Non-toxic candles have become increasingly popular as shoppers become more conscious about what they're buying. Unlike traditional candles that contain what is considered more harmful chemicals such as paraffin wax and synthetic fragrances, non-toxic candles are made from natural ingredients that are safe for both humans and the environment.
What are Non-Toxic Candles?
These candles are often crafted using clean-burning waxes such as beeswax, coconut wax, or melted soy wax, which produce minimal soot and do not release harmful toxins when burned.
Additionally, non-toxic candles may be scented with natural fragrance blends derived from essential oils. However, clean candles may also refer to the wax and not the fragrance oil. With cleaner-burning properties and a commitment to using sustainable and renewable resources, non-toxic candles offer a safer and healthier alternative for those who enjoy the warm glow and inviting scents of candles without the worry of indoor air pollution or exposure to toxic chemicals.
Advantages of non-toxic candles
Clean candles offer numerous advantages, making them a healthier and more eco-friendly choice. One of the key benefits is their clean burn, which means they do not produce harmful chemicals or toxins when lit. This clean burn not only ensures a safer environment but also reduces indoor air pollution, promoting better respiratory health for those in the vicinity.
Non-toxic candles are made using natural ingredients, such as soy wax, beeswax, or coconut wax, which are renewable resources and do not contribute to deforestation. These natural ingredients also produce a more pleasant and authentic scent compared to synthetic fragrances, creating a more enjoyable and relaxing ambience. Additionally, non-toxic candles often use cotton wicks or eco-friendly wicks instead of those containing harmful metals like lead.
Try our Lemongrass & Persian Lime soy candle for a burst of citrus in your home.
Natural waxes used for non-toxic candles
When it comes to non-toxic candles, the type of wax used plays a crucial role. There are several natural waxes commonly used in making these candles, each with its unique characteristics and benefits.
Known for its clean burn and natural air-purifying properties, beeswax is the gold standard for those seeking a safer and healthier candle option.
Derived from the honeycombs of bees, beeswax candles are completely natural and free from the harmful chemicals often found in conventional candles. Not only do they burn clean, releasing minimal soot and toxins into the air, but they also act as a natural air purifier by releasing negative ions that help neutralise pollutants.
One of the unique characteristics of beeswax candles is their subtle honey aroma. This gentle scent adds a touch of warmth and cosiness to any space, creating a calming and soothing ambience.
In addition to their non-toxic nature and lovely scent, beeswax candles are also non-allergenic, making them ideal for individuals with sensitivities or allergies.
As the wax is derived from animals, beeswax is not vegan though. Candle terms can be a minefield, attempting to understand the difference between non-toxic, vegan and natural - they are not interchangeable.
When it comes to non-toxic candles, coconut wax has gained popularity as a natural and sustainable alternative. Derived from the meat of coconuts, coconut wax offers numerous benefits for those seeking a cleaner burning candle option.
Coconut wax is known for its clean and slow burn, which means it lasts longer compared to other types of wax. This characteristic ensures that your candle will emit fragrance throughout its entire lifespan. Additionally, coconut wax has a lower melting point, which translates to a longer burning time and less heat emitted from the candle.
One of the major advantages of coconut oil and wax is that it is a renewable resource. Coconuts are abundantly available and can be sustainably harvested without causing harm to the environment. This makes coconut wax a more eco-friendly choice compared to other wax options.
Soy wax is a popular choice for environmentally-conscious candle enthusiasts looking for non-toxic options. Made from soybean oil, this natural wax offers several advantages over conventional paraffin wax.
One of the main benefits of soy wax is its lower melting point. This means that soy wax candles burn slower and last longer than their paraffin counterparts. Not only does this translate to a more cost-effective option, but it also ensures that you can enjoy your favourite scents for an extended period.
Another advantage of soy wax is its clean burn. Unlike paraffin wax, soy wax produces little to no soot when burned, minimising indoor air pollution and reducing health risks. With soy wax candles, you can breathe easy knowing that you're not releasing harmful chemicals into your home.
In addition to being non-toxic and clean-burning, soy wax is also a renewable resource. Soybeans are grown abundantly in many parts of the world, making the production of soy wax sustainable and eco-friendly.
Palm Wax is an excellent natural wax option for those seeking non-toxic candles. Derived from the fruit of the oil palm tree, Palm Wax offers several properties and benefits that make it a popular choice.
It also provides a clean burn, like soy, coconut and beeswax. However, although vegan as it uses no animal by-products, palm oil harvesting can be linked to deforestation and the destruction of crucial habitats. There is a large initiative to use certified palm oil that is grown, harvested and bought sustainably to reduce the risk to the environment. However, you will need to research whether the candle is using this certified oil.
Additionally, although vegan, some vegans choose not to use products with palm oil due to the negative consequences on the industry.
Spice up your decor with our Lavender & Fresh Laundry scented candle.
Types of wicks used for non-toxic candles
When it comes to clean candles, not only is the type of wax important, but the wick used also plays a crucial role. Many conventional candle wicks are made from materials that may release harmful chemicals when burned. However, there are several types of wicks that are considered safe and non-toxic.
When it comes to non-toxic candles, one important feature to consider is the type of wick used. Cotton wicks are a popular choice, not only for their ease of production but also for their tall, beautiful flame.
Cotton wicks are typically made with braided cotton fibres that have been cured in wax. This process helps to ensure a consistent and clean burn, without the release of harmful chemicals or toxins. It's important to note, however, that not all cotton wicks are created equal. Some may be combined with materials like zinc wire or fibreglass, which can potentially introduce toxins into the air when burned.
To ensure a truly non-toxic candle experience, look for scented candles that are specifically labeled as having 100% cotton wicks or eco-wicks. This ensures that the wick is made solely from natural, non-toxic materials, providing you with a safe and clean burn.
Wooden wicks (wood wicks)
Wooden wicks are an excellent choice for those seeking non-toxic candles that provide unique benefits and features. Unlike traditional cotton wicks, wooden wicks offer a slower burn time, ensuring your candle lasts longer. This is due to the larger surface area of the wooden wick, allowing for a more controlled and even heat distribution.
One of the standout advantages of wooden wicks is their minimal soot or carbon build-up. This means cleaner air quality in your home and less residue on your natural candle container. In addition to these practical benefits, wooden wicks also create a cosy ambience with their crackling sounds reminiscent of a fireplace.
To ensure the utmost safety and quality, it's crucial to choose wooden wicks made from untreated and non-glued cherry or maple wood.
Reduction in indoor air pollution
Scented candles, especially those made with synthetic fragrances, can release harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air when burned.
Exposure to VOCs can have various health risks, ranging from headaches and irritations to damage to organs. That's why it is crucial to be mindful of the candles we choose to bring into our homes.
To reduce indoor air pollution from candles, there are a few recommended practices to keep in mind. Firstly, always burn candles in well-ventilated areas. This allows for proper air circulation and helps in dispersing any potential pollutants. Secondly, it is essential to trim the wick before each use. A trimmed wick burns more cleanly and reduces the amount of soot and chemicals released into the air. However, some natural candles have self-trimming wicks, which means they naturally reduce in size with each burn. Check the length of your wick before you light it, if it's 1.5cm or 15mm or longer, trim it down slightly.
Everyone is different, some people may feel headaches with paraffin wax candles, others with a particular scent of a beeswax product. It'll be trial and error, and not one type of natural wax candle or fragrance will be the answer.
You can make a note of the potential allergies or information in the list of ingredients. If you find a certain candle may be irritating, you can look out for it the next time you pick up a candle.
And if you still have doubts, reach out to the candle company for verification or peace of mind.
Check out our range of soy wax candles with cotton eco-wicks here.