Are you a candle maker and wondering if you need FDA approval to sell your candles? Are there rules and regulations that you need to follow? In this article, find out if you do need FDA approval, what rules you should follow, and how to do your own candle safety test!
You do not need FDA approval to sell candles. Candles are not regulated by the FDA, however, the Consumer Product Safety Commission keeps the candle industry safe and honest.
Candles can cause fires if they are not made or used properly. Therefore, it is important to know that you are selling a safe product to consumers. You also want to ensure you do not make any claims about the candle that have not been tested for.
A candle is not classified as a drug. Generally, a product with a scent is categorized as a cosmetic. This includes candles, oils, lotions, and more as long as they do not claim that it has therapeutic properties.
This is why the words you use on your candle packing and when you talk about your product are correct and true and do not make claims that have not been verified.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission and ASTM International work together to create and ensure safety and honesty within the candle-making industry. There are currently six voluntary standards to follow:
- Standard test method for collection and analysis of visible emissions from candles as they burn
- Standard specification for candle fire safety labeling
- Standard specification for fire safety for candles
- Standard specification for fire safety for candle accessories
- Standard specification for annealed soda-lime-silicate glass containers that are produced for use as candle containers
- Standard guide for terminology related to candles and associated accessory items
The main focus is to reduce the fire hazard that candles can produce.
If you are a candle maker, you can do a burn test to see if your candles are fit for sale. From a test, you can see how well it was made as well as the safety of it. You will discover if you need to change the wick used and how well the wax and the fragrance oil all work together.
For a proper test, the candle needs to burn in four hours increments until the wax is all used up or until there is a failure that occurs with the candle.
You want to have the room temperature around 68-86°F and place the candle or multiple candles on a tray in case they crack or break during the test. Also mark the candles so you know what one it is, such as the wax used, the amount of fragrance, and so on. Ensure the wicks have been trimmed to a ¼ of an inch.
Depending on the type of candle, you want to let it burn for its allocated time. For a tea light candle, you want to burn the whole candle in one sitting. For a gel candle, you will want to burn it in increments of eight hours. For all other candles, burn in four hour periods.
You want to keep an eye on the candles while they are burning as well as after they have been distinguished after the allocated time frame. Make sure that the temperature of the candle vessel is at or below 140°F.
Things you should observe include cracks in the vessel, what the flame height is, notice if there is any black smoke, if there is damage to the table surface or the tray that it is on and if the wax or candle vessel has spilled or tipped over.
Notice if the candle has failed any of the steps to decide if it has failed or passed the first test. Repeat the test until the wax is all gone or stop if there has been an issue.
From these steps, you have performed a standard burn test to see if your candles are in a condition where it is safe and suitable to sell to the public. If it has failed, then you will need to go back to your ingredients and candle-making process and make changes.
It is so important that you get the candles right, for the reputation of your candle business as well as for the well-being of the people that purchase your candles. Do not skip the testing!
Some other candle tests you can do include a performance test, a behavior test and a chaos test / power burn.
Candlemakers need to ensure that they do not make any claims, such as saying the candles have therapeutic properties to them. This is because then the candles may be considered a drug and cosmetic. This would then mean they have to comply with the same regulations that medicines have to go through.
Therefore, if therapeutic claims are said about the candles, this would get the attention of the FDA and the candles would have to go through a process. This is why candle-makers need to solely keep candles mentioned as a cosmetic and scent.
In addition to any therapeutic claims, if there are multiple problems with the candle that cause harm to the consumers, then that’s when the FDA might investigate a bit further into the candle.
Ensure you have the company name, address, state what the product is, the net weight, a warning message, and safety precautions and instructions on your candle labels. You also need to use the correct font size depending on the size of your labels, so be sure to calculate the font size you need to use.
Something being FDA approved means that the effects of the product, also known as a drug, have been reviewed and the drug is deemed safe. Any potential risks do not compare to the benefits that can be gained from the use of the product.
There is a thorough process that the product goes through to be FDA approved, which includes:
- Analysis of the target condition and available treatments
- Assessments of the benefits and risks from clinical data
- Strategies for managing risks
As candles are not FDA approved, you do not need to worry about this unless you want to claim the candle as therapeutic and intend to go through the processes required. It is important to be aware of what this entails if you go down that route.
Another test you can do on candles is called performance testing. This is where you test the fragrance to see if it is as strong as you would like it or, just in general, seeing what the scent is like.
You can test this using a single candle in a medium-sized room with no drafts. Get the opinion of multiple people to see what they think about the performance of the candle fragrance, not just your own opinion about it.
No air fresheners, just like candles, are not currently regulated or approved by the FDA.
You do not need FDA approval to sell candles, but there are candle industry standards that you should follow. Keep yourself and your customers safe by ensuring you have used the correct supplies and followed the correct processes when selling your candles.