Bright Idea: Recycle Candles Without Any Fuss


Links to products featured on RecycleScene are affiliate links. Make a purchase of recommended products on our site, and we get a small percentage of affiliate commission to maintain our site. Thanks!


recycle candles
Creative Commons License photo credit: OakleyOriginals

Candles are great for making your space extra festive and cheery, or to give as gifts. Just because a pile of wax is misshapen and used, there’s no need to let it go to waste. Give new life to old candles and recycle and reuse them. It’s surprisingly easy to make your own candles.

What You’ll Need:

  • Old candles
  • Hot water
  • Metal pot and old mug or soup can, or Potpourri burner and tea lights
  • Mold in the shape of your choice, or container for final candle (old glass jars or votive holders, teacups, wine glasses, etc.)
  • New candle wicks or natural cotton string
recycle candles
Creative Commons License photo credit: ecram1

Sometimes you may have leftover candle wax in a decorative glass jar where the candle was burned. If this is the case, simply turn the glass upside down and run hot water over it. This will melt the wax just enough to loosen it and it falls out.

Next, remove any debris such as the leftover wick, ash, and wick holders.

Once you’ve got your leftover wax together and clean, sort out several piles:
Colored or non-colored candles.
Scented candles and non-scented candles. TIP: Add essential oils to the unscented candle wax to give it a new scent.Note that if you want to experiment by mixing different scented candles, you may be in for a funky surprise! Some smells may work well together, and some might not. The same goes with blending different colors- the new candle may just end up brown.

Waxing Philosophical

The next step is melting the wax. There are several ways to do this, depending on the materials that you have. You want to get your candle wax into a molten state using low to medium heat so you can pour it into your new mold.

Get some water boiling in a large pot and place your wax in another metal or ceramic container. It’s not recommended to just put your wax in the pot without another container because the cleanup is not worth it. Melted wax down the sink is just not what you’re going for. Make sure the container can withstand the heat without melting, such as something ceramic or an old soup can, and that it is easy to pour from.

It’s possible to use a microwave if you want to sacrifice your microwave safe container, but only for a few seconds to melt the wax. For those of you to which this method seems familiar, it is also known as the bain marie cooking technique; one container is placed inside another and food is cooked or chocolate is melted by being surrounded by simmering heat.

Also try using a potpourri burner, which takes a little extra time. Place your wax bits into the burner and set a tea light underneath or inside the burner.

Immediately after you have poured the molten wax into your new mold is when you would add your new fragrance oil if you prefer.

Remember to keep an eye on the tea lights and candles and don’t leave them burning unattended. Keep the burner out of reach and out of harm’s way where young children or pets can get to it. There is nothing like the sight of little scraggly burnt whiskers on your cat!

Rekindle an Old Flame

After you have mixed the melted wax, transfer the melted wax into a mold and add in your new wick. Leave at least a quarter inch of wick above the length of the candle. More is better because you can always trim it.

Allow wax to cool down and remove from mold. Now you have another candle made from the wax of old candles!

Decorate your new candles with leaves or other materials found in nature. Share other variations to this process have you have used that have worked out in the comments section.

If you don’t feel like making recycled candles, check out EkoMiko candles. They are completely organic, come in recycled glass jars and are packaged in biodegradable seeded boxes. EkoMiko candle wax can also be used for green skin care too, as it’s made with coconut butter wax.

Links to products featured on RecycleScene are affiliate links. We try and only feature products that close the recycling loop. Make a purchase of recommended products on our site, and we get a small percentage of affiliate commission to maintain our site. Read more in the Terms of Use & Disclosure link in footer. Thanks!


One Response to Bright Idea: Recycle Candles Without Any Fuss

Leave a reply