If you are a candle maker or are thinking of making your own beeswax candles, there is a whole world of choices in terms of materials you can use. These choices include:
- the type of wax to use
- the wick (wood or cotton wicks)
- if you should add fragrance and which kind of fragrance
- if you should add colorants at all
- inclusions like herbs, dried flowers
- what kind of jar to use
- if you should taper or pillar your candles
- should you label the candles
Ok, so that is a lot to keep in mind.
But you can also keep it extremely simple as well by choosing to make beeswax candles without any additives, and pour them in a mold or a glass jar.
Candle making can be as simple and straightforward or as intricate in the details as you want, and that is the beauty of making your own products!
A great place to start with candle making is with deciding on your candle wax, and there are a few different waxes to choose from.
The three main kinds of candles from wax are:
But what are the pros and cons of each candle wax?
We are going to talk to you today specifically about making beeswax candles, and why you may want to consider using this wax as your primary wax for candle making.
The Pros And Cons of Beeswax Candles
Pure beeswax is a beautiful, natural wax that has so many practical uses, including:
- candle making (natural candles)
- beeswax wraps
- lip balms and lipsticks
- cast iron pan treatments
- letter sealing
- furniture waxing
- chalk style painting
- and more
We are backyard beekeepers here at The Farmers Cupboard and just love collecting and melting down our beeswax. This wax is like liquid gold around here!
Here is my husband at one of our backyard hives showing some of the local kids about how beekeeping works:
So this is a true and honest opinion about using beeswax in your candle making, right from the beekeepers.
Let's get into it!
Beeswax Candles: PROS
1. Beeswax is a natural product
Are beeswax candles environmentally friendly? Yes, absolutely. Beeswax is a 100% pure byproduct from honey bees and is a renewable resource.
The bees use their wax to help seal their lives and make honeycomb to store their nectar in and to cap it while it becomes honey, as well as for housing new developing bees.
Here is a photo from one of our backyard hives last summer. You can see where our kids stuck their fingers in to taste the capped honey!
This should give you a good idea of how the wax is built up by the bees:
Burning a completely natural product like beeswax candles will not fill your air with chemicals that could harm you, like the ones that come from paraffin wax, which is a by product of petroleum.
2. Beeswax is naturally sweetly scented
When beeswax is collected by the beekeepers, it starts off as a mess of wax, sediment, honey, pollen, nectar and other debris.
When the beekeeper melts it down, it mixes with the honey, nectar and water and then separates itself from the other liquid as it cools.
Even as a solid, it still holds the scent of nectar and honey, which is a very faint scent but is absolutely lovely, warm and slightly sweet, and this pure scent is often associated with beeswax candles.
Give someone some beeswax candles and what is the first thing they do? They smell it. That natural scent is synonymous with beeswax candles and people love it.
3. Beeswax is a hard wax
Pure beeswax is a very hard wax, so it can be poured into a jar or into a mold to make free-standing beeswax candles, which opens up the world of fun candle molds!
You can also taper candles by dipping them in a large melting pot, or make them into pillar candles. Taper candles and pillar candles are another beautiful way to display your beeswax products.
4. Beeswax is clean burning
Are beeswax candles clean? This is another yes. A good point taken from beeswax being a natural product, it is a clean burning wax as well, so you won't get soot generated from the wax anywhere.
Most other candles will put a dark soot into the air that can accumulate on your walls or ceiling. Beeswax candles and most natural candles won't do that.
5. Beeswax is easily available directly from beekeepers
It is so nice when purchasing a natural ingredient, that you know where it is coming from when you purchase it right from the source.
When you buy your beeswax directly from beekeepers, you know it is 100% pure and is not mixed with other waxes or bleached.
We highly recommend purchasing your beeswax for beeswax candles (and other handmade products like for beeswax wraps) from reputable beekeeping families, and we have a list of beekeepers who sell high quality wax that you can read.
Or, you can shop for high quality beeswax directly, right here. We have personally worked with this beeswax before and can say it is pure and is a high quality, fantastic product.
Here is the family behind that beeswax we are talking about:
6. Beeswax is environmentally friendly
Beeswax, being the natural product that it is, is biodegradable and compostable, making it a great environmental choice of candle wax.
There are many people who are looking to purchase natural candles as well, so if you are looking to sell your beeswax candles, remember there are so many people who will buy beeswax candles from you if you are looking to make a small business.
7. Some say beeswax filters the air
There are so many natural health professionals who claim that burning beeswax candles filters the surrounding air and neutralizes any odors.
Not being a health care professional, I can't add our professional beekeeping thoughts to this point, but it is something that is often talked about. We will let you do your own further research on this point, but will say that it is quite widely spoken about and many people look for beeswax candles for this reason.
Beeswax Candles: CONS
1. Not as easy to find (if you don't know where to look!)
You can go ahead on Amazon and purchase "all natural beeswax", but you just are not sure what you are getting when you do not purchase directly from beekeepers. So it is not a matter of just purchasing beeswax under your prime membership and having arrive at your doorstep the next day.
Luckily though, we have done thorough research on some of the best beekeeping family businesses who sell their beeswax online and have compiled a list where you can get the real stuff from.
2. It is more expensive than other waxes
Yes, it is true that beeswax candles are more expensive to make, because beeswax is more expensive than say your paraffin candle wax or your soy candle wax.
This is again due to the nature of this natural wax and how it is produced.
As beekeepers, we can tell you just how precious beeswax truly is.
It takes years before there is enough excess wax to harvest from our beehives, and that is because the bees need it for their young and for making honey.
To make sure you are ethically collecting the beeswax, you want to take the excess, of the stuff they don't need.
There is not a huge abundance of beeswax, which makes it more expensive.
However, because the benefits of burning this chemical-free, clean, natural and environmentally friendly product (as well as the beautiful scent of it) we feel like it is totally worth it.
You can of course mix your beeswax with a bit of paraffin candle wax or soy candle wax, or even a bit of coconut oil for different reasons (to get a longer burn, to hold a scent longer or to avoid tunneling with the wick). And that will also help keep your cost down.
Those are really the only two cons we can think of for deciding on using beeswax for candle making.
Of course, as beekeepers, we love using beeswax and think it is just an amazing, natural substance and is a fantastic non-toxic candle making material that is fun to work with. It also smells amazing.
Here are some more questions you may have about making candles with beeswax:
How to Melt Beeswax
Beeswax is most easily melted by a controlled temperature through the use of a wax melter.
We especially like the wax melters with a control spout to pour directly into your molds or containers for candles. They are fantastic for mixing other things into your wax such as fragrances, essential oils or other oils.
How to Make Beeswax Candles
Beeswax candles are easily made by the following directions:
- Melting your wax, preferably in a wax melter to achieve the optimal melting point (the melting point of beeswax is 147F or 64C)
- Prepping your glass jars or molds
- Adding your wood or cotton wicks
- Pouring the wax and adding any other natural ingredients
- Letting your beeswax candles cure
- Labelling your candle (if you want)
For more detailed instructions, check out our article, How To Make Beeswax Candles
The prices of pure, natural beeswax vary, but you can check with some of the local beekeepers we have listed in our article Where To Buy Beeswax Directly From Beekeepers.
If you are shopping elsewhere for your beeswax, something you should be aware of is anyone claiming that their beeswax is organic.
USA laws do not allow beekeepers to claim that their beeswax is "organic"
USDA regulations state that because honey bees travel 2-3 miles from their hive, everything within their range has to be organic - which is nearly impossible in the USA. However, wax coming from foreign sources can make the claim (no verification needed) and be labeled as "organic".
So beware when you see the words "organic beeswax". Another reason we recommend purchasing from family beekeeping farms.
Where To Buy Beeswax Near Me?
Here is a question that is asked often: where to buy beeswax near me. You can try searching your local Facebook groups if you want to find who sells beeswax close to where you are located, but here is a better idea.
What we suggest is searching on this homemade seller website.
Once you click the link we have preset for you for beeswax, click on "all filters" and enter "custom shop location".
Just remember if you are looking for beeswax near you or you go to search "buy beeswax near me", please remember what we said about how to shop for real beeswax and what to look for.
Making your own eco friendly beeswax candles is not only fun but working with natural waxes and all natural ingredients gives you almost a peace of mind knowing you are not adding to the chemicals in the air you breathe.
Beeswax candles are an eco friendly, all natural candle that are naturally scented and produce the most beautiful, warm light. You can of course make soy candles and paraffin candles or blend the paraffin wax or soy wax with your beeswax and that is totally your own choice!
When you make your own candles, you are totally in charge of what goes into your product, and that is really nice. Especially when you can make informed ingredient decisions.
If you want to learn more about making candles and adding essential oils, fragrance oils (and the pros and cons of real vs. artificial scent) or other candles, be sure to read our article about candle making supplies.
Here are some other articles you may be interested in reading:
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