I have always loved candles, I used to visit Dusk and other places that sell candles quite often until I realised how easy it was to make my own! I have already shown you how easy it is to make your own Soy Candles. Now I will show you how to make beeswax candles and all their amazing benefits.
How to Make Beeswax Candles
What you need:
- Glasses or Containers – I already had some medium size Oxford glasses but if you want to re-use, recycle and repurpose, use old glass containers or tins.
- Beeswax – I bought mine from here.
- Coconut Oil – I will explain why you need to use coconut oil below.
- Wicks – See my explanation below about what wick to use.
- Wick stickum’s or plain old tape.
- Fragrance Oil – optional. They smell so beautiful on their own that I do not use fragrance.
- Something to hold your wick in place – I use these from Aussie Candle Supplies and are they are perfect!
- Mercury Thermometer.
- A double-boiler.
- A 1 litre wax pouring jug.
- Bamboo stick.
- Wick trimmer.
Beeswax and Coconut Oil
So why do you melt in coconut oil with the Beeswax? Because Beeswax is a very hard wax and has to burn at a higher temperature than soy or paraffin wax. So if you were to use Beeswax on its own, chances are the flame will just tunnel down the wick or just get drowned out. By adding coconut oil you are effectively bringing down the melting point of the candle. I used a ratio of 1 pound of beeswax to 1/2 cup of coconut oil.
What Wick to Use?
You will need to use a bigger size wick for beeswax candles for the same reasons as adding coconut oil to your beeswax.
- A wick too large will produce a flame too big and risk of jar getting too hot and melting the wax quicker than ideal.
- A wick too small for the jar will produce a flame too small and not utilise all the wax in the candle and risking the candle wick becoming drowned in the melt pool.
For a single wick candle, the general candle rule of thumb is to burn it for 1 hour per inch width (so 3 hours for a 3″ wide candle) so that the entire top melts on that first burn. Basically, your candle will never burn further out from the center than it does on your first burn. So if you want to avoid it tunneling just down the middle, make sure the entire top melts that first time.
So you measure the width of the container you are going to use, work out what wick suits this container when go up a size or two for beeswax to avoid tunnelling. I find this guide here to be very helpful.
Step 1 – Place a wick stickum or doubled up tape on the bottom of your wick and press firmly onto the bottom of your glass/container. Make sure your container is really clean and dry as those little suckers do not want to stay put if it isn’t. Centre the top of the wick using your wick holder.
Step 2 – Place your soy wax into a double boiler and melt on the stove. Once the beeswax is completely melted, remove from heat and add the coconut oil. Stir gently with a bamboo skewer until the coconut oil is melted and incorporated.
Step 3 – Mix in the fragrance or essential oils at this point.
Rule of thumb for how much fragrance you need: Beeswax in grams X 0.06 – 0.10 (0.06 for heavy scents & 0.10 for lighter scents) = Fragrance oil in grams
Step 4 – Then pour the candle to a level that is around 1cm below the top of the glass/container.
Step 5 – Remove the wick holder after an hour or so. Trim the wick to about 1cm above the wax. Allow to cool down for 24 hours before burning.
A couple of things to note..
- Beeswax is flammable so take care to keep an eye on it while it is heating. You don’t want to forget about it so that it gets too hot or spill it on your hot stove.
- Beeswax is usually difficult to remove from the bowl it was melted in. I preheat my oven to 95c/200F, then turn it off and place the bowl inside. Within a few minutes the wax is completely melted, making it easy to wipe away with paper towels. After that, I just scrub with soap and water as usual.
I now understand why soy candles are so popular and easy to find on ETSY etc. Beeswax is a difficult wax to work with and a bit more expensive to buy compared to soy wax. It requires a lot of trial and error, which I am still working on. But the bit of extra effort (and cash) is worth it, because there are some great benefits to burning beeswax candles!
Benefits of burning Beeswax Candles
Beeswax releases negative ions when it burns. Pollen, dust, dirt, pollutants, and any other junk in the air all carry a positive charge, and that is how they can be suspended in the air. The negative ions released from burning beeswax negate the positive charge of air contaminants, and the neutralized ions are sucked back into the burning candle or fall to the ground. Many air purifiers and water filters harness this effective negative ion technology. Because beeswax candles clean the air and reduce indoor pollutants, they can effectively reduce asthma, allergies, and hay fever!
They are environmentally friendly, safe and non-toxic. Beeswax burns very clean with little smoke when trimmed properly as they are not oil-based. 100% beeswax candles are natural, undergo no chemical processing and biodegradable.
As the beeswax burns it gives off a non-toxic, hypoallergenic, subtle fragrance of a mixture of honey and the nectar of the flowers in the honeycomb.
Beeswax candles have the brightest, purest light of any candles and are closest to natural sunlight. If the candles are to be used as a light source, this can help minimize eye strain and reduce headaches.
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