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The Cleaner Burn

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The Cleaner Burn

There are benefits to choosing beeswax candles. Pure beeswax is clean burning, contains no additives, and therefore, is not harmful to human lung tissue. Although initially we pay more for beeswax candles, they burn much longer than paraffin and smell naturally fresh and sweet.

We celebrate good times with candlelight, and we light candles to soothe our souls. It is for the comfort of tradition and for our belief in the goodness and abundance of life that we light votive candles, Christmas candles, Hanukkah candles, wedding candles, birthday candles, and romantic dinner candles. There are candles for every occasion.

There are benefits to choosing beeswax candles. Pure beeswax is clean burning, contains no additives, and therefore, is not harmful to human lung tissue. Although initially we pay more for beeswax candles, they burn much longer than paraffin and smell naturally fresh and sweet.

Insist on Purity

Pure beeswax candles are not hard to find. Local beekeepers often sell beeswax candles made from the wax they harvest from their own hives. Health food stores often carry beeswax candles and can supply information about the health benefits of burning pure beeswax. For you to reap the benefits, these candles must be pure beeswax. Beware of claims on commercial packaging that declare they are “Beeswax Candle(s)” without the qualification that they are 100 percent beeswax.

Pick the Right Wick

Material contained in the wick is important for health reasons as well. There are two basic types of wicks: non-cored and cored. Non-cored wicks are made of braided or twisted plant fibres such as cotton, hemp, or linen and are considered the safest to burn. Cored wicks are usually made of cotton around a core of paper or metal. Zinc, tin or lead is used as the core for some candlewicks because these metals will hold the wick upright even if the candle burns hotter, whereas a poorly constructed wick would collapse and drown in the melted wax at its base. (Candles in containers burn hotter because the heat cannot easily dissipate as in the case of a free-standing candle.)

Get the Lead Out

It can be dangerous to your health to burn lead core wicks because the soot from such candles contains toxic lead dust along with other pollutants. According to Health Canada, there is an easy method to test whether a candlewick contains lead. First, remove the wax from the tip of the wick and separate the fibre strands. If you see a metallic core, rub it on a piece of paper to determine whether this metal is lead. The appearance of a grey mark would indicate that it probably is.

To stop the flame of your candle becoming too large and melting the beeswax too quickly, trim the wick to one quarter of an inch height after burning your candle. Don’t blow the candle out. Snuff it with a candle snuffer or dunk the wick by bending it with a pair of chopsticks or your candlewick trimming scissors into the pool of melted wax at the base of the wick, then straighten the wick and trim it. If you follow these tips, they will help to make your candle burning more efficient and enjoyable.

Go natural–enjoy burning pure, natural, unscented beeswax candles, and keep your home a pollutant free zone.

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