Monday, February 4, 2013

Must-Know Monday: Beeswax and Soy Candles


I have a candle problem. As in, every time a certain candle company has a BOGO sale I go a little crazy...

A few weeks ago, someone mentioned to me that they heard a doctor say second to smoking, burning candles in your home is the worst thing you can do for your lungs.


I HAVE AN ENTIRE BASKET FULL OF UNBURNED CANDLES WHAT DO I DO WITH THEM!?! I love when the smells of my home coincide with the seasons, plus there is something very comforting about that tiny flicker on my table as I cook, clean or bake.

Naturally, my response was to begin research on this questionable subject.

I thought surely more people would know about this phenomenon of candles killing your lungs. There would be Surgeon General's Warnings on candles if they were dangerous for your health....right?

As it turns out, by what I have learned through research, burning candles is only harmful if done in excess. Meaning, one in every room burning every moment you are home, all the time is possibly not the best idea (not to mention burning candles in rooms you aren't occupying is extremely dangerous).

However, I am still a little bothered by the chance these lovely smelling jars can harm myself and my family so I wanted to search for a healthier alternative. This lead me to learn about beeswax candles and soy candles.

You see, the standard jar candles you buy at those smelly stores in the mall (that always draw me in) are almost all paraffin wax candles. If you frequently burn these types of candles in one room, look up. No, seriously, look at your ceiling, specifically in the corners of the room.

You will notice a light black or grey soot forming around the corners of the room, which is a result of the candles. Well, if there is enough soot in the air to collect on my walls, I can guess it's collecting other places.

As you can see, I use a specialty cover over my jar candles to "catch" the soot, which keeps the jars (and my walls) much cleaner so I have to imagine it's keeping the air cleaner as well.

The beeswax and soy candles burn "cleaner", so they don't leave that soot around the top of the candles or around the room. They also burn slower, so while they may cost a little more upfront, they last longer because of their efficient burn and are available in lovely scents just like those jar candles we all know and love.

The moral? I will continue to burn my jar candles, but I'll be sure to only burn them a few times a week for a few hours at a time. When my (outrageous) supply of jar candles has been used (possibly when Billy goes to college), I will be sure to replenish my candle inventory with 100% beeswax and soy options so I am burning the most efficient and greenest candles I can.

How often do you burn candles in your home, or do you use a different air freshening method?


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