How to Reuse Candle Wax

Person making homemade candles

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Project Overview
  • Working Time: 30 mins - 1 hr
  • Total Time: 1 - 4 hrs
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Estimated Cost: $0—$20

Most of us probably have several candle jars with wax that has burned down to the bottom scattered around the house or stashed away inside a cabinet. Maybe the jar is really unique or you loved the scent so much you can't part with it. The good news is, you can reuse the candle wax in several different ways and continue enjoying the beautiful scent.

Here's how to purpose candle wax and give it new life by melting it and making new candles, wax melts and fire starters among other things.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Scissors
  • Saucepan
  • Stirring item such as a spoon
  • Muffin tin (for fire starters)

Materials

To Make New Candles

  • Candle container
  • Old candle wax
  • New wick
  • Essential oils (optional)

To Make a Citronella Candle

  • Candle container
  • Old candle wax
  • New wick
  • Citronella essential oil

To Make Wax Melts

  • Ice cube mold
  • Old candle wax

To Make Fire Starters

  • Paper muffin liners
  • New wicks
  • Old candle wax
  • Optional: pinecones, star of anise, cinnamon sticks, rosemary, thyme, essential oils

Instructions

Make More Candles

If you've been wanting to dip your toes into the world of candle making, this is a great way to get started. Gather a couple of old candles made from the same type of wax and that are either unscented or have complementing scents, and make a new candle.

  1. Prepare the Container and Wick

    First, prepare the container for your new candle. Use a jar, a tin, teacup, votive glass... the possibilities are endless! Choose your container and place a new wick inside it, so it's ready to go once the wax is melted.

  2. Scrap Old Wax from Candles

    Next, remove the wax from your candle jars. (The easiest method is to freeze the candles, jar and all, then use a small knife to scrape out the wax.) Depending on the size of the container you'll be using for your new candle, you will probably need to mix multiple candle waxes. If that's the case, make sure that they are the same type of wax. For example, that the old candles you're using are all soy candles or all paraffin candles.

  3. Melt Wax on Stovetop

    Place all the wax in a saucepan, then melt it on low heat on your stovetop, either directly in the saucepan or using the double boiler method.

  4. Pour the New Candle

    Pour the melted wax into your new candle container, holding the wick in place, then let the wax set completely.

Make a Citronella Candle

With the arrival of the summer, you may have citronella candles on your shopping list right now! Why not make your own while repurposing old candle wax. Here's how:

  1. Ready the Container and Wick

    Start by selecting your candle container and placing a new wick inside it.

  2. Remove the Wax

    Then, remove the wax from your old candle jars (you can use the same freeze-and-scrape method mentioned above. For this particular candle, using unscented candle wax is the best choice.

  3. Melt Wax and Add Citronella

    Place the wax in a saucepan, then melt it on low heat on your stovetop or use the double boiler method. Once it has melted, add a citronella essential oil to the wax and mix well.

  4. Pour the Candle

    Pour the citronella-scented wax into your new container, securing the wick in place, then let it set completely and enjoy a bug-free summer night on the patio.

Make Wax Melts

Wax melts are small pieces of wax that are used with a wax warmer to release a fragrance and create a nice ambience. Since they're usually the size of an ice cube, making your own is a great way to reuse old candle wax.

  1. Scrap the Wax and Melt

    First, remove the wax from your old candle jars. Place it in a saucepan and melt it either over low heat in your saucepan or in a double boiler.

  2. Add Essential Oils

    If you're using unscented candle wax, add essential oils to give it your preferred scent.

  3. Pour Wax and Let Sit

    Use an ice cube tray as your mold for making the wax melts. Carefully pour an equal amount of wax into each of the ice tray compartments, then let it sit for a couple of hours until the wax has fully set before popping the wax cubes out and using them with a wax warmer.

Make Fire Starters

There are countless ways to make fire starters and many different items and ingredients you could use to make them. They make for a lovely homemade gift; just wrap them up in a cellophane bag and add a cute ribbon or use a decorative box and tissue paper to package.

  1. Prep the Muffin Tin

    Start by gathering your supplies. You will need a muffin tin and classic paper muffin liners to hold your fire starters. Line the tin with the paper liners. Here's the fun part — add various things such as small pinecones, star of anise, cinnamon sticks or herbs to each of the liners. Then, add a wick in each.

  2. Remove the Wax and Melt

    Next, remove the wax from your old candle jars. Place it in a saucepan and melt it either over low heat in your saucepan or in a double boiler.

  3. Pour Wax and Let Sit

    Carefully pour the melted wax into your filled muffin liners, ensuring all the herbs and spices that you added stay in place. Let the wax set completely before using the fire starters.