What's that white stuff on my beeswax candle and how do I get rid of it?

Wax bloom is a white, powdery substance that can form on the surface of beeswax candles.  This is a good sign even though it may look like something terrible is happening to your beeswax candle.  Bloom is a natural process of the softer oils of the beeswax rising to the outside surface, that only happens with natural waxes. What happens is that the lower-melting point components of the candle migrate to the surface and crystallize, forming the characteristic white, powdery appearance of wax bloom.

There are four factors that contribute to wax bloom. They are:

Temperature: Fluctuation in temperature can accelerate the process, making wax bloom more likely to occur.  If you store your candles in a cool environment, the chances of wax bloom occurring is much higher than candles being stored in a warm environment.  One needs to remember that beeswax comes from beehives which have an average temperature of approximately 33 degrees Celsius.

Humidity: High humidity creates condensation on the outside of the candle, which encourages wax bloom to form.

Age: If you have had your candle for a long period of time, chances are very good that the natural crystallization process has occurred, and your candle has a white powder coating.

Type of wax: Bloom only occurs on natural waxes such as beeswax, soy, and coconut.  You will not see bloom on paraffin wax as it is made from petroleum, not nature.

How to remove bloom:

Wipe away the bloom with a soft cloth, being careful not to scratch the surface of the candle.  You can also buff the candle with a nylon stocking to provide a more polished look.  Using a cotton cloth can remove the bloom and provide a natural shine as well.  For a glossy look, one can use a blow dryer to blow hot air onto the candle for a few seconds, which removes the bloom quickly and leaves your candle with a beautiful shine.

Although bloom is not cosmetically appealing, it does not affect the candle’s quality or its ability to burn properly. It is however a clear way of knowing that the candle you have purchased is 100% natural beeswax, as bloom cannot occur on synthetic waxes, it only occurs on natural waxes.
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