Happy July, friends! Summer is officially in full swing and we’re finding ourselves outdoors a lot lately. Yay for vitamin D! Boo for mosquitoes! An old habit of mine is to fill my back patio with citronella candles all summer long so we can sit out there and enjoy the ambiance without being carried away. Unfortunately, candles suck. I know. I can hear your shocked gasps from here! But really, they do.
I never believed it before. I mean, it’s a candle. The worst risk I run is of burning my house down, right? And since we don’t leave our candles unattended, no harm done! Right? Wrong!
It turns out, candles contain a lot of stuff our lungs don’t like.
Things like benzene, toluene, and even formaldehyde. Even worse? If the label on your candle claims “fragrance” as an ingredient. This ingredient covers a wide variety of chemicals that are no good for us. This is a big problem. The chemicals making up the scents in these candles (and many other household products!) can cause all sorts of health issues. Issues such as ashma, allergies, skin problems, migraines, increased cancer risks, and damage to the central nervous system. No, thank you!
*See end of post for further reading on this information
Luckily, we have better alternatives!
Every day, I am more and more thankful that I discovered essential oils. Taking that first step has greatly improved my family’s health. Not only because of the benefits of the oils themselves, but also because I joined a community that has opened my eyes about the dangers of everyday conventional products!
I tossed all of my candles a year ago, except for a few that sit on shelves for decoration, but I do miss the look of a lit candle sometimes. Making my own candles has been on my list of things to learn for a long time now, and this week, I finally bit the bullet!
Related: DIY Bath Salts Using Essential Oils
DIY Citronella Candles:
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I love having citronella candles on the patio, so it was the perfect motivation to finally try my hand at the craft. It took me less than an hour from start to finish, and the ingredients were so affordable! All I needed to make my DIY citronella candles were:
- 1 lb beeswax
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- Large cotton wicks with tabs
- Wick stickers
- Citronella Essential Oil
- Lemongrass Essential Oil
- Mason Jars
The process was surprisingly simple, and I instantly regretted waiting so long to try my hand at it! I pretty much just had to melt the wax and coconut oil together, add my essential oils, and pour the wax into my prepped jars. The longest part of the entire process was waiting for the wax to melt in a double boiler! Once that was done, everything went really quickly!
Now, I will not claim to be a candle-making expert, so if you’d like a full tutorial, you can check out the one I followed right here. I can say, though, that I am incredibly happy with how my candles turned out, and cannot wait to sit outside mosquito-free once these are done curing!
Have you made your own candles before? If not, what are you waiting for? I’d love to hear how the recipe works out for you!
Want to learn more about the dangers of synthetic fragrances and conventional candles? Here are some of the articles I pulled information from!
- The Dangers of Synthetic Scents (This one has a ton of great information and an awesome infographic!)
- The Big Problem with Scented Candles
- EPA Study on Scented Candles and Incense
- Can Burning Candles Make You Sick?
A note on essential oils:
There are many brands of essential oils on the market today. I strongly urge you to look into the quality of the oils you will be using for your DIY projects. Like everything else in life, there are different levels of quality, and you get what you pay for. Many oils (even some labeled as pure) contain synthetics and lower grade oils to offer you a cheaper price. We only use Young Living Essential Oils in our home. If you’d like more information, please contact me to chat!