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How toxic are candles?

Updated: Jan 19, 2022

By Magnolia & Willows fine candlemakers

Candles are plentiful and seem so straightforward. Go to store, find great scent, bring home and light.

But hold the phone! Candles like many things are not as easy as they seem.

Some can have toxic chemicals!

100 years ago candles were made from animal fat, and it was about as gross as it sounds. The lard was processed and gave people a way to light their homes, but boy it was stinky.

50 years ago we created paraffin wax. It was much better for our homes (and the lil critters of the world) because it burned cleaner with better results.

But the greatest advancements in candles started about 40 years ago. Scientists accidentally discovered soy wax from soybeans. They realized soy burned more evenly, longer and cleaner than any wax before.

Finally a wax besides beeswax that isn’t toxic.

When compared to paraffin they noticed no harsh chemicals are released into the air.

The last few years have made even greater developments to the candle industry.

• We are excluding lead from wicks to avoid


• We are introducing more Natural waxes like

Coconut Wax, Palm Wax.

• We are developing clean fragrances to avoid

phthalates being released in air.

I will level with you- all box stores still use paraffin wax. Name a popular candle company and you are naming a paraffin user.

Paraffin is a cheap oil byproduct so it’s readily available to these companies. Paraffin carries scent easily so they save money by not using much fragrance in each candle.

In contrast, natural candles like Soy or Coconut are made with more expensive waxes and use more fragrance oil to give great scents.

The point I’m making is this - We are now all aware of dangers of air quality and the importance of creating healthy home environments. Natural Soy candles are a great step in the journey to improve indoor air quality in a healthy way.

Magnolia & Willows uses Natural waxes from trusted sources. We use clean scent technology by Candlescience to avoid toxins in our fragrances and our wicks, vessels and supplies are always procured from trusted countries of origin.

We aim to build a better candle so we can help our customers build a better home.

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