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Expert warns against new TikTok homemade candle trend

TikTok has become a topic of controversy due to many dangerous and unhealthy trends that have circulated amongst its users.

Trends such as the NyQuil chicken challenge have drawn criticism and even led to an official warning being issued by the United States Food and Drug Administration about its dangers.


Now, a new trend has emerged that sees orange peel transformed into a DIY candle. While this is theoretically perfect for the festive season, it could be incredibly dangerous.


Stephen Brownett-Gale of Lifestyle Packaging warns people about the risks of this trend and advises on the safest candle packaging materials.


What is the trend?

The trend sees users reusing orange reels transforming them into candles for decorative or emergency purposes.

#orangepeelcandle has over 39.5 thousand views on the platform, and the trend also features in the #candletok and #diycandle pages which have 1.4 billion and 79.9 million views, respectively.


Users are instructed to make an incision around the middle of the orange, carefully detaching the fruit from the peel - all while being careful to leave the pith (white stringy material) intact in the middle. 

Next, they are advised to leave the peel to dry out for several hours and then pour oil (or, in one instance, butter) into the base of the peel and light the pith as it if were a candle wick.

In one video, a person went as far as to scrape the butter out of the peel whilst it was lit to spread on a piece of bread.

Why is it dangerous?

Despite the trend’s promotion as an eco-friendly light source and a harmless DIY hack, the homemade candle has the potential to become a fire hazard.

Firstly, oranges lack a flat surface, may cause them to become unsteady over time and tip over, causing a fire.

Although some users have tried to flatten the surface of the base of the orange peel for more stability, this does not eliminate the risk of the peel rolling over.

Secondly, citrus fruits contain the chemical D-Limonene, which is known to be quite flammable. Plus, the rind itself is also flammable.

Additionally, the threat of a fire hazard is heightened by the exposed flame, which sits much higher than the top of the orange peel.

What should you use instead?

When it comes to candles, it is always safest to purchase professionally made candles from trusted manufacturers in safe, fire-proof and durable packaging.

Brands are legally required to ensure that their products pass intense usage and health and safety procedures before they can be sold, making them a lot safer to use than DIY attempts.


However, if you insist on trying homemade candle-making, it is important to know the most appropriate materials.

When it comes to candle packaging, there are three key things to consider: whether the packaging is fire-proof, heat-proof, or leak-proof.

A glass container is an ideal material to tick all these boxes as it has a sky-high melting point which handles the heat of a flame, is non-porous, so there is no risk of a leak, and it is a sturdy material. 


Metal packaging is also a great option for candles, not only for their sleek and high-end look, but also because they can handle the heat emitted by a flame and are leak-proof.

A third option is a ceramic container, which has the most longevity for reuse but is equally heat and leak-resistant.

Equally important is your choice of wax and wick materials. Standard waxes such as paraffin, beeswax, soy, and palm are all safe for candle-making.


Finally, there are a lot of materials that can be used to make a candle wick, but cotton is the most used.

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