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Paraffin Wax: Why Your Big Brand Name Candles Are Actually Sh*tty

Updated: Oct 19, 2022

Without even realizing it, you may be burning paraffin throughout your home while exposing yourself to the health hazards associated with it. If burning candles is a part of your daily self care routine, it’s time to educate yourself on their history, the downfalls of paraffin wax, and why you should discontinue using candles made from it.

Have you ever lit a candle and an hour later you find yourself with a low grade headache? This is directly thanks to paraffin wax. This kind of wax is cheap, has a strong hot throw (strength of fragrance emitted when lit) and as you’ll read on to find, is full of toxic chemicals.


Your lungs play an important role in ensuring you feel fresh and healthy. As you exert yourself each day, they replenish your blood with fresh oxygen and free it from toxins. Because of this, it’s in your best interests to veer away from paraffin candles.

Whenever you light a paraffin candle, you’re releasing dangerous chemicals into the air. When paraffin candles burn, they emit black soot and toxic fumes (similar in chemistry to diesel exhaust, since this substance is a derivative from petroleum) containing poisonous chemicals such as benzene, toluene, naphthalene, tri-decane, tetra-decane, penta-decane, and hexadecane. According to studies done in America, those chemicals are associated with asthma, the exacerbation of respiratory conditions, and allergy-like reactions.


If you’ve never given much consideration to the wick that burns through your candle, now is the time! Much like the type of wax you use, the wick can affect the quality of the candle and the way it burns. Some wicks contain metal filaments like lead to help them stand upright which are very harmful when burned. Make sure you pay attention to wicks in stores, if you see any metallic threading through the wicks- RUN!

If you’ve ever burned a poor-quality candle, you’re probably also aware that a poor wick can result in an uneven, burn or tunneling (when the wick eats through the candle instead of melting the full diameter of the vessel). This is just a waste of your money, in addition to the sickening thought that you’re paying to pollute the air you breathe.

"I love how the wooden wicks from Wood and Wax Co. crackle, slow the burn of my candle but also maximize it's lifespan." – Sue R, Dec 2021


Pure cotton wicks don’t feature the same chemicals used to mordant synthetic wicks. As a result, they’re less likely to release toxic chemicals into the air that you’ll then go on to breathe. Despite being less toxic, they’re still easy to light and relight. Wooden wicks take a bit longer to light, but they burn for longer and give your candle a longer life. It is imperative to either of these that you trim your wicks to ¼ inch before lighting, and only burn for 4 hours at a time. This will minimize the amount of excess soiled wick, soot burn off and increase the life of your candle.


At Wood and Wax, we sell both scented and unscented non-GMO, plant-based coconut soy wax candles. Our commitment to environmentally friendly practices allows us to maintain our customers’ health while keeping the planet safe. If you want to discuss our products, you can get in touch anytime via the contact tab, and our owner Meredith would be happy to help you directly.


You wouldn't let just anyone come in your front door and spray toxins into your air to hurt your family. Do your research, read big biz candle labels for ingredients, and shop smart.

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