Elements of a Candle

  • Wax – When it comes to manufacturing candles, there are typically several different types of wax that can be used. Depending on the type of wax that is used, the amount of soot produced by the candle can vary. Higher levels of soot have been shown to release carcinogenic soot into the air. The two most common types of these candles are paraffin and tallow. For a cleaner burning candle, it is recommended that you choose one that is made using soy, beeswax, or palm wax. These types of candles burn cleaner and cause no harmful soot to be released into the air inside your home.
  • Wick – The primary function of a candle wick is to provide fuel to the flame. When you light a wick, it works by drawing the wax up to the flame causing it to burn. The majority of wicks that are used in candles manufactured today are made from 100% cotton or a cotton-paper blend. When purchasing a candle, it is important that you choose one that features a lead-free wick. This is somewhat easier to find since lead wicks were banned in the United States in 2003.
  • Fragrance – The majority of candle buyers choose to purchase a candle based on the scent. This makes the scent one of the most important factors in the manufacturing and purchasing process. Today’s candles features scents obtained from essential oils and synthetic fragrances. Synthetic fragrances do come with their own set of warnings, some believe that they may pose a danger, but the majority of them have been shown to burn safely. If you have any concerns, you may want to choose candles that feature scents derived from essential oils.
  • Coloring – Recent studies have shown that next to the scent of a candle the color is the second highest deciding factor when it comes to purchasing a candle. Candles are colored using two primary techniques, the first is the use of pigments which are applied to the outside of the candle; the second is a dye which is combined with the wax. Each of these are safe to burn, however a pigment colored candle will not clog a wick as dye sometimes can.