The soft flicker of a candle can be very relaxing; it cane help centre the mind when meditating, and give a warm glow to a cold dark room.
Many of the candles we buy smell beautiful but often contain perfumes made from limonene. Limonene is a chemical found in citrus peel and in itself is actually suggested to aid in weight loss,prevent cancer, and treat bronchitis. However when limonene is exposed to air, its chemical composition changes to that of formaldehyde, which has been linked to causing cancer.
To avoid chemicals in your candles, you can make your own, which will be much better for your health and the environment.
There are many types of wax that can be used to make candles, the main three being paraffin, soy, and beeswax.
Paraffin requires mining and so damages the environment; it is also a non-renewable resource. Soy is environmentally friendly, but burns quickly and does not take scents very well. Beeswax on the other hand is environmentally friendly and is the slowest burning wax; this means that although the wax is more expensive, the candle will last a lot longer. It does not take scent as well as paraffin, but is better than soy. The beeswax also has its own natural scent which is quite pleasant.
Beeswax is a tough wax, and when used entirely by itself, can make your jars crack, so it is best to soften it slightly with a carrier oil. It also requires a specific type of wick (see below), rather than the standard type used for other waxes.
40g coconut oil
20ml groundnut oil
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
3.5" W x 2.5" H glass jar
1 square braided wick
Put a heat-proof measuring cup in a saucepan of simmering water (the handle should be on the outside), and stir the beeswax until melted.
Dip your wick in and out of the melted beeswax and allow it to stiffen.
Stir in the coconut oil and groundnut oil until melted, and then stir in the vanilla extract.
Hold the wick in the centre of the jar while pouring the candle mixture.
Use two skewers to hold the wick in place while you wait for the candle to set.
Cut the wick just above the set wax, and allow at least 24 hours for the candle to completely harden before lighting.
Hi Claire. I just went to the supermarket and it was there amongst all the other oils. I didn't think it was a specialist product. Maybe it isn't as readily available in Australia - that or it is under a different name. Groundnut oil is another name for peanut oil. Do you have that? If not, don't worry, you don't need to use groundnut oil specifically, it is just the oil I chose. The candle can be made with any carrier oil, such as olive oil, palm (I avoid for conservation reasons), rap seed. You can even use all coconut oil if you like. I just wanted a mix of softer and harder oils.