Saturday, October 18, 2014

Starlight, Starbright - Home and Emergency Supplies - the Right Candles.

For years I used the typical decorative candle that smelled like apple pie or cinnamon or such.  I also attributed the constant sneezing and sniffing when I was burning a decorative candle to seasonal allergies.  But when I started prepping and canning and doing more things from scratch around the home, I looked into a better, cheaper option.  Well, beeswax isn't cheaper, not at first glance, but it is SO much better, an ultimately, a good value.

Hundreds of years ago, candles were made from beeswax.  Over time, those beeswax candles were gradually replaced by tallow (animal fat) candles, and then in the last century by paraffin candles.  If you look at the candles in your home, that's likely what you have. But what exactly IS paraffin?

Well, it's made from the goo found at the bottom of barrels of crude oil, which is then treated and bleached with chemical solvents such as benzene and toulene  to "clean it up".  This is AFTER the stuff to make asphalt is extracted.  There's a reason such candles put out soot and smoke when you burn them, along with some tasty carcinogens.  To get around that natural "diesel fuel" smell the makers add synthetic fragrance oils, many of which can be toxic if burned.
No wonder I was sneezing and sniffing.  The minute particles of that sludge byproduct, over time, can also stain walls, and drapes.

Then I discovered 100% beeswax candles.

Not only do beeswax candles not put out the pollutants, they also help clean the air, for as the candle burns, negative ions are emitted that clean the air.  How?  Negative ions are drawn to positive, and positive ions attract and hold on to airborne things such as mold, dust, bacteria, viruses and odor causing pollutants, and are suspended in the air.  The negative ions latch on to the "contaminated" positive ions and weigh them down where they fall to the ground.  It's similar to a the cleansing of the air you see after a thundershower a negative ionic event if there ever was one.
I have no hard science as to the allergy connection, but several friends for whom I gave beeswax candles as gifts, say they have seen a marked improvement in their allergies, burning a beeswax candle in their bedroom for about 3 hours before sleep.  I burn one for a few hours in my small home prior to a visit from a friend that's sensitive to pet dander and she says it helps immensely.

But Brigid!  You're Scot!  You're a spendthrift!  You refinish and reupholster throw away curb furniture and bake your own bread.  Those candles are rather pricey.
100% Beeswax candles burn 3 times longer than traditional candles.  Considering that, they are quite competitively priced with  most high commercially sold candles. It's dollars well spent.

Home Emergency Supplies - candles are a part of most smart folks ready reserves for natural disaster or electrical outage.  Not only does the beeswax candle burn cleaner, nice in close quarters, but it has a flame that's much brighter than traditional candles, with the same light spectrum as a ray of sun.  I keep one in the glove box of my car, in case of an on road emergency requiring a bit of natural light and heat without polluting the cab of the bat truck.
But (there's always a but).  Not all Beeswax candles sold are 100% pure. Labeling in the US requires only that they be 51% beeswax to be pure (much like some of our food labeling).  Look for the phrase "100% pure beeswax" and note the  unique and fresh, subtle honey fragrance.
I get mine from  Morningsong Gardens.

They are a family owned, Midwest basedCompany and their bee balms (from unscented to my favorites lavender/vanilla or almond/vanilla) have saved my hands for years from the constant scrubbing that is sometimes part of my day. The bee balm, especially the Calendula Pomegranate is wonderful for the skin of folks going through radiation with cancer treatment and I try and send a jar out to bloggers I know are going through that or have a family member who is. It's also a natural SPF 15 with no chemicals that I will use on my face on a daily basis for light sun protection (though being redhead, if  I'm out in the strong sun for any long period of time,  I need a hat, SPF50 and a few of those tiles they use on the space shuttle).
So, when I saw they also made 100% pure beeswax candles, made in the USA with pure cotton wicks (no lead). I ordered some and have been so happy with the speed of shipping and the quality.

 Plus I have the little animal ones around my tub now instead of those Ikea tubs o'tealights for ten bucks, which just sooted up my shower curtain. These candles produce NO smoke and last SO long, while your drapes, walls and air stay fresh and clean.
 Whether you are a candle lover, a prepper, someone who loves their "Calgon Take Me Away" candle accompanied baths, or live in an area with power outages, add some pure beeswax candles to your supplies. You might just like them because your house is full of dog hair and you're sneezing all the time.  For whatever the reason you, will find the slight amount more you pay has benefit beyond compare.

16 comments:

  1. So that explains...much. Thanks, B! You've now convinced me to get some beeswax candles the next time I go to the local apiary to get more honey.

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  2. Huh, interesting. I'll have to look into this. Do you have any citations I can follow up on?

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  3. HMMM, I wonder if it works as well for cat dander? My Grand daughter has three cats & seems to always have the sniffles.

    Thanks for the info!

    Merle

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  4. You have no idea yet just how timely your post is...

    And I learned something tonight that might interest you. Waxman Candles Lawrence Ks, also has a storefront in Chicago.

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  5. Just don't burn candles in your home if you have cats. CAT ON FIRE! is one possible outcome, HOUSE ON FIRE! is another. We use LED flashlights rather than candles when the lights go out because of Bug, Yellow-Cat, Tigger, Brownie.....

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  6. On a Wing - I'm really glad I switched over. Made a big difference in the "sniffles".

    GregT - if you click on the Morningsong Gardens link in the post they have quite a bit of information up about them.

    Merle - I bet it would help.

    Monkeywrangler - I can honestly say I've not been anywhere near downtown Chicago in 30 years, and not likely to, but I will check them out online.

    Ed - your wife would love the Morningsong products.

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  7. True Blue Sam - did you put the cat out?

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  8. It has been proven that burning candles will foul up the hvac to the point it must replaced. The soot also gets in the ductwork. Plus, burning scented or no scent candles can cause asthma or exacerbate asthma. I worked in an office with someone who burned candles. I asked her nicely not to. She became incensed and yelled at me. The day before, I had put a silk rose in a vase on my desk and she became alarmed because at first she thought it was real. She was allergic to most flowers. After she became so angry, I assured her I would not bring real flowers in the spring.

    The little air fresheners of all are toxic and cause the same health problems as candles.

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  9. Brigid, another great time for me to show up. In Indiana, my house was 1,000 sq feet, and I always had candles burning. UNTIL the day I was hugging Joe and looked UP to see black soot all over my ceilings. Bathroom, bedroom, living room, and they all had to be painted by "the designated painter". I knew that soy candles didn't produce soot, but they're hard to find and expensive also. I had no idea beeswax burned longer, so I'm going to the site you suggested...wearing a blindfold to avoid seeing the costs.

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  10. idahobob - thanks for stopping

    Wendy Lunko - I do love my products from Frangipani and Bee Natural as well, but the bee balm is my secret weapon when my skin gets exposed to the elements. It's awesome, and so many different scents (or no scent) to pick from, including some guys like, like bay rum and a northwoods one.

    Linda - that's good to know about the hvac! Thanks so much for telling others.

    lott joy - they really do last so much longer I don't mind spending the money. I bet your home in Indiana was lovely . I love a small country home myself. Dad is well, and I'll talk to all of you later on.

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  11. Brigid, you can often find beeswax candles at Catholic monasteries, monks sometimes take up apiary work to help pay expenses and fulfill St. Benedict's requirement for ora et labora (prayer and work). Mount Savior Monastery in rural New York is one of these.

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  12. Ugh! First thing I thought of was the paraffin layer Grandmother put in the preserves she canned. Hope it was less toxic that way.

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