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I used pure beeswax and two different blends for this experiment and used 2 different wick sizes. Since I chose half-pint canning jars for my organic beeswax candles, used 2.5 inches as my guide for the jar opening and purchased an appropriate wick at a local craft store. I used a 60 ply wick that was recommended to me by a beekeeper for the second wick.
The two different blends I used were a 50/50 mix of beeswax and palm shortening (sourced sustainably) and a 1 pound beeswax to 1/2 cup of coconut oil ratio for the second. I made each of these blends and the pure beeswax with both sizes of wick and burned all 6 pure beeswax candles in the same environment for 4 hours before I blew them out.
It is widely recommended to burn any poured honeycomb candle for 1 hour per inch diameter of the jar the first time you burn it. This helps prevent the candle from tunneling. The goal is for the entire surface of the candle to be melted before you blow it out. If the entire surface doesn’t melt, your wick is probably too small for your jar. Because a couple of my experimental candles were tunneling I let them go a little longer to give them a fair shot.
The coconut oil blend with the larger 60 ply wick! It was the only combination of the six that burned a complete surface without burning away too quickly. The palm oil blend with the smaller wick did fairly well but it burned too quickly. The palm oil blend with the larger wick melted the entire surface, but again, it melted quicker than the others. This combination would make a very nice organic beeswax candles if you are trying to dilute your beeswax slightly in an effort to save cost.
The pure beeswax with the smaller wick burned the slowest but very distinctly created a tunnel. The beeswax with the larger wick burned a little faster and did a better job of melting toward the edges than the one with the smaller wick. If I wanted a pure beeswax candle I would definitely use the larger 60 ply wick. In fact, these pure beeswax candles are a great option (and the most simple to make) if you don’t mind the tunneling. This has never bothered me since I just re-melt used candles into new candles anyway.
So to recap, the pure beeswax burned slowly but quite hot so the surface never completely melted while the beeswax/palm shortening blend melted far too quickly. A different ratio may work better but the coconut oil blend did such a good job that I am going to stick with that.
This recipe is for the beeswax/coconut oil blend, but if you want to experiment with other blends the process will still be the same so be brave and try it out!
Beeswax candles homemade ingredients
1 lb pure filtered beeswax
1/2 cup coconut oil
3 half-pint canning jars
60 ply cotton braided wick #4 cut into 6 inch pieces
A metal pitcher (or an empty coffee can)
pot large enough to fit your pitcher to use as a double boiler