Is Reusing Orange Peels As A Candle A Sweet-Smelling Hack Or Fire Hazard?

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There are tons of DIY candle tutorials all across the internet, and some of them are a bit questionable because there is lot that can go wrong when it comes to candle-making at home. Often, it's not as simple as just pouring wax into a glass jar and adding a wick. DIY enthusiasts like to add things like flowers or other decorative pieces that can pose a fire hazard if not used correctly. Making its rounds on the internet is a simple orange peel candle DIY, and as you may have guessed, it is safer to avoid this DIY and stick with store-bought candles.

One tutorial shared by Instagram user @emilyxlevi involves cutting an orange in half, emptying out the peel, and pouring olive oil inside to serve as makeshift candle wax. The content creator lit the orange stem, which acts as the candle wick, as part of this tutorial. Unfortunately, both the olive oil and the orange peel itself could catch fire and lead to immense fire damage in your home, or worse. It is best to avoid this DIY and turn to other methods to make your home smell like fresh oranges.

Orange peels and olive oil are flammable

In order to better understand why this DIY is not a good idea, let's break down the science behind the flammability of orange peels and olive oil. As for oranges, their peels contain the chemical limonene, which is also found in a variety of other citrus fruits. Limonene is highly flammable. Exposing this chemical to an open flame is not only a recipe for disaster but also a hidden fire hazard. You probably already know that placing an open flame so close to olive oil is not the greatest idea. Olive oil, like most oils, is flammable. Once it reaches a certain temperature, the vapors it emits can result in a fire.

Obviously, the DIY candle shown in @emilyxlevi's video did not burst into flames the moment it was lit. It is even likely that the content creator has created these orange candles numerous times with no problems. However, this does not mean that the DIY is safe. The candle could still catch fire at any point. The content creator's followers even expressed their concerns in the comment section of the post. "The smell was AMAZING as the firefighters put the fire out!" one user wrote jokingly. "Everything burned down," another user penned. "Insurance said I'm orange my own."

Other ways to make your home smell like oranges

There are far safer ways to make your home smell fresh. If you are open to it, you could simply purchase an orange-scented candle. Bath & Body Works sells a Sweet Orange & Agave candle on their website, and you may be able to find it in person at your local store as well. It is normally priced at $26.95, but during sales, you can get it for as low as $13.95. Amazon has countless orange-scented candles to choose from as well; The Village Candle in the Orange Cinnamon scent has a four-and-a-half star rating and is priced at $20.80.

Those who prefer to go the natural route can still make use of old orange peels. Simply boil them in water on your stove for a pleasant potpourri that allows the citrus smell to safely make its way throughout your home. You can also try one of our simmer pot recipes and toss in other fruits to change up the scent, like cranberries and apples. Incorporating cinnamon sticks is a popular way to enhance the fragrance as well.