Can Candles Eliminate Odor? How Does it Work?

Candles are primarily used for illumination all over the world. Today, we have scented candles too that help to create a fragrant living environment. Candles also come in many different sizes and shapes allowing you to set a particular ambiance too.

But can candles eliminate odor?

Candles can definitely eliminate odor, the trick is to use the correct one for the smell you want to remove. Often this will be found on the label. The best candles for eliminating odor will be soy wax candles or vegetable wax candles. Remember, not all candles are equally efficient at getting rid of bad odors and some might even make it worse. Try to avoid paraffin wax candles.

So, what factors influence whether a candle can eliminate odors or not? The answer is not as simple as you might think. To understand it, it’s essential to know how these candles work and what elements are responsible for eliminating bad odors.

Can Candles Eliminate Odor? How Does it Work?

Can Candles Eliminate Odor How Does it Work

Having an old but empty garbage can, cat litter or a leak in the sewage pipe under your home can all lead to a very unpleasant living environment. Ordinary non-scented candles can reduce odors but the result is almost negligible. However, scented candles can be very useful. Scented candles come in many different types and intensities when it comes to fragrance. Just because your candle smells like lavender doesn’t mean it can instantly wipe out bad smells.

The most commonly used candles are made out of paraffin or vegetable wax. The former is more easily available and affordable. However, they are made from crude oil. Due to this, they generate harmful chemicals that can be harmful to our health in the long term. Do note that no study has been able to point out how harmful they are as no one lights up a candle 24/7 in their home. These candles cannot eliminate odors but they can mask a bad smell by overpowering it.

Candles made from vegetable wax can eliminate bad odors but will take time to do so. This is because they create negatively charged ions on burning, which is the opposite of the positively charged ions in the oxygen around you. These negative ions will eliminate the ions in the air and also any odors efficiently. This does take time but you can make it happen more quickly by making sure that the room is properly ventilated. You can also light up multiple candles to do so.

Type and Number of Candles to Use for Eliminating Odors

A lot of people assume that the more candles you light up, the faster the bad odor will disappear. However, that is true only up to a certain count. If you light up ten scented candles, then all of them may create such a strong smell that it might be possible to stay inside. In most cases, a maximum of two or three candles will be more than enough. When you use multiple candles, make sure that they are all far away from each other to make sure that the fragrance spreads evenly across your room or house. If it’s a small room, don’t light up more than one candle.

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There is no specific fragrance you can use to eliminate bad odors but by choosing the right fragrance you can make your living environment feel more natural. If you use different scented candles in the same room, they might all clash with one another and create an unbearable fragrance. Some scents will also be weird to have in certain rooms such as a cookie fragrance in the bathroom. If you want to neutralize a bad odor in the bathroom, go for floral scents but make sure you keep the window open. Otherwise, the fragrance may end up being too strong.

For the bedroom, go for fragrances that relax you such as lavender. Very strong scents in the bedroom may keep you awake at night. For the kitchen, you can try out baked food scents so that it feels more natural. You can also choose scents according to the season so that if anyone visits your home, it won’t feel like you were trying to mask any unpleasant odors.

When you are buying scented candles for eliminating bad smells, look out for odor eliminator candles. They come with a special formulation for neutralizing unpleasant odors. These products will usually say “odor eliminating” or “deodorizing” on their packaging. If you can’t find any, get a candle made out of pure vegetable wax. Soy candles are also well known for odor neutralization.

What to Look For in Odor Eliminating Candles?

Here are a few things to keep in mind when buying an odor eliminating candle.

  • Avoid Paraffin Wax Candles – Apart from being unhealthy, paraffin wax candles are also less efficient at neutralizing odors. Instead, look for soy wax candles or vegetable wax candles. They not only take care of any odor but they also burn cleaner and generate less smoke and soot.
  • Type of Candle – Some odor eliminating candles are made to get rid of a specific type of odor and so may not work for your needs. So if it’s the smell of smoke you want to get rid of, look for candles that do just that. Never buy the first candle you see on the shelf.
  • Fragrance – Make sure that the fragrance you choose is not too strong or too weak for the room you plan to use it in. Some scents make you feel more energetic whereas others feel more relaxing.
  • Chemical Free – Make sure that you only go for chemical-free odor eliminating candles. Almost all of the high-quality ones will be devoid of any harmful components but there are low-quality ones that do have them. Do not skimp on quality to save more money. You will end up regretting it.
  • Burn Time – To make sure that you get great value for your money, always check the burn time of the candle. Some last for many hours whereas others end up melting more quickly. Since you can’t skimp on quality, try to find the best cost-per-hour deal you can get by comparing burn time.


Eliminating bad odors is possible with a candle but will take time. There are a few things you can do to get better and faster results. Light up multiple candles depending on room size, use soy or vegetable wax candles and avoid paraffin wax, and finally, look up “odor eliminating” candles for maximum results. After that, it’s just a waiting game and the odors should begin to disappear.

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