You may have heard that after a while, especially if not stored properly, candles can go bad. This is true, as, after a certain amount of time, candles will begin to lose their scent or the scent will significantly weaken over time. They can also develop what’s called wax bloom, which is a white filmy substance that comes from the candle itself.
This leads us to our question: can candle wax get moldy? No. Candles, under normal circumstances, do not get moldy. Although mold can grow in or on beehives, where wax comes from, candles themselves do not grow mold regularly. They do undergo wax bloom, which produces a substance similar to mold, but it is not the same thing.
If candles don’t get moldy, do you still need to store them properly? What is wax bloom and why does it look so much like mold? How should you store candles to make them last as long as possible? Read on to find out the answers to these questions and more!
Do Candles Mold?
Candles do not mold. Usually, when people think that candles are molding, it is just wax bloom.
Wax bloom is a naturally occurring oxidation of wax materials. Think of it as similar to how metal rusts. When the wax is in contact with oxygen for long periods of time, it will begin to develop a white, fuzzy film.
Wax bloom is not the same thing as mold. Although often mistaken for mold, as they both often present themselves as powdery or fuzzy white films over a surface, they are in fact different.
The major difference between them is actually their effect. While mold can be dangerous to breathe in or ingest in any way, the wax bloom is a pretty much harmless substance that can simply be wiped away.
If you have a candle with wax bloom it is probably still okay to use. It might have lost its scent, but it can still be burned safely and you don’t have to worry about spores like you would have to with mold.
So if you’re asking yourself “can candle wax get moldy?” the answer is no. That’s probably just wax bloom!
Why Don’t Candles Get Moldy?
Mold likes to grow on organic materials in areas that are warm, dark, and moist. Without these conditions, it can be difficult for mold to grow. The main reason that candles don’t get moldy is that they are often stored in tight glass containers, and their wax isn’t an ideal organic material for mold to grow on.
Can Candle Wax Go Bad?
Candle wax does not go bad. However, candle wax, especially ones that are left out, do eventually lose their scent. This problem can be exacerbated by exposure to sunlight as well. However, the candle wax will never really be dangerous to burn, so they don’t truly “go bad” as a food product would.
Candle wax that is stored properly and unopened can also eventually lose their scent, but this takes a much longer time. Far more than even a full year would have to pass before these waxes no longer give off a scent.
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How Long Do Candles Take To Go Bad?
It depends on the candle. If the candle is out and unwrapped, has already been used, and is near a window, or gets exposed to the sun, it won’t take as long. Candles like these can start to lose scent and color after a couple of months.
However, candles that are stored properly take much longer to lose scent and color. For these, a few years can go by without anything changing, especially for candles that are in sealed glass containers.
Some kinds of candles expire a little bit faster. Plants with soy-based wax or wax made with other plant products can expire more quickly, as plant materials tend to degrade. This can also happen with candles made from natural oils. Try and burn these candles within a year to a year and a half of purchase.
Can Candle Wax Make You Sick?
Candle wax is largely considered nonpoisonous. This means, if being used properly, candles can’t really make you sick. If large amounts are swallowed by a pet or child, however, you should take them to the vet or doctor quickly.
People who are allergic to colored dies can have allergic reactions to some candles as well.
How to Store Candles Properly
Although it takes a long time for candles to go bad, it is still important to store them properly to avoid them losing any color or scent at all. There are a number of important rules to follow to make sure your candles don’t lose color or scent when you leave them somewhere for many long months.
First and most importantly, keep candles away from sources of heat, fire, and ignition! Candles are made to be set on fire, so they will light. For safety reasons, it is extremely important to keep them away from anything that can start a fire, as they will help a fire spread very quickly.
Secondly, they should be kept at a cooler temperature. Heat is what makes the scent of the candle be given off, so the hotter it is in your storage room, the more likely your candles are to lose scent over time. This can still happen even if the candles aren’t actively melting from extreme heat, so make sure to store them in a cool place.
A warm temperature can also warp the shape of your candle, causing it to bend or melt. This will render certain candles, especially long, tall, thin candles, completely unusable, so it is very important to keep them somewhere cool so you can maintain their shape.
You should try to keep them dry as well. This will also help them retain their shape and scent.
So, no, candles don’t mold. What you’re seeing is more than likely wax bloom. This doesn’t mean, however, that you shouldn’t store your candles properly. make sure they are in a cool, dry, and dark place to make sure they retain their color and scent for as long as possible.
Also, avoid direct sunlight. Not only will it heat up your storage area, but it will also cause your candles’ color and scent to fade. A cool, dry, and dark place is the best way to store your candles.
It has become rather popular to freeze your candles, as the freezer is cool, dry, and dark. However, this is a bad idea. The extreme temperatures are bad for the candle. This is especially true of the wicks of your candles that are extremely susceptible to damage from freezing due to moisture absorption.