Candles are a popular home decor item and great for setting ambiance. However, once a candle burns down, you’re left with leftover melted wax. Instead of throwing it away, repurposing used candle wax is an eco-friendly activity that also lets you get more use out of your candles. There are many creative ways to reuse candle wax at home.
Collecting and Preparing Used Candle Wax
The first step is collecting leftover wax and getting it ready for your project. Here’s how I go about it:
- Used candle jars or votives
- Old pot or crockpot
- Metal spoon
- Glass or metal container
- Cheesecloth, fine mesh strainer, or coffee filter
Let any remaining wicks burn out fully.
Carefully peel off warning labels from the glass candle jar – they can leave residue.
Place candle remnants from jars, votives, or taper candles into a heat safe container like an old pot or crockpot.
Melt the wax on low heat, stirring occasionally with a metal spoon.
Do not leave melting wax unattended!
Once melted, carefully pour the wax through a strainer into another heatproof container to filter out wick debris and sediment.
Allow the filtered wax to cool and solidify before using for projects.
The resulting cleaned wax is now ready to be turned into something new!
Repurposing Ideas for Used Candle Wax
There are many ways to give used candle wax new life. Some of my favorite repurposing projects include:
Make New Candles
Re-melting wax lets you create new candles in any shape and size you like!
Container candles – Reuse old glassware or molds. Adhere new wicks with hot wax or tabs.
Votive candles – Carefully pour hot wax into votive holders or mini-muffin tins. Insert new wicks.
Molded candles – Use silicone molds to shape wax into pillars, geometric shapes, or embossed designs.
Wax melts are a popular candle-alternative. Simply re-melt old wax in a mold of your choice. Popular melt shapes include cubes, hearts, and flowers. Packaged in pretty jars or bags, wax melts make great gifts!
Recycle used candle wax into handy fire starters for fireplaces or campfires. Pour melted wax into egg cartons, paper cups, or toilet paper/paper towel rolls. Insert a wick or piece of wood before wax hardens.
Old crayons can be combined with melted candle wax to create colorful new crayons! Break crayons into a mold, pour in hot wax, and let cool completely before removing. Kids love making these!
Give your lips some TLC with homemade lip balm. Melt beeswax with used candle wax at a 1:1 ratio. Add a touch of moisturizing oils like coconut, sweet almond, or vitamin E oil. Pour into small tins or tubes and let cool before using.
Running low on wax paper? Make your own by brushing a thin layer of melted wax onto parchment paper or brown paper bags. Let the wax fully absorb before peeling the “wax paper” off the backing.
Used candle wax can waterproof materials like cloth and cardboard. Carefully spread/brush melted wax on fabric or paper, then let dry fully. The wax seals the surface to repel moisture.
Safety Tips for Handling Used Candle Wax
When repurposing candle remnants, be sure to take proper safety precautions:
Work in a well-ventilated area – wax vapors can be irritating.
Always melt wax using a double boiler or on very low heat – high temperatures can cause wax to ignite.
Pour melted wax slowly to avoid splashing and burns.
Store melted wax in heat-safe containers on a non-flammable surface.
Keep wax out of reach of children and pets – it can be a choking hazard if ingested.
Never leave burning candles or melting wax unattended.
With some creativity and care, recycling used candle wax can be both fun and rewarding. Give these repurposing ideas a try to reduce waste and make the most of your leftover candle wax!