In recent years the consumer market for candles has grown dramatically, as candles of all shapes, sizes, colours and fragrances have been used increasingly in homes and restaurants to create atmosphere and enhance mood.
Now two researchers at the University of Southampton have taken the potential uses of fragranced candles one step further, by demonstrating that they can also have valuable and effective bactericidal properties.
The researchers, Dr Lindsey Gaunt and Sabrina Higgins, have discovered that adding essential oils to the candle can destroy bacteria such as Escherichia Coli and Staphylococcus aureus on surfaces. Working with Professor John Hughes in the Bioelectrostatics Research Centre, Lindsey and Sabrina have been testing different essential oils, such as orange, thyme, and eucalyptus, which when dispersed into the air and combined with the ions produced in the candle flame, all have a powerful bactericidal effect.
Joyce Lewis | alfa
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