What Everybody Ought to Know About Candles Expiration Dates

Do candles expire? Do they spoil or “get old”? Can you store them? How do you store them correctly?

wedding beeswax votive candles
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Many people think that candles never spoil. However this isn’t always the truth. Candles, if they are scented or colored may spoil easily if they are left unsealed or placed on a sunny windowsill for long periods of time. Sure enough the easiest way for a candle to spoil is to lose it’s scent.

Hence it is always better to buy container scented candles than pillar/taper scented ones, because pillar and tapered candles that are set out for display are determined lose their scent so much faster than container candles that are kept closed when not used. Another example of how a candle may go bad over time is the color degradation. Even though some candle makers use UV protectant additives to slow the fading, it will still happen given enough time and sun exposure.

So those were two examples of the quality degradation. However it is known that there are more ways for a candle to spoil. One of them is if the candle is made by blending natural waxes with organic essential oils. Most oils have their own expiry date and while being blended with wax could preserve and postpone the expiry for some time, it can’t do it forever. It is even recommended to use your candle within a year of opening from their original packaging especially if they are all natural wax candles (soy wax, palm wax). Thus it is essential to firstly know how your candle is made and secondly go ahead and light it up – after all that’s what you bought it for.

Beeswax candles are a bit different as they contain bee pollen and propolis (substances that give the honey scent and the yellow color to a candle). The propolis is well known for its conservative effects – even ancient Egyptians used it to mummify dead bodies. So beeswax candles can stay for long periods of time with no degradation. However you should make sure to wrap them well (preferably with paper/cotton/newspaper sheets) and put them somewhere into a cool dry place away from a light source.

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