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How to Make Beeswax Candles: 8 Easy Steps

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Beeswax candles have hugely increased in popularity in recent years. As people become more aware of the possible harmful effects of other types of candles, many people are turning to more natural and environmentally friendly wax.

As a candle lover, I always have candles burning in my home. I recently started to make my own candles as a way of saving money and trying a new hobby and found that I loved it. I experimented with paraffin candles first but quickly decided that the harmful toxins meant that this was not the right choice for me and my family.

how to make beeswax candles

I wanted a safer alternative and all of my research kept leading me back to beeswax.. Beeswax candles are, as the name would suggest, made by bees. Beeswax is a completely natural substance and is vegetarian-friendly.

The more I researched making beeswax candles, the more I realized it was something I wanted to try, and I’m so glad I did!

Why are beeswax candles better?

For those who are still unsure about the potential advantages of burning beeswax candles, I have prepared a quick summary that explains why so many people are making the transition to beeswax.

  1.  Beeswax has the lowest amount of toxic chemicals compared to all other candle waxes.
  2. They are environmentally friendly and completely biodegradable.
  3. Beeswax candles are made from natural substances.
  4. They are hypoallergenic. Many other candles can exacerbate the symptoms of allergies and asthma. Beeswax candles are the most friendly candles for anyone with these issues.
  5. Beeswax can help to neutralize any pollutants in your home. They help to get rid of dust, mold, and bad smells! This means that beeswax candles don’t just cover up bad smells, they help to eliminate them completely.
  6. The flame on a beeswax candle is the most natural in color. It is similar to the light from the sun.
  7. Although beeswax candles can be more expensive, they actually burn for longer when compared to other candle wax.

So now you know why I decided to make the change to beeswax candles. Having made paraffin and soy candles in the past, I was a little nervous that beeswax would be much more difficult to work with and would take all the fun out of candle making. Luckily, I couldn’t have been more wrong!

If any of you fellow candle lovers are also thinking about trying to make your own beeswax candles, I have prepared a guide on the best way to make them. I researched the topic extensively and looked for tips from other candle makers. With a little bit of trial and error, I think this is the best way to make beeswax candles. Let’s take a look.

What Do You Need to make Beeswax Candles?

There are certain ingredients and materials you will need to make your beeswax candles. As beeswax can be more temperamental than other wax types, make sure you have the correct ingredients before you begin, as even one mistake could result in a failed candle.

  • 1lb of beeswax – preferably pure, filtered beeswax. It is also always best to use ethically sourced beeswax.
  • ½ a cup of coconut oil.
  • Cotton wicks. They should be at least medium thickness, as beeswax candles require thicker wicks in order to burn effectively.
  • A large pot.
  • A smaller, heatproof container, such as a metal pitcher.
  • A stirrer – A wooden spoon or something similar works fine.
  • Glass jars
  • Wick stickers or a glue gun.
  • A clothes peg.

It is much more time-effective to prepare your materials ahead of time. Once you have everything you need, you are ready to begin.

How to make Beeswax Candles

Step 1 – Prepare the wicks.

Cut the wicks so that they are the correct length. The length will vary depending on the height of your jars. The best way to judge this is to measure the length of your jar using a ruler and then add an extra few inches to this length. For example, if your jar is 6 inches, cut the wicks to approximately 9 inches.

Using the wick stickers, stick the wick to the bottom of the jar, in the center. If you do not have wick stickers, you can also use a glue gun. To ensure the wick stays in place, you can hold it in place using a clothespin positioned horizontally on top of the jar.

Step 2 – Melt the wax.

Put the beeswax inside your pitcher. Fill a larger pot with a couple of inches of water and place your pitcher inside the first pot. Bring the water to a boil and then leave it on a gentle simmer until the beeswax has completely melted. Note – Make sure not to fill the larger pot too high with water, as you are going to boil the water, and it is important that it doesn’t bubble over into the beeswax. If you have a double boiler in your home, you can also use this to melt the wax.

Step 3 – Add the coconut oil.

Once the wax has completely melted, remove it from the heat and add the coconut oil. Stir the mixture gently, but thoroughly, to ensure that the coconut oil has been incorporated evenly into the wax. Take into account that whatever you use to stir the mixture will be very difficult to clean and remove the wax from. It is best to have a dedicated stirrer that you only use for making candles.

Step 4 – Begin to add the wax.

Add a small amount of wax to each jar – approximately half an inch. Before you begin the next step, return your pitcher to the hot water so that the rest of the wax doesn’t harden. Then, hold your wick up so that it is standing straight in the center of the jar. Hold it there by hand, or secure it using a clothes peg for a few minutes until the wax has hardened. This will ensure your wicks stay completely center in the candles. The wax should take less than 10 minutes to cool completely but this may vary depending on the room temperature.

Step 5 – Pour the wax.

Pour the rest of the wax into the jars, making sure not to overfill the jars. Ensure the wick is secured in place with the clothes peg so that it remains central while the wax hardens.

Step 6 – Allow the wax to harden

As beeswax is prone to cracking, it is best to allow the wax to cool and harden in a warm place. To ensure it is fully hard, leave the wax to harden overnight. Whilst the wax is cooling, try not to touch or move the jars as you want to make sure the wax cools evenly and doesn’t crack.

Step 7 – Trim the wick

Once the wax is completely hard, you need to trim the wick. This should be trimmed to no less than half an inch above the candle, otherwise, it will be difficult to light and may not produce a strong enough flame.

Step 8 – Enjoy

Now your candles are ready to enjoy. When you burn them for the first time, it is usually best to allow them to burn for a couple of hours, or until the entire surface of the wax has melted. This helps to prevent the candles from tunneling and will allow for a more even melt.

How many candles will these instructions make?

If you follow the measurements above, expect to get two candles of approximately 12 oz. For those using smaller jars, four candles of 6 oz and six candles of 4 oz should also work.

Can I add essential oils to beeswax candles?

The short answer is yes, you can definitely add essential oils if you are looking to add different scents to your candles. However, it is important to note that beeswax does not hold scents as well as other wax types. Beeswax is naturally scented with honey so if you choose not to add any essential oils, this is the fragrance you will smell when you burn your candles. If you do decide to add essential oils, you will need approximately 2 tablespoons to your recipe. I have found that essential oils such as lavender and lemongrass.

Why is my beeswax candle difficult to light?

Beeswax melts at a higher temperature than other wax types. This means the in order to burn the wax effectively, beeswax candles must have a thicker wick. Thicker wicks are more difficult to light so you may find that you have to hold your lighter or match over the wick for longer than you expected.

Why has my candle turned white on top?

If you are using pure beeswax, parts of the beeswax may migrate to the surface of the candle several weeks or months after you have made the candle. This is called ‘bloom’ and is completely normal. If you want to remove the bloom from your candle, simply gently wipe the candle with a cloth. However, bloom is not harmful and will not impact the burning or scent of the candle.

Can I use wicks that are not made from cotton?

There are other wicks available when making candles, including wood and bamboo. However, a thick cotton wick is definitely the best option for beeswax candles and will ensure a more even melt. Braided cotton wicks are the best option for beeswax candle makers.

Can I make the candles using only beeswax?

Some people don’t like to add additional ingredients to their candles. It is possible to make your beeswax candles without adding any additional oils. However, you are likely to find that your candles won’t have an even burn, but will instead burn down the middle. This will leave an outer layer of unused wax. When you blow out your candle and allow it to cool, pure beeswax may also crack. Although this wouldn’t be a problem for me, some people don’t like the look of cracked candles.

Is there a way to make beeswax candles without having a negative impact on bees?

Beeswax is made by honeybees who have to gather a lot of pollen to make beeswax for their hives. Many people are concerned that by taking the beeswax, we are actually harming bees. The population of honeybees is declining as a result of human behavior. Not only is this incredibly sad, but bees are also vital to human survival. For those who are concerned about this, which is hopefully everyone, we can help to tackle this problem while still using beeswax. You should try to buy beeswax that is ethically sourced and organic. Before purchasing the beeswax, research the company. What are they doing to protect bees? How do they source the beeswax? What food source are the bees accessing and how are the bees looked after?

Can I use other types of wax for making candles?

The short answer is yes. Candles can be made using paraffin wax, soy wax, palm wax, amongst others. Each type of wax has different pros and cons, so you need to decide what is most important for you. For example, paraffin wax is the cheapest wax to buy but has been shown to have as many as seven different toxins that are released when you burn it. Palm wax is made using palm oil which is responsible for massive deforestation across the world. The best advice I can offer is to do your research and really look into the positives and negatives of each wax type before making your decision.