True confession time … I used to be a candle junkie. Burning candles was my thing.

Having a PartyLite home party? I was there. A cupboard full of candles, candleholders, and tea lights … yep, I had one! And I burned candles every single evening.

Until I discovered the hazards of burning candles and the benefits of diffusing essential oils.

Did you know that the smoke from a burning candle can be as toxic as those from cigarettes or even diesel exhaust fumes?

The Hazards

Care to smoke a cigarette?
According to Andrew Sledd, M.D., a Missouri pediatrician who specializes in environmental toxicology, it only takes an hour of burning a candle to produce the same harmful effects as smoking just one cigarette.

How about a diesel truck in your living room?
A study by scientists at Copenhagen University conducted on mice found exposure to particles from burning candles to cause greater damage than the same dose of diesel exhaust fumes. The harmful effects of candle smoke included lung inflammation and toxicity, arteriosclerosis, and aging effects on chromosomes in the lungs and spleen.

Would you invite cancer, allergies, asthma into your home?
A 2009 study at South Carolina University cited that: “For a person who lights a candle every day for years or just uses them frequently, inhalation of these dangerous pollutants drifting in the air could contribute to the development of health risks like cancer, common allergies, and even asthma.”

There are more studies available but I’ll just leave it right there…

Now for The Benefits

The good news is your home can smell amazing and actually benefit your health when you simply diffuse essential oils.

A cold-air essential oil diffuser is designed to atomize a microfine mist of essential oils into the air, where they can remain suspended for several hours. This type of diffuser disperses essential oils without heating or burning, which can render the oil less beneficial.

When therapeutic-grade essential oils are diffused, they can increase atmospheric oxygen and provide negative ions, which in turn inhibits bacterial growth.

What about the fragrance?

As for the aroma, diffusing pure, high-quality essential oils alter the structure of molecules that create odors, rather than just masking them.

Unlike with burning candles, diffusing essential oils gives you a scent that lasts all day! Although scented candles provide an initially strong odor, rarely do they go the distance and last the entire day. The candle’s aroma dissipates very quickly in the surrounding environment.

An essential oil diffuser can administer a continuous and constant scent throughout the day. This method of fragrance distribution provides a light scent yet one that is constantly refreshing itself for an entire day, week, or month.

Change of mood? Change your fragrance as often as you like with a diffuser!

Aren’t essential oils expensive?

The average Pumpkin Spice Candle burns 70 hours and costs $28.

A Young Living Diffuser (Lantern, Desert Mist, or Dewdrop) will run for 10 hours at a time using 8-10 drops of essential oil. Depending on the oils you use, it can cost as low as $0.30 – $0.40 cents for 10 hours, at a cost of $2.80 for 70 hours. Plus diffusers are affordable and can be used for years and years when properly maintained.

Some essential oil diffusers even offer a candle-like flicker mode.

Don’t Have a Diffuser? No problem!

Other Ways to Diffuse Essential Oils

  • Add your favorite essential oils to cedar chips to make your own potpourri.
  • Put essential oils on cotton balls or tissues and place them in your car, home, work, or hotel heating or air conditioning vents.
  • Put a few drops of essential oil in a bowl or pan of water and set it on a warm (not hot) stove.
  • Drip several drops of essential oil in the palm of your hand, rub your hands together then waft your hands around the room.
  • Add 10-20 drops of essential oil to 4 oz of distilled water in a glass spray bottle.

My question for you…

You exercise regularly. You eat a healthy diet. And you do what it takes to stay well. But when you light that scented candle, those efforts go down the drain.

When will you clean out your candle cupboard and choose to diffuse instead?