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If you are like me, you have candle stubs laying around and they still have plenty of wax left.  Most of the time, jar candles will burn out their wicks long before they’re out of wax. But don’t throw those yummy scented candles away – Reuse them! It’s really simple, so here’s what you need and what you need to do to reuse your old candles.

First….a word of caution. Be very careful. Hot wax will burn the skin on contact! This is not a craft project I recommend with or around small children (wait until they go to bed!). Only use pots and stirring utensils that you no longer use for food preparation. Reuse glass jars with care, some can crack if the candle wax is too hot. Fill all glass containers while sitting them in another container, they will become hot. Dispose of any cracked glass containers.  Don’t bump glass containers together while hot. Scared yet? Lol  Keep reading, trust me.

You Need:

  • Old candles, of course
  • Deep pot for melting candles
  • Stirring utensils
  • Candle wicks (find them at most craft stores!)
  • Candle molds (you can also just reuse the jars from your jar candles)
  • Wick anchors (also at most craft stores)

To Reuse Candles:

1. Pair like with like. Don’t mix beeswax, soy or regular wax together. They each have different burn temps. Only mix beeswax with beeswax, soy with soy and etc. Also, if I’m using spell candles I like to do a cleansing ritual on them before I recycle them. Also, be mine full of different scented candles. Some scents don’t smell great mixed together! I like to mix likeminded colors together so I don’t end up with a brown blob mess. White candle stubs will make darker colors lighter.

2. Melt the candles. Always melt the wax using a double boiler over water.  Start melting jar candles still in the jar by placing the container, right side up, inside the top of your double boiler over low heat on the stove. Once jar candles are melted, pour out the wax in another container lined with Reynolds non-stick aluminum foil. Let cool and just peel the melted wax from the foil and break up. Non-jar candles can just be cut up directly into your double boiler.

3. Pull out the old wicks. Carefully pull out the old wicks and discard them. I have reused the little wick holder in the bottom.

4. Dip the new wicks. Get your new wicks ready to go in your molds by dipping them in the wax and getting a coating of dried wax on the wicks. Feed some of the wick through the hole in the center of the anchor. Keep the wicking longer than you need. You can cut it off later. Drip a small bit of wax into the glass jar. When the little blob sets, press the metal anchor into the wax pointy side down. Smash it so the metal points grasp the wick.  Then, place your wicks in the center of your molds.

5. Pour your candles. Pour the wax carefully and a little at a time into your candle molds or jars. Make sure the wick is straight. Roll it around a pencil and set the pencil on the top edge of the glass to keep the wick straight. As the wax sets up, a depression will appear around the wick. Fill it in with the reserved wax. You will probably have to melt the reserve wax again. When the candle has set up, unroll the wick from around the pencil and trim to about 1/4 of an inch.  If your candles are jar candles, you’re done, but if you’re using molds, you’ll obviously have to pop the candles out of the molds to use them. To remove waxy residue leftover inside the jar containers, I drop them in very hot, not boiling, water then remove with tongs. Let dry and reuse.

(Alternative Step 5: If you like taper candles, you can make these, too. You’ll need to make sure your melted wax is fairly deep. Then, simply take candle wicks that are longer than your desired taper candle length and dip them into the wax. Between dips, allow the wax to solidify. Continue dipping until your candles are the size you want them, trim your wicks, and light your candles!)

Clean up - never pour excess melted wax down the drain. If you have enough left over, let it harden and save it for the next candle. Clean bowl by repeatedly filling it with boiling water. 

If you melt multiple candles in different colors or scents, you can even create layered jar candles, which make great gifts. Just melt each color separately and layer in your jar. You can also reuse white, unscented candles and make them more fun by adding coloring and scent to your candles. Most craft stores sell some candle coloring and scent additives, or you can use essential oils to add authentic scent to your homemade, reused candles.

I know this seems like a lot, but they really are easy to make.




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