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If you already know a bit about candle making, you probably have an idea of what beeswax is. This article would give you more than an idea. It gives reliable information mainly on how to make beeswax candles. There is also additional information concerning its benefits and how to get beeswax to make your own candles.
What is Beeswax
Beeswax is probably the best of all waxes. It is not just completely natural; it also purifies the air around candles made with it. No wonder it has endured many generations. Long before now, when candles were only used as a source of light, the ancients relied on beeswax alone for making candles. Honeybees gather nectar from various flowers and use them to produce honeycombs. It is from these honeycombs that wax is then extracted.
Beeswax Melting Point
Beeswax is also loved by many for its great natural honey-like scent. It also has the natural yellow-brown colour of honey. It is not all beeswax that is yellow though. Some are bleached white so that they can be coloured as desired. It has a high melt point (about 145°F) and so can be used to make various types of candles. Rolled candles, in particular, can only be made using Beeswax sheets. Beeswax has a lot of great qualities but is still not widely used. All these qualities come at a price, a high one. If you have the budget to accommodate it, then you should absolutely go for it.
Benefits of Beeswax Candles
Some of the benefits, I have highlighted above but I will explain better here.
1. That beeswax is natural means it is eco-friendly and contains no toxins. This makes it a great alternative in this respect to paraffin wax. You just have to make sure that you are buying 100% pure beeswax.
2. It contains negative ions which, when released into the air, attract the positive ions of dirt and various pollutants thereby causing them to fall to the ground, making the environment safer just by burning candles.
3. Beeswax candles burn the brightest and produce far less soot compared to other waxes. But you have to wick your candles properly too.
4. The high melt point of beeswax causes it to burn longer (up to 5 times longer) than most other types of wax.
Despite all these benefits, many avoid beeswax because it is expensive (it is the most expensive of all waxes). And those who do so cannot be blamed. DIY projects are supposed to be cheap, quick and easy. The main reason beeswax is expensive is because of how much resources go into making it. Honey bees need pollen from several pounds of honey and pollen from millions of flowers just to make a pound of beeswax. If you work on a little budget, you might also want to shy away from beeswax. But note that I mentioned that beeswax burns up to 5 times longer than other types of wax. So in making beeswax candles, you would actually be getting a good reward for the money spent, depending on how you look at it.
Where to Buy Beeswax
Beeswax is mostly found in pellet and sheet forms. The pellet form is used to make regular beeswax candles. And beeswax sheets are used to make rolled candles. You would find beeswax in different forms sold online. And there are various local craft stores too that have beeswax for sale. It may be a little scarce to get it at local craft stores but you may still check around.
To purchase beeswax, you should only go for the ones with the label ‘100% Beeswax’. Manufacturers are not obligated to disclose all the ingredients to the public so those that are labelled just ‘beeswax’ are probably blended with another type of wax. Buy only from reliable sources and compare prices to make sure you get a good deal.
Apart from purchasing it, beeswax can also be made at home. You are lucky if you have a beehive, else you would have to get some honeycomb from a local beekeeper.
What You Need to Make Beeswax Candles
Beeswax candles are mostly container candles so get glass jars ready. Beeswax does not seem to hold scent well. So if you want to make scented candles you have to use essential oils with a very strong scent like peppermint, lemongrass etc. You can also add a little coconut oil to get a stronger scent. There is no need to worry; your wax is still natural.
For wicks, you can get some cotton wicks and cut them to the size of your container. Preferably, they should be pre-tabbed or you can get separate tabs and tab them yourself.
Other Candle Making Supplies
And wick stickers are needed too. Thermometer, double boiler, stove, wooden spoon, scissors and so on are other materials needed. So get them all ready.
How to Make Beeswax Candles
Pour some wax (say, a pound) in a double boiler and place on a stove with low to medium heat. Stir gently with a wooden spoon (or thermometer) as the wax melts.
Attach the wick sticker to the tab and place it at the center of the container. Make sure it is properly centered. If you are without wick stickers and wick tabs, you can simply dip an end of the wick in melting wax quickly and press it down for some seconds so it can stick. To keep the wick straight, wrap it around a pencil, placed across the top of the container. Or place the wick between two chopsticks (also set across the top of the container).
When the wax melts completely, add the coconut oil and your desired essential oil. About a half cup of coconut oil should do for that amount of wax. Stir it all (wax, coconut oil, essential oil) together to combine well.
Check your wick to make sure it is still standing straight. If it is, pour the wax slowly and gently into the jar, leaving a little space at the top.
Let the candle cool in a warm area. Beeswax often cracks if it cools too fast.
When the candle cools completely, trim the wick to ¼ inch and light your candles.