Millions of people make use of scented candles and other types of candles in their houses. Candles have long been considered as a means of improving the aesthetic appeal of a place. The natural lighting and the dimmed, flickering flame really improves the interior décor of any room they are kept in.
There’s no doubt about the fact that scented candles create a pleasant ambiance at home. The warm glow and the aromatic smell of pine, vanilla, or even sandalwood can be quite relaxing. However, have you ever thought about the impact these candles can have on the air quality of your house?
Most of us don’t realize it, but we consume thousands of toxins and other harmful substances on a daily basis through our lungs. The air you breathe throughout the course of the day is full of harmful toxins and materials that can cause serious damage to your body.
In fact, there is now conclusive proof that breathing polluted air can reduce life expectancy by up to two years. Now, you might be amazed to know that the quality of the air indoors is actually much worse than the air outdoors. You might not realize this at first, but virtually everything in your house, ranging from the mattresses to the pots and pans to the toys used by your kids contain harmful chemicals that are released into the air.
It is one of the main reasons why so many people recommend that you use an indoor air purifier in your house. Unfortunately, most people don’t, and if you really don’t want to spend money on an expensive indoor air filter, you might want to consider another option: plants. There are quite a few indoor plants that help clean the air.
But, what if you don’t want to take that route either? Now, this might surprise you, but there are a few types of candles that can actually clean the air out for you. Let’s focus on the most popular option: beeswax candles.
Beeswax candles have been around for quite a while now, and many people prefer using them instead of the conventional paraffin candles. Regular candles that you find in the market are made from paraffin; they are derived from a petroleum byproduct, and tend to release harmful chemicals in the air such as toluene, soot, benzene, and various others. These are all known carcinogens.
To create paraffin, the waste from petroleum is first chemically bleached, deodorized, and is then turned into wax. Keep in mind that the chemicals released by paraffin are the same that are found in diesel fuel emissions, and they have been known to cause a series of problems.
The soot particles released by the paraffin candles are also harmful, and penetrate deep into the lungs and are eventually absorbed by the blood stream.
But, the ones that we are focusing on are not paraffin candles. In fact, these are beeswax candles. If you can get your hands on pure beeswax candles, you will actually be doing yourself a big favor. Pure beeswax candles usually burn with absolutely no smoke whatsoever, and it doesn’t even have a scent.
On top of that, these candles tend to clean the air along the way by releasing negative ions into the atmosphere. The negative ions released by beeswax candles bind with the toxins in the air, and then remove them from the air. Beeswax candles are actually quite helpful for people who suffer from different kinds of allergies or those who have asthma.
They are incredibly effective at removing common allergens such as dander or dust that is often found in the air and usually reacts when it finds its way into the lungs. When compared with paraffin candles, the beeswax burns much slower, so it’s also going to last you much longer.
Now we have established that beeswax candles are actually not bad at all, whereas paraffin candles are harmful to human health. Lighting a candle in an unventilated space is a bad idea, as it can leave soot stains on the ceiling and on the walls, and it can also cause a series of problems such as aggravated asthma and various others.
How to Minimize Candle Issues
There are quite a few ways by which you can minimize the problems caused by candles. In the following few paragraphs, we will talk about the best practices that you need to keep in mind when lighting up a candle.
First and foremost, you need to make sure that you cut the wick size properly. If the wick is too large, it’s going to create a phenomenon known as tunneling, and the flame will soon start to give off black smoke. You don’t want that to happen, so the best thing to do is cut the wick size as short as possible before lighting it up.
More importantly, you should avoid leaving the candles in containers. Containers are bad for candles on almost all fronts, especially ones that have relatively narrow openings. This is going to affect the air flow and it will also increase flicker considerably. Instead, you should consider using free-standing plates; either leave them in a plate or use a metallic tray to catch all of the wax that drips down from the candle.
Also, you need to make sure that you only light up candles in well-ventilated areas, otherwise it’s going to have a negative effect on the air quality. More importantly, you should never light up a candle if you are not present in the vicinity; make sure you are present.
Another important thing to keep in mind is that you should never let a candle burn for more than two to three hours. Also, if you notice the candle burning all the way down, leave at least an inch and extinguish the flame. These are safe practices that will help you avoid major issues.