Beeswax Candles DIY

Photo: The Ecology Center
You breathe what you burn!

The cold winter gives us new opportunities to focus on creating a healthy ecosystem…indoors. Before switching on the lights, consider lighting a room with all-natural, non-toxic beeswax candles.

Made of natural materials, beeswax candles burn cleaner and last much longer than petroleum (also known as paraffin) or soy-based alternatives. Petroleum-based waxes release toxic chemicals like benzene and toluene into the air, similar to a diesel truck! These chemicals are harmful to the environment, and have been known to both aggravate existing respiratory issues and create new ones. The soy-based alternatives, though much better than paraffin, use synthetic fragrances and dyes, and 90 percent of the time are derived from genetically modified soy.

A great way to maintain the indoor air quality of your home is to make and burn your own beeswax candles. You will enjoy a therapeutic aroma, produce a brighter glow and gently light up your space—the natural way. Plus, by purchasing natural beeswax, you support the amazing work of bees, the products they produce and the positive impact they make on our global food system.

To get started, find some beeswax at a natural food store (or ask your local farmer) and follow the instructions below.

Tools & Materials

  • • 1-2 gallon cooking pot
  • • 1 gallon water
  • • 1 wooden dowel
  • • 16” tall pail
  • • 1 pack of candle wicks
  • • Beeswax
  • • Stove

Instructions

1. Place chunks of beeswax in a tall metal pail and set aside. This will be your dipping container.

2. Prepare a hot water bath by filling a large pot half full with water and bringing it to a boil. Set the pail of beeswax inside to melt the beeswax.

candle-step1

3. Prop or wedge a sturdy dowel between a doorway and cover the floor below with newspaper to catch drips.

4. Cut a piece of wick two times the length of your pail.

5. Dip the wick in melted wax three times. Move quickly but allow the forming candle to drip and cool a bit between dips.

candle-step21

6. Set each candle pair on dowel to cool (5 minutes), or dip in a pot of cold water for instant cooling.

7. Once a pair is cool enough for another dip, return it to the pail for another coating. The wicks will want to curl and bend, straighten them out by hand if you see this happening. Continue the dipping and cooling pattern until you get the right “taper” thickness for your candle holder (usually 4-5 times).

8. While candles are hanging to cool, trim the drips that begin to form at the bottom of the candle.

9. Let cool completely.

10. Burn clean!

Tip: Don’t forget to add more beeswax chunks to your dipping container as the level gets low. This will ensure you get candles with consistent widths, from top to bottom.


This resource was adapted from our publication, “Backyard Skills: A D.I.Y. Handbook”.

the-ecology-centerThe Ecology Center is a regional hub for sustainability in Orange County, CA, seeks to bring all members of the community together in a solutions-based educational setting to inspire and create a healthy and abundant future for all. The Center highlights empowering and cutting-edge environmental perspectives that can be applied to the way we live our lives, making it possible for us to coexist with a thriving environment.