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Nothing sets the mood quite as well as candles but it is hard to find plastic free candles. Most come in a protective plastic wrap or  bag. However we tracked down a few.

Which Candle? candles gimped

Parrafin, soy or beeswax.

In the olden days candles were made from a by-product of beef-fat rendering(tallow) which stank and smoked or beeswax which didn’t smell or smoke but was very expensive.Then in the 1820s, French chemist Michel Eugene Chevreul discovered how to extract stearic acid from animal fatty acids. This could be used to make a wax that was harder and burnt far more cleanly.

However the most luxurious and brightest of all candles were made from crystallized spermaceti an oil obtained from the sperm whale. Like beeswax, spermaceti wax had a pleasing odour but also produced a far brighter light. Again it was a harder was so didn’t soften when the atmosphere got hot. Lucky for the sperm whale  who was being hunted into extinction for his light shedding wax, rock oil and its many by-products burst onto the scene. One such by-product was paraffin which could be used to make super-hard, super-bright and, best of all, cheap candles.

Recently, a huge surge in the popularity of candles has led to  new waxes being developed including soy bean wax.

Soy candles are made from a processed form of soybean oil called soy wax. It is very soft so most candles are made in tins or containers. However additives including beeswax, paraffin, or palm wax can be used to make it harder. Additives include: stearic acid, Vybar (a trademarked polymer), mineral oil, petrolatum, paraffin wax, ultraviolet absorbers, and bht crystals.

Most candles today are made from one of the following

  • paraffin (a product of petroleum refining);
  • stearin (now produced almost exclusively from palm waxes though initially manufactured from animal fats);
    beeswax
  • Gel Candles produced from gelled mineral oils or synthetic hydrocarbons. They are made in containers.though some are rigid enough to keep their own shape.
  • some plant waxes (generally palm, carnauba, bayberry, or soybean wax);

The size of the flame rate at which the candle burns is determined mostly by the size of the candle wick.

You can find out more about candles here and here.

Candle Types

Taper, Dinner or household candles. The traditional round candles that have to be set in candlesticks or empty wine bottles. Used for dinner parties and power cuts.

Pillar Candles are the modern version. Big and chunky, they are solid and self standing in a variety of sizes.

Floating Candles are designed to float on water.

Tealights are low round candles in a metal container. Much loved by the Ikea crowd. They are used in food warmers or  tealight holders

Container or Filled Candles are non-flammable, heat resistant containers which are filled with wax and  wick. They come in heat-resistant glass jars, tins and less often, pottery.

Votive Candles are come heat-resistant containers often with religious imagery.

Specialty or Novelty Candles come in a wide array of shapes either molded or sculpted by hand.

Scented candles – can be used to create a pleasant ambience or  mask other odours such as cooking or cigarette smoke. They can also be used to keep insects at bay though personally I don’t think they are very effective.

BUY

Basic white unscented candles

Parafin Candles

Bolsius Pack of 6 Household CandlesPrices do a practical range of plain white unscented candles both household & tealight. Last time I looked, so did Bolsius. I have bought both of the above packaged in cardboard from a number of local shops. If you can’t buy them locally you can of course get them on line.

BULK PACK of 14 - Ivory Church Candles (60mm x 152mm)

I found some pillar candles on Amazon which look to be plastic free – please check

 

BULK PACK of 14 – Ivory Church Candles (60m…

Vegetable Wax

If you don’t fancy paraffin candles,these organic, vegetable wax candles look plastic free. they are available from Nigels Ecostore  www.nigelsecostore.com and Amazon. Heaven Scent 24 Organic Unscented Tea Lights

Grehom Organic Dinner Candles (Set of 4) – … from Amazon also look to be plastic free!

NB be aware they contain palm oil but sustainably sourced Scented Candles

Paraffin Based

Price Candle PXT011028 Winter Jasmine Scented Tealights, WhitePrices do a wide range scented tealights and candles in a tins and glass jars with fragrances to suit all moods and occasions.  They also do some odour eaters great for eliminating or rather masking odours which work pretty well. These come as tealights, in tins or glass jars and include

  • HOUSEKEEPER~ Contains extracts of Beeswax, Mandarin & Lemon
  • CHEF’S CANDLE~ Contains extracts of Basil, Patchouli & Geranium
  • OPEN WINDOW~ Contains Lily, Violet & Orange Flower
  • Scented Candle In Tin - (Housekeeper) Prices Patent Candles Open Window Jar

I have bought all the above packaged in cardboard. Please be aware that tins ike this are almost always epoxy resin lined which is (yes you guessed), a plastic.

They can be bought pretty much everywhere.

Soy Candles

You could try Foundry Candles   from Oldham Manchester

“The scents of these delightful hand poured soy candles have been captured perfectly in a tin. Aprox 40 hours burning time. All natural ingredients. Check out all the amazing scents!”

Please be aware that tins  are almost always epoxy resin lined which is  a plastic.

There are plenty more up on Etsy but they are eye wateringly pricey. You might be better off making your own. How hard can it be?

soy wax

You can get soy flakes in a reusable cotton bag

  • Only supplied in the re-usable cotton storage sack if purchased from Amazon or Aura
  • Container blend – NO soot or smoke.
  • Achieves a longer burn than paraffin Wax.
  • Easy to clean up any spills with soap and water.
  • Finest quality American SOY WAX flakes.

Aura’s Eco Soy Wax Flakes. A greener way to make quality candles…. These flakes are the finest quality Eco Soy flakes imported from the United States. Superior to paraffin Wax, candles made with Eco Soy will burn longer and be free of soot & smoke……. BASIC DIRECTIONS: Melt like chocolate. Gradually add your chosen fragrance. Add your colour a little at a time. Secure your wick into the desired container. Pour the melted Eco Soy into your container & leave to harden…..Once set – Enjoy your candle!!

Beeswax

Try these from Etsy, they are made in London and  you should be able to discuss packaging with them.

Buy

One of the real joys of buying #plasticfree is sourcing the stuff in local shops. The excitement when you see milk in glass bottle in the newsagents is beyond words.

However sometime you have to buy on line. If so please see if there are links to sellers direct in the post above.

If you can’t do that then I have put together and Amazon catalogue. Yes I know.

Amazon is a very dirty word at the moment and I thought long and hard before suggesting them.  Heres why I went ahead….. No we are not entirely happy with Amazons recent history. However, we have always found their service to be good and their packaging usually compostable.

If you buy a product via this link we do get an affiliation fee for this. This is not why we do it.

 

Bolsius Pack of 6 Household Candles PRICE'S HOUSEHOLD CANDLES 5PK - 5 CANDLES Sentinel Nightlights X6
Bolsius Pack of 6 Household Candles
£3.98
PRICE’S HOUSEHOLD CANDLES 5PK – 5 CANDLES
£2.44
4
Sentinel Nightlights X6
£3.40
BULK PACK of 14 - Ivory Church Candles (60mm x 152mm) Grehom Organic Dinner Candles (Set of 4) - Ivory Heaven Scent 24 Organic Unscented Tea Lights
BULK PACK of 14 – Ivory Church Candles (60m…
£29.99
These look like they might be unwrapped. Please double check before you buy – then tell me!
Grehom Organic Dinner Candles (Set of 4) – …look to be plastic free! Heaven Scent 24 Organic Unscented Tea Lights
£5.81
Candles Naturally Plant Wax Unfragranced Tealights, Pack of 24, Natural Heaven Scent Natural Organic Jumbo Tea Light Candles - 24 (Long Life 7 hours) Prices Pack of 10 Tealights
Candles Naturally Plant Wax Unfragranced Te… Heaven Scent Natural Organic Jumbo Tea Ligh… Prices Pack of 10 Tealights
£5.24
Price Candle PXT011028 Winter Jasmine Scented Tealights, White Prices Patent Candles Open Window Jar Scented Candle In Tin - (Housekeeper)
Price Candle PXT011028 Winter Jasmine Scent…
£3.13
Prices Patent Candles Open Window Jar
£5.49
Scented Candle In Tin – (Housekeeper)
£6.95
Housekeeper Tealights - (FR441016) Prices Housekeeper Scented Candle in Tin Eliminates Household Odours - TRIPLE PACK Prices open window candle - FR510316x1
Housekeeper Tealights – (FR441016)
£4.95
Prices Housekeeper Scented Candle in Tin El…
£10.99
Prices open window candle – FR510316x1
£13.44
Prices Household Scented Candle in Tin - FR210616 Prices Candles FR541016 Open Window Tealights, Pack of 6, Green Prices Candles FR341016 6-Piece Chef's Tealights
Prices Household Scented Candle in Tin – FR…
£15.33
Prices Candles FR541016 Open Window Tealigh…
£2.48
Prices Candles FR341016 6-Piece Chef’s Teal…
£2.83

 

WASIWAX Handcrafted Wedding Carved Candles (Eternity) Magical Floating Candles - 50 Reusable Floats & 50 Long Burning Wicks fuelled by vegetable oil Clever & Unique Magical Floating Water Candles, 50 Reusable Silver Floats & 50 Long Burning Wicks fuelled by vegetable oil. Wedding Table Centrepiece
WASIWAX Handcrafted Wedding Carved Candles …
£34.90
As these are made in Britain you might be able to ask about plastic-free packaging
Magical Floating Candles – 50 Reusable Floa…
£20.50
Clever & Unique Magical Floating Water …
£20.50
2.5 KILO Eco Soya / Eco Soy Container Candle WAX Flakes - Lovely Alternative to Parrafin Wax 5metre Wedo LX8 (50mm) Candle Making Wick + 50 Sustainers 5 Metres Wedo ECO Candle Making Wick. High Quality - ECO 1
2.5 KILO Eco Soya / Eco Soy Container Candl…
£19.99
5metre Wedo LX8 (50mm) Candle Making Wick +…
£3.09
5 Metres Wedo ECO Candle Making Wick. High …
£2.50
ECO 8 Pre-tabbed Candle Wick - pack of 20 20 Pre Waxed Wicks For Candle Making Teacup / Medium Candles (LX18). 100mm Long.Quantity Jute Ribbon Brown 7/8 Inch by 10 Yard Roll Sold By The Yard
ECO 8 Pre-tabbed Candle Wick – pack of 20
£3.99
20 Pre Waxed Wicks For Candle Making Teacup…
£2.60
Jute Ribbon Brown 7/8 Inch by 10 Yard Roll …
£3.59
Prices Candles Tealights Winter Walk 6 Pack Prices Fragrance Tealights x 6 Garden Lavender Prices Fragrance Tealights x 6 Tea Rose
Prices Candles Tealights Winter Walk 6 Pack Prices Fragrance Tealights x 6 Garden Laven…
£3.12
Prices Fragrance Tealights x 6 Tea Rose
£3.01
Price Candle PXT011005 Pomegranate and Walnut Scented Tealights, Pink Price Candle PXT011012 Fresh Fig Scented Tealights, Purple Price Candle PXT011010 Cinnamon Sticks Scented Tealights, Beige
Price Candle PXT011005 Pomegranate and Waln…
£3.12
Price Candle PXT011012 Fresh Fig Scented Te…
£3.13
Price Candle PXT011010 Cinnamon Sticks Scen…
£3.13
Price Candle PXT011020 Apple Spice Scented Tealights, Red Prices Fragrance Tealights x 6 Peach Blossom Soft Geranium Scented Tealights 6 Pack
Price Candle PXT011020 Apple Spice Scented …
£2.69
Prices Fragrance Tealights x 6 Peach Blossom
£2.99
Soft Geranium Scented Tealights 6 Pack
£3.13

 

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2 thoughts on “Candles – Design, which wax & buy

  1. I was working full time, self employed, when I started the blog, and was living in a partially renovated house.

    Making your own products is very easy and takes maybe a few hours a year. Really. 20 minutes max to make a huge jar of cold cream and I wash my hair with soap. The vinegar rinse is the same I put on my chips. It’s not high maintenance.

    Buying loose food is also very easy. You may not be able to get what you want when you want and you do have to cook – but it is a lot healthier than eating pre packed.

    There are many other advantages to being plastic free but I don’t do it for those reasons. I do it because I don’t want to pollute the planet with non biodegradable packaging. And because the uncertainty of and upheavals in my life over the past few years, I have meant been unable to commit real time to organise environmental work. Which is something I care passionately about. So this is my pro bono project. My contribution to a greener future. People don’t have to search out plastic free products because I have done it for them.

    Obviously I don’t know what afflictions your patients are suffering from and I would hate to make assumptions about their lifestyle or abilities, but cutting plastic need not be limited to the time rich, cash rich or physically perfect.

    I hope this answers some of your questions.

  2. I guess that you either don’t work or work part-time as the time involved to make a lot of your own products and search out the plastic-free options is going to be difficult for people who work full time and /or have family or other commitments. Is this way of life a luxury? I think that many of my patients could not do this even if they wanted to

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