How to Use Leftover Candle Wax

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Wax left behind after burning your favorite votive or pillar candles need not go to waste. Instead, reuse that wax to make new candles, or reshape it into wax melts for a scented-wax pot. For best results, reuse only wax that does not have bits of burnt wick or soot trapped within.

Things You'll Need

  • Butter knife
  • Cup of hot water
  • Hot plate
  • Oven mitt or potholders
  • Flexible silicone baking molds or candy molds
  • Clean metal coffee can
  • Candle fragrance oil
  • Clean, dried pine cones
  • Tongs
  • Wax paper
  • Candle molds or clean glass jars or containers
  • Vegetable oil
  • Pre-waxed candle wicks in bases

Reclaiming Leftover Wax

  • Rescue unused wax from wide candles such as pillars by using your hands or a butter knife. Once the wick has burned far below the wax level or has burned down to nothing, break off hunks of the cooled candle to repurpose it into something new. Break stubborn portions of the wax away with a butter knife. Heat the blade of the knife in a cup of very hot water to help slice the wax if it proves difficult otherwise.

  • Remove leftover candle wax from jars and glass holders by placing the glass in the freezer for an hour or so. Freezing causes the wax to shrink enough to remove it from the candle, usually in one piece. Remove the chilled glass and pop the wax out with your fingers or by sliding a butter knife gently between the glass and the wax.

  • Melt bits of stubborn wax from a metal or glass candleholder by placing the container atop a pie tin on a hot plate. Turn the hot plate to a low heat setting at first, gently turning the heat up as needed to melt the wax. Once the wax melts, grab the candleholder with an oven mitt or potholders and pour the molten wax into a flexible heat-resistant silicone mold such a mini-muffin pan. If you aren't yet sure what you want to do with the wax and want to collect more, pour the wax into a clean empty metal coffee can instead.

Repurposed Wax Projects

  • Make your own scented wax melts for a tart burner by melting hunks of wax in a coffee can atop a hot plate or in a double boiler. Add in a few drops of your favorite candle fragrance oil, following proportions recommended on the fragrance package and based on the amount of wax you have on hand. Once the molten wax cools slightly, pour it into flexible, heat-resistant candy molds while holding the can with potholders. Allow the wax to cool for at least several hours before removing it from the mold.

  • Create your own pine cone firestarters by melting hunks of leftover wax in a coffee can set atop a hot plate. Dip clean, dry pine cones into the molten wax, using tongs to hold the pine cones. Lift each pine cone out, allowing excess wax to drip back into the can. Set the waxed pine cones atop wax paper to harden. If you've used scented wax, the pine cones may be placed in bowls of dry potpourri. Do not burn the pine cones if you're using them with potpourri.

  • Turn leftover wax into fresh candles using your own candle molds or glass jars. Use a release agent such as vegetable oil on the inside of molds if creating free-standing candles; no oil is needed for jar candles. Place a wax wick base containing a pre-waxed wick in the bottom of the candle mold or jar; then pour in the molten wax, holding the can of wax with potholders or oven mitts. Allow the wax to cool for at least several hours before attempting to use the candle or release it from the mold.

Tips & Warnings

  • A double boiler may be used to melt candle wax in place of a hot plate. Be sure that whatever wax container you use in the double boiler can withstand the heat first.
  • Save old glass votive holders or glass vessels that once held candles for your new candle projects. Since the glass already contained a candle, it is durable enough to withstand the heat from a new candle and molten wax.
  • Be sure the wicks are at least 1/2 inch taller than the depth of the molten candle wax; otherwise, they may not light.
  • Fire starters are for use on outdoor fires such as campfires or in a wood-burning fireplace. Do not use them in gas fireplaces or wood stoves.
  • Use only fragrance oils designed for use in candles when scenting wax. Other fragrance oils may contain flammable materials.

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References

  • Photo Credit Zoonar RF/Zoonar/Getty Images
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