DIY Coconut Wax & Beeswax Candles

Did you know that indoor air pollutants are often 2-5 times higher than outdoor levels, with some cases exceeding 100 times that of outdoor levels!

Candles are one of the top contributors to indoor air pollution, as the most common types of candles – paraffin candles, derived from petroleum – can release chemicals like soot, toluene, benzene and other chemicals into the air when lit.

When I learnt this I quickly switched over to using only soy, beeswax and coconut wax candles, that used essential oils for scent rather than chemical fragrances. HOWEVER, I found these candles to be quite pricey, so went about making my own, using repurposed jars I’d collected from past products to hold the candles in.

The first time I’d ever made beeswax candles, I found these jars from the $2 shop.

Paraffin candles should be avoided as they do more harm than good to the quality of air inside your home. Pure beeswax candles, on the other hand, do not. They can actually improve the air quality in your house! How? Pure beeswax candles burn with nearly no scent or smoke and actually clean the air by releasing negative ions, just like salt lamps do. The negative ions bind with toxins and remove them from the air, helping to purify it!

People with asthma or allergies may find beeswax candles especially helpful as they’re good at removing common allergens like dander, dust and mould from air. Beeswax candles also last a lot longer than paraffin ones because they burn at a much slower rate.

During the first burn of your new beeswax candles, keep the candles lit for at least 2.5 hours, or until the entire surface has melted. This helps stop the candles from “tunnelling“.

What to Look for When Sourcing Wax

I recently visited a market stall up in the Sunshine Coast, and one of the stalls there sold all-natural wax candles! The lady who owned the stall (Wonders of nature) shared a few helpful tips with me about what to keep in mind when sourcing a wax to make homemade candles with:

  • Be careful when sourcing soy wax as the phrase “100% soy wax” can be misleading. A candle using soy wax is processed (like other candles) and can have additives (like other candles) that help it to burn.
  • Soy grown on an industrial scale has a heap of negative environmental and socio-economic impacts. Just being a plant doesn’t make it “eco-friendly“.
  • While you can find GM-free soy from smallholders producing soy in certain areas; the problem is that the majority of soy is still produced in South America. Soy crops are a major cause of deforestation in South America, are often GM, use a lot of pesticides, and the soy requires intensive processing to produce the wax.
  • Natural doesn’t mean sustainable. Most soy is grown in monocultures on land where rainforests were cleared.
  • To be labelled as a soy candle, it only has to be 51% soy. Even ‘100% soy‘ candles can contain a small amount of paraffin (so inquire further with the retailer).
  • Always be sure that the candle packaging shares the full ingredients list, not merely vegetable wax or plant wax, and that it’s 100% paraffin-free. Many “soy” candles contain only a small percentage of soy wax, with the rest being palm oil or paraffin.
  • Check that the soy wax used to make the candles has come from non-GMO soy that’s grown outside of South America.
  • Ensure the packaging states 100% soy.
  • Choose scent-free; or look for soy candles scented with only pure essential oils.
  • Check that the wick is pure cotton, and does not contain lead or zinc.

Before we get started in learning how to make these all-natural beeswax and coconut wax candles – if you like what you’re seeing, subscribe to my email newsletter at the bottom of the page to keep up to date on the latest recipes, DIYs, gardening and health tips I share!!

I made my coconut candle to be similar to the one I found at the markets, as I just loved the style!

If you make these candles, please let me know! Leave a comment below, and if you take a picture and share it, please tag me on Instagram @simplynaturalnessa or use the hashtag #simplynaturalnessa so I can see! I’d love to know how you went!

DIY Beeswax Candles

Beeswax burns very hot, so it can be challenging to find the right combination between the wick and your jar. By blending the beeswax with a softer oil, like coconut oil, it can help to bring down the melting point of the candle. This creates a more even burn, and stops the candle from ‘tunnelling.’

You can use only beeswax, but it will most likely ‘tunnel” around your wick, and you’ll be left with a ring of wax around the inside of your jar that won’t burn. If this happens, you can re-melt the wax and make it into a new candle.

Pure beeswax also tends to crack if the candle cools down too quickly. If this happens, that’s okay too, as the candle should still burn effectively.

Halfway through setting; you can see the colour change in the wax as it starts to set and harden into a candle!

Caution: beeswax is flammable so please take care and keep an eye on it while it’s heating. You do NOT want to forget about it and let it get too hot or spill onto your hot stove.

Ingredients:

Optional:

To make:

  1. Pour the beeswax into a metal container or pitcher and place in a large pot of water – filled just enough to cover the outside of the pitcher, without spilling over into the container. Bring to a boil.
  2. Turn heat down to medium heat and stir occasionally until the wax has melted. Make sure no water spills into the container.
  3. Once melted, remove from heat and stir in the coconut oil with a bamboo skewer.
  4. Add in essential oils, stir through, then pour a small amount of the wax mix into the bottom of each jar. Return the pitcher to the hot water to keep the wax melted.
  5. Pop a wick into the wax, keeping it to the centre of each jar. You can use a skewer to hold the wick securely in place while the wax sets; around 5-10 minutes.
  6. Fill the jar with the wax, and leave about an inch of room at the top of the jar.
  7. Wrap the end of the wick around a skewer or pencil until taut, then lay it horizontally over the jar. This will keep the wick in the centre while the wax hardens. It may take a few hours for the wax to completely set, but I usually leave mine overnight.
  8. Once the wax has completely hardened, trim the wick to about 1/2 inch, then it’s ready to light! Do not trim it any shorter than this because it’ll make a smaller flame, which may cause the candle ‘tunnel‘.
  9. During the first burn keep your candle lit for at least 2.5 hours, or until the entire surface has melted.
DIY beeswax candles made at home.

Here is a recipe to make beeswax candles without needing glass jars.

DIY beeswax candle tutorial

DIY Coconut Wax Candles

Coconut wax is a great wax to use as the scent tends to last longer in this type of wax compared to others, where the essential oils can sometimes have a weak scent due to how little of the essential oil can safely be infused in them.

Ensure you source a coconut wax and soy wax that’s clean and chemical-free.

Ingredients:

Optional:

To make:

  1. Pour the coconut wax and soy wax into a metal container or pitcher and place in a large pot of water – filled just enough to cover the outside of the pitcher, without spilling over into the container. Bring to a boil.
  2. Turn heat down to medium heat and stir occasionally until the wax has melted. Make sure no water spills into the container.
  3. Once melted, remove from heat and stir in the essential oils, then pour a small amount of the wax mix into the bottom of each jar. Return the pitcher to the hot water to keep the wax melted.
  4. Pop a wick into the wax, keeping it to the centre of each jar. You can use a skewer to hold the wick securely in place while the wax sets; around 5-10 minutes.
  5. Fill the jar with the wax, and leave about an inch of room at the top of the jar.
  6. Wrap the end of the wick around a skewer or pencil until taut, then lay it horizontally over the jar. This will keep the wick in the centre while the wax hardens. It may take a few hours for the wax to completely set, but I usually leave mine overnight.
  7. Once the wax has completely hardened, trim the wick to about 1/2 inch, then it’s ready to light! Do not trim it any shorter than this because it’ll make a smaller flame, which may cause the candle ‘tunnel‘.
  8. During the first burn keep your candle lit for at least 2.5 hours, or until the entire surface has melted.
Coconut soy wax candle scented with lavender and geranium essential oil!

DIY coconut wax candle tutorial

As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor before trying or using any new products. It’s important to check with a doctor before taking this or any new product, especially if taking any other medicine or supplement or if pregnant or nursing. Be sure to check ingredients to make sure there is no risk of an allergic reaction.

Have you made your own candles before? Do you prefer beeswax, coconut wax or soy wax candles? If you have a favourite candle recipe, share below! We’d love to try it out too!

Lots of love,

🖤 Vanessa

Source:

Hobbs, Jordan. (April 16, 2020). 3 Benefits of Coconut Wax Candles. Heiroma. Retrieved from https://heiroma.com/blogs/news/benefits-coconut-wax-candles

Laura. The Easiest Beeswax Candle Recipe | Homemade Gift Ideas. Our Oily House. Retrieved from https://www.ouroilyhouse.com/the-easiest-beeswax-candle-recipe-homemade-gift-ideas/

Why We Don’t Use Soy Wax. Happy Piranha. Retrieved from https://happypiranha.com/pages/why-we-dont-use-soy-wax

Stanfield, Savanna. (July 22, 2021). Is Soy Wax Sustainable? All Its Pros & Cons (+2 Alternatives). Citizen Sustainable. Retrieved from https://citizensustainable.com/soy-wax/

Soy Wax Troubleshooting Guide. Candle Science. Retrieved from https://www.candlescience.com/wax/soy-wax-trouble-shooting-guide

Purchasing Candles Online. Antica Farmacista. https://anticafarmacista.com/pages/buying-candles-online

Everything You Need to Know About Candle Wax. Osmology. Retrieved from https://www.osmology.co/blog/which-wax/