How To Make Non-Toxic Candles

Making your own candles at home is a fun DIY project that allows you to create customized scents and colors. However, many candle-making supplies contain toxic chemicals that can be harmful when burned. The good news is that with the right ingredients and techniques, you can easily make non-toxic, clean-burning candles right in your kitchen.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Use natural soy or beeswax instead of paraffin wax. Stay away from synthetic fragrances and stick to essential oils or natural extracts for scent. Use cotton or hemp wicks rather than metal-core wicks. Always double check that any dyes, pigments or additives are non-toxic.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll go over everything you need to know to make simple, safe, non-toxic candles at home. We’ll cover choosing the right wax, wicks and candle vessels as well as scenting and coloring your candles naturally. We’ll also provide step-by-step instructions to walk you through the entire candle making process from start to finish.

Choosing the Right Wax

When making non-toxic candles, one of the most important factors to consider is the type of wax you use. Traditional candles are often made from paraffin wax, which is derived from petroleum. However, paraffin wax releases harmful chemicals when burned, such as benzene and toluene, which can be detrimental to your health. To ensure a safe and non-toxic candle, it’s essential to choose the right wax alternative.

Avoid paraffin wax

Avoid using paraffin wax as it is a byproduct of the petroleum industry and contains harmful chemicals. Instead, opt for natural wax alternatives that are healthier and more eco-friendly.

Use natural wax alternatives

There are several natural wax alternatives available that are safe to use and produce clean-burning candles. Some of the most popular natural wax alternatives include beeswax, soy wax, palm wax, and coconut wax.


Beeswax is a natural wax produced by bees. It has a sweet, honey-like scent and burns cleanly without releasing toxic fumes. Beeswax candles also have a longer burn time compared to other types of wax.

Soy wax

Soy wax is made from soybean oil and is a popular choice for eco-conscious candle makers. It is biodegradable, renewable, and produces a clean burn. Soy wax candles also have a longer burn time and provide a stronger scent throw compared to paraffin candles.

Palm wax

Palm wax is derived from the oil palm tree and is a sustainable alternative to paraffin wax. It has a beautiful crystalline appearance and produces a bright flame. Palm wax candles are also known for their long burn time and excellent scent throw.

Coconut wax

Coconut wax is made from the oil of coconuts and is another eco-friendly option for non-toxic candles. It has a creamy texture and a slow burn rate. Coconut wax candles also have a natural coconut scent that adds a tropical touch to your space.

When choosing the right wax for your non-toxic candles, consider your personal preferences, the type of scent you want to achieve, and the environmental impact of the wax. Experiment with different waxes to find the one that suits your needs and enjoy the benefits of a clean-burning and non-toxic candle.

Selecting Wicks

When making non-toxic candles, selecting the right wick is crucial. The wick plays a significant role in how your candle burns and the overall performance of the candle. There are several options to choose from when it comes to wicks, each with its own benefits and considerations.

Cotton Wicks

Cotton wicks are a popular choice for making non-toxic candles. They are made from natural cotton fibers and are free from harmful additives or chemicals. Cotton wicks provide a clean and even burn, making them suitable for various candle types. They are available in different sizes to accommodate different candle diameters.

One advantage of cotton wicks is that they tend to produce less soot compared to other materials. This means that your candles will stay cleaner and won’t release harmful particles into the air. Additionally, cotton wicks are known for their excellent scent throw, allowing you to enjoy the fragrance of your candles to the fullest.

Hemp Wicks

Hemp wicks are another eco-friendly option for non-toxic candle making. Hemp is a sustainable and renewable resource, making it an excellent choice for those concerned about the environment. Hemp wicks burn cleanly and evenly, providing a beautiful flame and a long-lasting burn time.

One unique advantage of hemp wicks is their ability to self-trim. As the candle burns, the hemp wick naturally curls and forms a small “mushroom” shape at the end. This mushroom shape helps maintain a consistent flame height and reduces the need for manual trimming. This can be a convenient feature for candle makers.

Wick Size

Choosing the right wick size is essential to ensure that your non-toxic candles burn properly. The size of the wick will depend on the diameter of your candle. A wick that is too small may result in a weak flame and poor burn pool formation, while a wick that is too large can cause excessive sooting and an uneven burn.

To determine the appropriate wick size, you can refer to wick charts provided by reputable candle making suppliers or consult candle making guides online. These resources will help you match the diameter of your candle with the recommended wick size, ensuring optimal burning performance.

Remember, experimenting with different wick sizes and materials can be a fun and creative part of candle making. Don’t be afraid to try out different options and see what works best for your candles. After all, the right wick can make all the difference in creating beautiful, non-toxic candles that you can enjoy with peace of mind.

Choosing Candle Containers

When it comes to making non-toxic candles, choosing the right candle container is crucial. The container not only holds the wax but also contributes to the overall aesthetic of the finished product. Here are some popular options for candle containers:

Glass containers

Glass containers are a classic choice for candle making. They are not only visually appealing but also provide a safe and heat-resistant option for holding the wax. Glass containers come in various shapes and sizes, allowing you to get creative with your candle designs. Additionally, glass containers allow for better scent throw, ensuring that the fragrance of your candle fills the room.

Metal tins

Metal tins are another excellent option for candle containers. They are durable, lightweight, and offer a rustic and vintage look to your candles. Metal tins are often used for travel candles or smaller-sized candles. They are easy to transport and can withstand high temperatures without warping or breaking.

Ceramic vessels

If you want to add a touch of elegance to your candles, ceramic vessels are a fantastic choice. They come in various styles, colors, and textures, allowing you to create unique and eye-catching candles. Ceramic vessels are known for their ability to retain heat, resulting in a more even burn and longer-lasting candles.

Consider wick space

When selecting a candle container, it’s essential to consider the amount of space available for the wick. The size of the container will determine the size and type of wick you should use. A container with a larger diameter will require a larger wick to ensure proper burning. Likewise, a smaller container will need a smaller wick to prevent the candle from tunneling.

Before making a decision, it’s a good idea to experiment with different types of containers and wicks to find the perfect combination for your non-toxic candles. Remember to always prioritize safety and choose containers that are heat-resistant and suitable for candle making.

Scenting Candles Naturally

When it comes to creating non-toxic candles, scenting them naturally is an important aspect to consider. By using natural scents, you can enjoy the soothing and aromatic benefits of candles without exposing yourself to harmful chemicals. Here are some ways to scent candles naturally:

Essential oils

Essential oils are derived from plants and offer a wide range of scents to choose from. Whether you prefer the calming aroma of lavender or the invigorating scent of citrus, essential oils can add a natural and refreshing fragrance to your candles. Mix a few drops of your chosen essential oil into the melted wax before pouring it into the candle mold for best results.

Fragrance oils

Fragrance oils are synthetic scents that mimic natural fragrances. While they are not completely natural, there are fragrance oils available that are free from toxic chemicals. Look for fragrance oils that are specifically labeled as non-toxic or phthalate-free. These oils can be blended with the melted wax to create beautifully scented candles.

Dried herbs and flowers

Another way to naturally scent your candles is by using dried herbs and flowers. Add a handful of dried lavender buds or rose petals to the melted wax and let them infuse their subtle fragrance into the candle. This not only adds a natural scent but also creates a visually appealing candle with botanical elements.


Spices such as cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg can add a warm and cozy scent to your candles. Grind the spices into a fine powder and mix them into the melted wax. Be cautious with the amount of spices you use, as too much can overpower the scent and cause the candle to burn unevenly.

Citrus zests

For a burst of freshness, consider using citrus zests in your candle-making process. Grate the outer peel of citrus fruits like lemons, oranges, or grapefruits and add them to the melted wax. The natural oils present in the peels will release a delightful citrus scent when the candle is lit.

Vanilla extract

Vanilla extract not only adds a sweet and comforting fragrance to candles but also gives them a hint of warmth. Add a few drops of pure vanilla extract to the melted wax and stir well to distribute the scent evenly. The result will be a candle that smells absolutely divine!

Adding scents safely

When adding scents to your candles, it’s important to do so safely. Always follow the recommended guidelines for the amount of scent to use, as adding too much can affect the candle’s burn time and fragrance throw. Additionally, ensure that you are using high-quality scents from reputable suppliers to avoid any potential hazards.

Remember, the goal is to create non-toxic candles that provide a pleasant and natural scent experience. By using these natural scenting methods, you can enjoy the benefits of scented candles without compromising your health.

Coloring Candles

Coloring candles is a fun way to add a personal touch and enhance the aesthetic appeal of your homemade creations. There are several options available to color your candles, ranging from liquid candle dyes to natural alternatives like herbs and spices. Let’s explore some popular methods:

Liquid candle dyes

Liquid candle dyes are a convenient and easy-to-use option for coloring your candles. They come in a wide range of colors and are typically added directly to the melted wax. The amount of dye you need depends on the desired color intensity, so it’s best to start with a small amount and gradually add more if needed. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the specific brand you are using.

Powdered candle colorants

Powdered candle colorants are another popular choice for coloring candles. These colorants are typically made from a combination of pigments and dyes and are available in a variety of shades. They can be added to the melted wax just like liquid dyes, and the amount used will depend on the desired color intensity. It’s important to thoroughly mix the powder into the wax to ensure an even distribution of color.

Herbs and spices

If you prefer a more natural approach, you can use herbs and spices to color your candles. Turmeric, paprika, and beetroot powder are just a few examples of natural ingredients that can add vibrant hues to your candles. To use herbs and spices, simply mix them into the melted wax until you achieve the desired color. Keep in mind that the final color may vary depending on the type and amount of herb or spice used.

Fruit and vegetable powders

Another natural option for coloring candles is fruit and vegetable powders. These powders, made from dried and ground fruits or vegetables, can add unique and subtle colors to your candles. For example, blueberry powder can create a beautiful blue hue, while spinach powder can give a green tint. Experiment with different fruit and vegetable powders to achieve the desired shades in your candles.

Testing dyes for non-toxicity

When making non-toxic candles, it’s essential to ensure that the dyes you use are safe and non-harmful. Some dyes may contain chemicals that can release toxins when burned, which can be harmful to your health. To test the non-toxicity of a dye, you can conduct a burn test. Simply dip a small amount of the colored wax onto a heat-resistant surface and burn it. If the flame is clean and smoke-free, it indicates that the dye is non-toxic. However, if you notice any unpleasant odor or excessive smoke, it’s best to avoid using that particular dye.

Remember, experimenting with different coloring methods can be a fun and creative process. Don’t be afraid to try new techniques and mix different colors to create unique shades for your candles. Happy coloring!

Steps for Making Non-Toxic Candles

Gather your supplies

Before you start making non-toxic candles, it’s important to gather all the necessary supplies. You will need:

  • Natural wax (such as soy wax, beeswax, or coconut wax)
  • Candle wicks
  • Candle containers (glass jars or tins)
  • Fragrance oils or essential oils
  • Candle dye or natural colorants
  • Double boiler or a heat-resistant container for melting wax
  • Thermometer
  • Stirring utensil (preferably made of metal or heat-resistant material)
  • Scissors
  • Adhesive (such as a glue dot or hot glue) to secure the wicks

Prepare wick and vessels

Before you start pouring the wax, prepare the wick and containers. Cut the wick to the desired length, leaving a few extra inches to allow for trimming. Secure the wick at the bottom of the container using adhesive, making sure it is centered.

Melt wax

Next, melt the wax using a double boiler or a heat-resistant container placed in a pot of simmering water. Monitor the temperature with a thermometer to ensure it doesn’t exceed the recommended melting temperature for the type of wax you are using. Stir the wax occasionally to ensure even melting.

Add scent and color

Once the wax has melted, it’s time to add fragrance oils or essential oils for scent and candle dye or natural colorants for color. Use a few drops of fragrance oil or essential oil per ounce of melted wax, and adjust according to your preference. Similarly, add candle dye or natural colorants in small increments until you achieve the desired shade.

Pour into containers

With the scent and color added, carefully pour the melted wax into the prepared containers, taking care not to disturb the wick. Leave some space at the top to allow for the candle to solidify.

Allow to fully set before burning

Once the candles are poured, allow them to cool and solidify completely. This process may take a few hours or overnight, depending on the type of wax used. Trim the wick to about ¼ inch before lighting the candle for the first time.

Making non-toxic candles at home is a fun and rewarding DIY project. By using natural ingredients and following these steps, you can enjoy the ambiance of a candle without worrying about toxic fumes or harmful chemicals.

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With the right ingredients and a bit of practice, making clean-burning, non-toxic candles at home is easy, fun and rewarding. By choosing natural waxes, cotton wicks and pure essential oils for fragrance, you can create safe, healthy candles to enjoy in your home. Always be sure to take proper safety precautions when working with hot wax. Follow the steps outlined here and you’ll be enjoying your handmade candle creations in no time.

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