t take too long for the wick to set.

  • Reply zigi November 2, 2015 at 1:42 pm

    Can i use soy wax?

  • Reply Staqwalqs November 14, 2015 at 4:28 pm

    How long can u store un lite candles for???

    • Reply November 16, 2015 at 1:09 pm

      The lemon peel will get darker and harden after 4-5 days. Since there isn’t any moisture from the pulp left in the peel though, they won’t mold. If you prefer the light color of the peel, I recommend making them a day or two before you’ll use them!

  • Reply Cassie March 25, 2016 at 4:33 pm

    Is there any difference in using woodwicks opposed to cotton wicks? I was wondering if it would mess with the negative ions that make it such a good air purifier.

    • Reply May 7, 2016 at 8:43 am

      Hi Cassie!
      I used woodwicks for a couple reasons. Firstly, I found all-natural wooden wicks at a local store and wasn’t sure about the cotton wicks they carried.
      Also, since the lemon is less solid than a standard votive; it’s helpful that the base of a wooden wick stands on its own while you pour the wax.
      You can definitely use cotton wicks without compromising the benefits of the beeswax as a purifier. I would just try to find an organic brand to use.
      Thanks so much,

  • Reply Sunny April 29, 2016 at 7:41 pm

    How many lemon candles were you able to make with 1lb of beeswax?

    • Reply May 7, 2016 at 8:31 am

      Hi Sunny,
      1 pound of beeswax makes around 20 ounces melted. I made 10 candles (5 whole lemons), but it will depend on the size of your lemons too. It’s helpful to use a container or small pot dedicated to this project. That way, if you realize you have more wax than lemons, you can let your wax cool and store the rest for later use.

  • Reply Georgi September 22, 2016 at 2:46 pm

    Could you tell me where you bought your wax? I checked Amazon and every product said the wax is very smoky or chemical smelling despite being 100% organic and pure bees wax. Now I’m worried to buy some, but I want to try this project so bad!

  • Reply Maryon Jeane November 13, 2016 at 8:55 pm

    Wonderful idea! Please would you say what size wooden wicks you used?

  • Reply nancy April 15, 2017 at 11:23 am

    Hi where do I get the wicks?

    • Reply April 17, 2017 at 9:25 am

      Hi Nancy!
      I found my wicks at Michael’s craft store. They are available at most craft/hobby shops and you can find them on Michael’s website as well.
      Thanks for asking,

    Leave a Reply