Can I make a candle from ear wax ? Would it smell ?

Human earwax (cerumen) wet type

Image via Wikipedia

…. and would it smell ?

Could we be looking at a new renewable source of lighting ? How much wax do we produce ? Could I make enough to fill a small jar or tea light ? would it burn ? what would it smell of ?

I’ve been searching the web in a spare 5 minutes as I need something to calm me down after a frustrating morning at work … Here is what I have found.

Well ear wax is created to protect the ear drum from foreign bodies (no, not the French!). Some sites are also saying its a poison to stop insects from entering the ear and climbing down the eustachian tube and causing damage (gross)

Japanese people have a different kind of wax to the rest of us ! apparently its dry-er.

Earwax is constantly being created and due to the movement of the head and jaw it makes its way to the outer ear where it dries up and flakes off…

From another site I found that Earwax is 60% keratin (used to make the outer layer of human skin and also toenails & hair), 12-20% long chain fatty acids, alcohols, squaline (a fat and anti-oxidant produced and is a natural moisturizer) & 6-9% cholesterol

From this I’m sure that if I could gather enough – then it would certainly burn with a wick
OH ! then I found this !!

Looks like it’s already been done on Mythbusters. From the reactions of the “busters” when melting the wax – the smell isn’t good !

And from the final test – It doesn’t work as a candle. Due to its makeup of hair / skin cells and the items above – it IS flammable but it doesn’t burn or melt consistently in the same way that a beeswax candle would.

So – There is your answer. You “could” get enough wax to make a candle (although you’d want the help of a few friends / animals to get enough) but even if you could, without refining it – you wouldn’t be able to turn it into a candle..

Just stick to your pound shop tea lights ! – they work and they wont make you gag with the smell !!!


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