Can You Really Make a Candle Out of Your Earwax?


| LAST UPDATE 01/02/2023

By Amie Alfaro
Earwax Removal QTip Ear
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Can you make a candle out of your own earwax? This an age-old question that everyone has probably wondered to themselves at some point in their lives. It might sound gross to some, but if enough earwax was gathered, is it possible to burn it like any other wax candle?

First, let’s begin by looking into how candles are made. Candles have been made for centuries. According to, ancient civilizations mostly made their candle wax from animal fat and evolved to use beeswax over the centuries. However, many continued to use animal fat due to the high cost of beeswax. Eventually, soy and palm wax were developed in the second half of the 20th century. This invention allowed candles to be mass-produced and created the industry it is today. So, what about earwax? Can you take your earwax and make it into a DIY candle like everyone’s favorite ogre, Shrek, does? It turns out that the answer is no because earwax isn’t wax at all.

PF Candle Wax Burning
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Earwax is actually made up of dead skin with long-chain fatty acids, cholesterol, and other compounds binding it together. Around 60% of earwax is made up of dead skin, and when it mixes with the different compounds and oils, it turns into the discolored lumps we typically see. The most common type of earwax is wet earwax. However, depending on your genes, your earwax may look different than others. “There is a recessive gene mutation that results in a different mix of oils, giving grey and flaky earwax,” states Science Focus. This gene mutation is common in Japanese and Native Americans. While it would be an interesting experiment to try making a candle from earwax, it would not work very well. Science Focus explains that earwax can’t melt and burn like an ordinary candle because of the keratin in skin cells. If a candle made of earwax were set on fire, the flame would spread across the surface instead of melting downwards, like a typical candle.

While you may not be able to make a candle out of earwax, earwax is still a fascinating, evolutionary process of how our bodies have developed to rid themselves of unnecessary byproducts, like dead skin.

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