In your quest to include periodic detoxing as part of your routine and maintain a clean home you probably thought you had to give up candles since most candles are generally made from paraffin, and release some toxic fumes and soot when burned.

The good news is there are many alternatives available on the market today for those who want to enjoy scented candles while eliminating toxins in their environment. In this article we will take you through some of the things to consider as you seek out a toxin-free alternative to the traditional scented candle.

1. What kind of wax is it made of?

The first thing to consider when you’re looking to purchase clean-burning candles is the type of wax the candle manufacturer uses. Many candles are made from paraffin wax or gel that tend to produce more soot than clean-burning candles  and release more toxins as well.

Clean-burning candles are made from natural alternatives like bees wax (made from pollen by bees), palm wax (made from palm oil which is extracted from palm trees), and soy wax (made from soya beans).

While all candles produce some soot when burned, clean-burning candles produce a lower amount and have less of a negative effect on the air and the environment.

2. Are there additives?

Colors, fillers and other non-wax chemicals added to candles generally affect the burning quality of the candles. It is therefore important to check labels before you make your purchase. Are there artificial colors? If yes, what kind are they? What is the wax makeup? These are all important questions to consider. Some manufacturers will label a candle as beeswax when it only has 10% bees wax and then they use other filler waxes for the remaining 90% of ingredients.

3. What kind of wick is used?

The string found in the middle of the candle that keeps the flame burning is called the wick. In the past, lead was used in the wick to help keep it straight. However, this also had the negative side effect of increasing soot produced by the candle and as well as lead residue released into the air. Now most candle wicks are manufactured without lead but it is still important to confirm before purchase if the candle you want to buy is lead-free.

4. What about the scented oils?

The main reason most of us buy candles is for the relaxing fragrances they give off when burned. These fragrances are added to the candle wax by way of scented oils, and the quality of the oil influences the quality of the candle. While this one is tricky to determine from looking at a label, we still thought we would mention it as a factor. One way to avoid dealing with this challenge is to consider purchasing naturally scented bees wax candles for freshening the air as poor quality oils would not be a concern in this case.


As a rule of thumb, just ensure that you always read labels and ask relevant questions before making purchases so you are properly informed when making a decision. Once you cover these questions you are well on your way to finding clean-burning candles that won’t get in the way of your quest to detox and live clean.

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