When Big Moon Beeswax attends artisan showcase events, we get many questions from shoppers wanting to know what to look for when buying beeswax candles, so they can get the best quality for their money. They ask us how to spot the "best beeswax candles" and we have to honestly tell them this...
THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS THE BEST BEESWAX CANDLE MAKER
Gasp! Did a candle-maker just say that? While we would love to say that Big Moon Beeswax is the BEST candle-maker you can buy your candles from, it wouldn’t be honest. There are a number of great beeswax candle-makers out there making beautiful and safe beeswax candles and we are just one of them. This is not a post about our candles are better than their candles because not one beeswax candle-maker has the best beeswax candles you can buy. Hopefully, each candle company brings something unique and beautiful to the public, but not one candle maker has found the magic formula that will please every candle buyer out there. You can’t be all things to all people, so any candle company that claims they are the best and the only company you should buy from are hoping consumers will believe that unrealistic claim. Big Moon Beeswax wants to help people know what types of things to look for when buying beeswax candles because there really is no oversight on all the candle-makers out there and no requirement to offer proof of advertising claims. In the United States, we have the National Candle Association to provide candle-makers with valuable information on the science of candles and industry guidelines, but they do not regulate the industry. Hopefully, most beeswax candle sellers are well versed in these guidelines and follow them religiously.
START WITH SAFETY
If you are buying your candles in a shop, a large chain store, or at an Arts & Craft show, check to see if they use safety information labels on the candles they sell. There are guidelines for the type of information that safety labels should have and all candles should come with safety instructions. Even if the candle is too small to affix a label to it, the packaging or handouts should include that valuable information. Yes, it’s costlier to provide safety instructions with candles, but our customers are worth it! Be wary of anyone selling beeswax candles that doesn’t take that added precaution because if they skip this safety step, what other steps are being skipped during the candle production process?
LOOK FOR EXPERIENCE
Now this is going to sound odd coming from a candle company founded in 2016, but it’s important to point this tip out because it makes a big difference in the quality of the beeswax candles you buy. Before we were Big Moon Beeswax, we were private label candle-makers for another beeswax company for several years. Before that, we were candle hobbyists for many years and are well past our learning curve years (and it takes YEARS to learn to make a candle that burns beautifully, as well as safely!)
As candle-makers ourselves, we are supportive of new candle-makers learning the craft and wish them many happy years of learning the science of candle making. Candle making is an art, but it’s more science than art. There are hundreds of wicks to choose from and they greatly impact how that candle is going to burn for the customer. It's alarming to see so many How to Make Beeswax Candles posts and videos on the internet that do not provide vital information on how to select the appropriate wick. The wick is the key to a candle’s performance and any discussion on how to make candles should center around that important information. The candle pictured here was being sold on the internet by a new candle-maker and you can see that the wood wick is providing a much larger flame than is safe for that candle. The heat intensity of that wood wick has burned through the entire side of the candle and is pooling hot wax at the bottom of the candle plate. Even a candle plate can't hold the amount of wax that this candle is going to quickly puddle into. The candle-maker selling this candle online was using THIS picture to promote the beauty of their candles. A picture like this should make all candle buyers look elsewhere. This is not a safe candle. An experienced candle maker would never allow a candle like this to be sold. Very large flames are only used for theatrical purposes for movies constructed out of specially designed wicks by experts that know how to control that large flame. Look at the pictures of candles for sale and note how large the flame is and if wax is dripping down the sides. Avoid candles that are obviously failing. Not only is that a waste of your money, but a safety risk to you, the consumer.
HELPFUL CONSUMER INFORMATION VS EXAGGERATED MARKETING CLAIMS
There are so many candle sellers on the internet these days that it can be a challenge choosing the right one, especially if this is the first time you’re trying their products. You will have to trust what they tell you and hope the hype lives up to their claims. You take a leap of faith when you buy candles from the internet, so the candle sellers owe you honest information and not exaggerated marketing claims.
Information You Need:
- Candle burning instructions and tips to help you decide which candle is right for you.
- Candle wax composition: Is it 100% pure beeswax or a beeswax blend?
- Candle additives: That’s important for those that are scent-sensitive or chemical-sensitive.
- Wax sourcing: Not everyone cares about this, but for those that do, then this information would be great to know. Is this North American wax or from overseas?
Red flags to watch for:
- Exaggerated marketing claims such as we are the best candles you will ever buy
- Exaggerated burn times. For example, a tealight in a standard polycarbonate cup is limited by the amount of wax the container holds. Any burn time significantly greater than what is normal is exaggerated (unless the wick is so weak that it barely burns the wax and who wants that?)
- Exact burn times: Because candle burn times are affected by room conditions such as ambient temperature, air circulation and the type of candle holder it is in, a candle seller can never guarantee exact burn times. The best, and honest, thing we can do is give a burn time range or a burn time minimum.
- Plagiarized material: Is the candle company outright copying from other sources and not using their own information to share with consumers? Big Moon Beeswax was disheartened when a new candle company launched in 2019 posted our blogs as their own. Ethical issues aside, it’s concerning because it made us wonder if they knew too little about candle-making to write their own information about it. That's a red flag for the consumer.
ONE SIZE DOES NOT FIT ALL
Of course, the only way to truly find the best beeswax candles for you are to try a small order from the candle companies that interest you the most. Every person has their own preference as to what makes a great beeswax candle and you need to find your perfect match (is that a pun?) So as your budget will allow, try out different beeswax candle companies and see how you like them.
Thank you for taking time out of your day to read our blog post! Stop by again for our latest info.
You may find that you have favorite tealights from one company, favorite tapers from another company and your favorite pillars from yet someone else. There are many quality beeswax candle makers out there, so whenever you need to buy more beeswax candles, give someone new a try