Are Better Homes And Gardens Candles Toxic?

Better Homes and Garden candles are amazing when it comes to fragrance. But some people argue that they are toxic.

So, are Better Homes And Gardens Candles Toxic?

Yes, Better Homes and Gardens candles that are made from paraffin wax are toxic. Paraffin is derived from petroleum and to make it into a scented candle, other toxic chemical additives are used. So, when you burn these candles, harmful fumes are produced that can degrade your health condition. Look for artificial scents, toxic ingredients, certification, adn black soots to identify toxic candles. A better alternative can be natural ingredient candles such as soy candles, beeswax candles etc. 

Here, we will talk about how these candles can harm you and how you can identify them.

Why Are Better Homes And Gardens Candles Toxic? 

Better Homes and Garden candles are toxic simply because they contain ingredients like paraffin that are harmful to your health. This is especially true for your respiratory system. 

Because paraffin waxes are by-products of petroleum. These waxes are not harmful at first glance. But when they burn, they produce soots that contain 11 toxic chemicals, among which two are carcinogens.

better homes and gardens candles
Source: Walmart

If you did not know, carcinogens are chemicals that are known to cause cancers. Paraffin wax contains an infamous carcinogen named acrolyn. 

Other chemicals that paraffin wax produces include benzene, toluene, naphthalene, tri-decane, tetra-decane, penta-decane, and hexadecane. These chemicals are also found in the exhaust smoke of a diesel engine. 

To add more to its lethality, it also contains dioxin and stearic acid. Dioxin is highly toxic and causes cancer and stearic acid can cause skin and eye irritation. 

How Do Better Homes And Gardens Candles Impact Your Health? 

Now you know what is in a BHG candle that is made from paraffin wax. But what does it do to your body? Here are 6 problems that burning a paraffin wax BHG can cause to your body-

Headaches, Nausea, and Insomnia:

Lighting up your favorite scented candle made of paraffin wax may seem like a great idea. But it could leave you with a pounding headache. 

The culprit behind this discomfort is a chemical called toluene. Which can affect your central nervous system and lead to headaches, nausea, dizziness, and even insomnia.

Cancer Concerns:

Benzene, another chemical found in paraffin wax, has been linked to cancer. Studies have shown higher rates of leukemia, particularly acute myeloid leukemia, in workers exposed to high levels of benzene. 

There are also suggestions of a connection between benzene and childhood leukemia, as well as other blood-related cancers.

Damaged Kidneys:

Exposure to toluene, whether through inhalation or skin contact, can cause long-term damage to your kidneys. Toluene enters your bloodstream when you breathe it in. Once absorbed, it quickly spreads throughout your body. 

Birth Defects:

Pregnant women who inhale toluene may unknowingly put their unborn babies at risk. Toluene can cross the placenta and can contaminate the fetus. It can result in growth retardation, premature birth, congenital malformations, and developmental problems.

Bone Marrow Problems:

Excessive exposure to benzene can damage your bone marrow. As a result, reducing the production of blood cells and leading to anemia. Studies have shown that benzene can cause changes in bone marrow cells. 

Breathing Problems:

Inhaling toluene can cause respiratory problems, including irritation of the respiratory tract. With repeated exposure, the accumulation of fluid in the lungs can lead to respiratory arrest.

These problems can mainly occur in the long term by inhaling the wax smoke. But accidentally digesting it or getting some wax in the eye may need some emergency medical attention.

How To Identify If Your Candles Are Toxic? 

So, how can you know if the candles you already have at home are safe for you?

Here are some tips to find out-

  • Check for ingredients & smell: Try to find out if your candles are made from paraffin wax. Check for artificial scnets and the packaging to confirm it contains synthetic and toxic ingredients. Or, if possible, contact and ask the seller about it.
  • Check for certifications: Look for candles that are certified by reputable organizations like the Green Seal or the USDA Organic Seal. This will ensure safer and more environmentally friendly products.
  • Check for black soot: If your candle produces a significant amount of black soot when burning, it indicates the presence of harmful chemicals.
black soot
Source: YouTube
  • Check for tunneling: Tunneling occurs when the candle burns down the center, leaving a thick ring of wax on the sides. This can be a sign of low-quality wax or additives. 

Alternatives To Better Homes And Gardens Candles

So, it’s not BHG candles but candles made from paraffin wax that are causing the problem. You can still use BHG candles if you deem them safe enough for your home and your health.

But if you want you can use these alternatives instead-

Brand Alternatives 

Although every BHG candle may not be toxic, you should choose a brand that you can trust blindly.  Here are some alternative non-toxic brands that you can explore-

better home candle wax
Source: Forage and Sustain

Other than these, the Kringle candle and Yankee candle can also be a good choice.

Ingredient Alternatives:

If it’s the paraffin wax that you have a beef with, then you can try candles made from these ingredients-

  • Soy wax: Soy wax is a natural and renewable resource derived from soybean oil. Soy wax candles are better than paraffin. That’s because it produces less soot and releases fewer toxins when burned. 

Also, there are different types of soy wax, like 464, 415, and, 444. 

  • Beeswax: Beeswax is a natural and sustainable wax produced by honeybees. It is known for its pleasant, subtle honey-like scent.
  • Palm wax: Palm wax is a natural wax derived from the oil palm tree. It is a renewable and sustainable option for candle making. It has a beautiful crystalline appearance and a higher melting point.
  • Candelilla wax: Candelilla wax is a natural vegetable wax derived from the leaves of the Candelilla shrub.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

What Are Ikea Candles Made of?

Ikea candles are made of paraffin wax, stearin, and vegetable wax. Some Ikea candles don’t have vegetable wax. As it contains paraffin, it can be pretty too. 

Are Candles More Toxic Than Cigarettes? 

No, candles are not more toxic than cigarettes. A candle smoke become similar toxic to just one cigarette after one hour of buring. However, it’s not healthy to breath longer in any kind of smoke. 

Are Essential Oils Safer Than Candles? 

Yes, essential oils are generally considered to be a safer option than candles. Burning candles releases harmful toxins into the air. But essential oils don’t contain these toxins and aren’t associated with indoor air pollution.


To sum t up, it’s important to be aware of whether Better Homes And Gardens candles are toxic or not. It is advisable to opt for safer alternatives like soy, coconut, or beeswax candles scented with pure essential oils instead.

Leave a Comment