Sep 26, 2010

Recycle old Candles

Yellow candleImage via Wikipedia
We all love those little jar candles, but it seems that there is always wax left when the wick burns out. If you're feeling guilty about throwing them away, here you will learn how recycling candle scraps into new candles will save you money, and help our environment.

Supplies Needed to Recycle Candle Scraps

  • A pot large enough to hold several of the candle jars
  • Tongs to remove candle jars from the pot
  • Small awl or mini screwdriver (like those in eyeglass repair kits)
  • Needle nose pliers or crimps
  • Candle wicking with a metal center (so it stands up without being held)
  • Essential oils or scented oils
Remove the small, metal wick holder from the bottom of the jars and set them aside. You're going to reuse these.

Melting Your Candle Scraps

Place several candle jars containing candle scraps into the pot. If you have leftover candle scraps from drips or small leftover bits of candle, you can use recycle these as well, but don't use anything that has a wick still in it. Fill with water about halfway up to the top of the jars. Turn the burner on the lowest heat setting available (simmer is good), and be sure to ventilate the area with an exhaust fan or by opening a window.
CAUTION: Don't ever leave this completely unattended, such as leaving the house. Paraffin is a petroleum product, and is highly flammable.

Making the Wicks

While waiting for the candle scraps to melt, you will be preparing the wicks.
Using your awl or screwdriver, reopen the neck of the metal wick holder and remove any remaining wick inside. Insert enough wicking to reach to the lip of the jars. Use the needlenose pliers to crimp the neck of the opening to hold the wick in place.

Making the Candles

When the candle scraps have melted in the jars, remove the pot from the heat and let cool for a few minutes. Using the tongs, remove the jars from the pot, and place on a cooling rack or on trivets, so as not to harm your countertop.
Wearing some sort of heat resistant gloves (I use a potholder mitt), pour the wax from one jar into another until one is full. You can add coloring at this time, if wanted, or just let them be whatever color they turn out to be. I like to mix colors like red and blue to get purple, or yellow and blue to get green. if you mix red and green, you'll get an ugly brown color.
When the jar is full, choose a scented oil and place about 10 drops into the jar, then stir well.
Let the wax cool until the edges are hardening, but the middle is still liquid. Now, place the prepared candle wicks into the wax, trying to center them as nearly as possible.
You can now place the jars in the freezer, or let them sit until they completely harden, usually overnight.
Light and enjoy! You can recycle candle scraps like this over and over until you eventually run out of wax, and have to buy more candles. By that time, you will have saved enough money to justify buying them.

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