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There is a lot of misconception generated on the Internet about the use of soy, paraffin and palm Waxes.
Comprehensive scientific studies reveal all three waxes emit the same chemical vapors when burned. None of the chemicals that are emitted during the burning your candle are in sufficient quantities to be considered toxic, even when used even on a daily basis. These scientific studies, which are referenced below, examined the most strict air quality standards in the world and compared soy, palm and paraffin candles side by side, and the results were a surprise to some. The conclusions were that a properly made candle, no matter the type of wax, is safe to use.
When you think about it, pure soy wax comes from a natural source, the soya bean. However most soy farmers use gas or diesel powered machinery to harvest and refine the product so they have a relatively high carbon footprint. So while the product itself is natural, the process of manufacturing it isn't as green as you may think.
Much the same can be said for palm wax. Unscrupulous companies were destroying rainforest habitat to make way for palm oil tree plantations for the harvest of palm oil, the source of the beautiful palm wax. The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil was created in 2004 to try to put an end to this. Nowadays reputable manufacturers (and candle makers) will only buy palm wax that is sustainably harvested from regulated and well-managed estates. It should be noted, the destruction of rainforest by illegal wildfires continues unabated in South East Asia to enable expansion of palm oil plantations.
Candle-makers make candles using food grade paraffin wax. As stated earlier, it puts off the same combustion products and carbon that soy candles do when burned, and like soy, paraffin has been determined to be non-toxic. Paraffin is a petroleum based wax product.
The above information was obtained from the Ökometric Wax and Emissions Study, and has been supported and published by the Association of European Candle Manufactures (AECM); the Asociación Latino Americano de Fabricantes de Velas (ALAFAVE); Cartill, Incorporated; the European Wax Federation (EWF); the National Candle Association (NCA); and the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association (NPRA); Sasol Wax GmbH and The International Group, Inc. © 2008.
LINK: European Candle Association Particle emissions from candles are no health hazard
Chandelle uses a high quality fully refined (food grade) paraffin wax in most pillar candles. It is the only wax that can provide stunning colours or give the artistic finishes in our contemporary candle range.
Chandelle uses a high quality all natural "kosher" soy wax. Soy wax is definitely the best wax to use in container candles. It produces a quick and long lasting scent throw, as a result of a lower melting point by creating a larger wax pool around the burning wick. When making soy pillar candles, soy wax in its purest form does not produce satisfactory pillar candles, as the wax is too soft. Chandelle uses a natural eco-friendly soy wax that has approved botanical oils added to give it’s the strength needed to retain the desired pillar shape.
Palm is known for its beautiful crystal formations (that form on the outside of the candle). These are greatly influenced by pouring temperature and rate of cooling. Adjusting these variables slightly creates a wonderful array of beautiful crystal patterned candles.
Chandelle does NOT source wax from any supplier that contributes to the deforestation of habitat and buy only SUSTAINABLE palm wax purchased from regulated and well-managed estates.
Chandelle candlewick is pure cotton braid and does NOT contain lead or zinc.
Chandelle scented candles contain a combination of natural and synthetic fragrance oils. The fragrance materials are derived from pure essential oils and/or highly concentrated uncut fragrance oils that are specially formulated for use with candles.
All fragrances used including synthetic oils are non-toxic.
Candle Storage Excessive sunlight and heat can reduce your candle’s scent throw so always store them in a cool, dark & dry place.
Lighting Your Candle
The first time you light your candle you need to set a "memory burn". For container candles the surface area should be fully melted and for pillar candles, about ¾ of the surface area – no more as you will want to keep the pillar walls intact.
On average, your candle will burn 2.5cm per hour. If you do not set a ‘memory burn’, the next time you burn your candle it will burn out to the previous melt point then tunnel substantially reducing the life of the candle.
Wax left on the wall of a container is rarely incorrect wicking; it is simply that the flame does not have the strength to melt through a wall of residual wax, so it tunnels instead.
Candles made with natural soy wax are prone to frosting! Frosting (small whitish crystals) can appear on the sides/top of the candle. Frosting does NOT affect the performance of the candle in any way. It is the natural crystallisation of wax brought about by changes in temperature. Please note: shipping of candles can occasionally cause excessive frosting due to the significant temperature changes during transit.
- A small amount of black soot around the edges of a container candle is normal, especially when the candle reaches the bottom of its container, as it will likely burn carbon instead of oxygen.
- Never burn a candle for longer than 4 hours - at this point, extinguish, allow to cool, trim the wick and then relight.
- When extinguishing a candle, don’t blow out the flame – it will taint your beautifully scented room with the smell of smoke!
- Always use a candlesnuffer, scissors or clippers to extinguish the flame.
Hugging your Pillar Candle
To maximise the life of your pillar candle – hug it regularly! While the candle is still warm, place your hands around the outer top edge and gently push the wax towards the well using pressure from your thumbs or fingertips. Concentrate your efforts on the tallest side to keep the top of the candle nice and even. Be careful not to press too firmly as you may crack the wax!
When an open flame is involved, there is an increased risk of fire in the home. Safety precautions such as the following should be taken:
- Remove candles from their packaging & discard all labels before burning.
- Never leave a candle unattended - choose where you burn your candle, keep away from drafts, curtains, papers & other flammable items.
- Keep burning candles out of reach of children and pets.
- Discontinue burning candles when 2cm of wax is remaining (to protect furnishings from heat).
- Scented candles (especially glass jars & travel tins) can become quite hot after 3 hours of burning so ensure candles are placed on a heat resistant surface.
- Trim candlewicks back to 5mm before every use and do not let wick trimmings fall into the candle.
Wax can damage a surface, but often it is your efforts to remove the wax that causes the most damage, so make every effort to avoid spills. If in doubt, please call a professional for assistance.
Wax on Carpet - may cause staining. Let the wax harden, then break up and remove as much as possible. Place paper towels over the wax. Using a hot steam iron, lightly place above or on the paper towel - the wax will melt into the paper towel. If desired, protect the iron with tin foil. Repeat as needed. Check the iron for wax residue before using for clothing again.
Wax on Clothing - may cause staining. Remove garment. Let the wax harden (place in the fridge or freezer for a short time), then physically remove as much wax as possible. Pour boiling water through the affected area. Repeat as necessary. Do not use the carpet method on clothes as it could "set" the candle dye in the fabric.
Wax on solid/hard surfaces - may cause damage to the finish. Do not wipe up the spill as a thin film of wax is much harder to remove than a solid piece. If you catch it while the wax is still liquid, try to build a dam to confine the spill - a ruler works well for this, but a handy alternative is the side of a bread board, even a pen or pencil. Once the wax has solidified, gently pry it loose from the surface. Try to avoid scratching the finish. If necessary, pry the wax off with a plastic spatula or similar object. Avoid this method on a wood finish if possible as it increases the chances of damage.
COPING WITH A WAX FIRE
It’s frightening - you walk away for a moment and then you notice smoke billowing, or worse, your wax pot is on fire. You panic, it's natural and without thinking, you throw water onto the fire - WRONG this action can be DEADLY!
Once wax has melted, the temperature of the wax rises quickly and if the heat source is not removed, it can easily burst into flames. When water is thrown on to burning wax, two things happen: (1) the water, being more dense than wax, sinks to the bottom of the container, and (2) as burning wax quickly reaches a temperature in excess of 200 degrees Celsius, the water instantly vaporises.
When water changes from a liquid to a gas, there is more than a thousand-fold increase in volume. The water expands violently, and throws the hot wax layer above it in to the air as small droplets. The wax now has a much bigger surface area exposed to oxygen so combustion takes place very quickly!
First, stay calm and in control. Keeping your arms well clear, completely smother the fire. There are lots of everyday items you can use to do this - a heavy woollen blanket (do not use clothing as it may be made of flammable materials), a stoneware dish, a metal saucepan lid etc.
Without oxygen, the fire will quickly die. Next open the windows and turn on fan extractors, ceiling fans etc. to remove the smoke, as it can leave residue markings on walls, ceilings etc. Buy a FIRE BLANKET or a dry chemical FIRE EXTINGUISHER and keep it close by. Some people prefer a fire blanket as they don’t have to think about how to operate it - just open the blanket and place over the fire! Here's hoping that this never happens to you. You’ve heard it a thousand times before but: NEVER LEAVE WAX UNATTENDED, EVEN FOR A FEW MINUTES.
FACEBOOK COMMUNITY CANDLE MAKING NETWORKWe have an active presence on Facebook (FB): www.facebook.com/chandellegalerie.
If you are a registered FB user we encourage you to visit (and like) the page to keep up to date on what’s new!
Chandelle regularly post promotional specials on products & services, and it’s a great way to keep up to date on candles, candle care, candle burning, and candle making in general.
In August 2013 Chandelle established a confidential community/network page for fee paying candle students to discuss candle making – members share hints and tips on technique, formula, problem solving, suppliers, and support each other.
The page is called “Lets Talk Candles” and all candle students receive an invitation to join.
NO KILL ANIMAL SHELTERS, How can you help?
Chandelle owners Mel & David and their family are strong supporters of "no kill" animal shelters.
Bo, a beautiful shepherd x husky who Mel & David re-homed in early 2012 as a two and half year old, is a constant companion, shadow and protector.
The Chandelle Facebook page is used to increase community awareness of abandoned, neglected and abused animals. Chandelle hope this may assist with giving them a voice in this selfish and sometimes cruel world. Chandelle provides financial support to several not-for-profit animal welfare organisations and act as a drop off point for animal shelters.
Chandelle accepts any donated items (old bedding, toys, food, training aids etc) which can be used in these shelters or by foster carers until the animals in their care find their "forever homes". If you have items you are wishing to discard, please consider making a donation!