How to Repurpose Used Cooking Oil into Environmentally Friendly Candles

How to Repurpose Used Cooking Oil into Environmentally Friendly Candles


Making candles from used cooking oil is a crafty way to reuse waste for an environmentally friendly home decor item. Transforming cooking oil into candles reduces waste and gives used oil new life. With just a few affordable ingredients and simple steps, I can upcycle leftover oil into unique homemade candles.

This guide will cover everything I need to know to repurpose used cooking oil into candles safely. Read on for an in-depth look at:

  • Benefits of Repurposing Cooking Oil into Candles
  • What Types of Oils Work Best
  • Candle Making Equipment Needed
  • Step-by-Step Instructions
  • Making Scented Candles
  • Safety Tips

Equipped with this information, I will be ready to turn used cooking oil into eco-friendly candles at home.

Benefits of Repurposing Cooking Oil into Candles

Making my own candles from used cooking oil offers many benefits:

  • Reduces waste – Reusing old cooking oil keeps it out of landfills and gives it renewed purpose.

  • Environmentally-friendly – Repurposing household items into new goods reduces my carbon footprint.

  • Saves money – Making DIY candles is cheaper than buying store-bought ones.

  • Makes custom designsI can get creative with different candle shapes, wicks, scents, and colors.

  • Makes great gifts – Handmade candles from recycled oil make unique presents for family and friends.

Upcycling used oil into candles helps the environment and allows me to make inexpensive, one-of-a-kind candles.

What Types of Oils Work Best

The type of cooking oil used will impact the candle’s burn quality. I want to use oils with a high smoke point that will burn slowly and cleanly.

The best oils for candle making include:

  • Vegetable oil
  • Canola oil
  • Sunflower oil
  • Safflower oil

Oils I should avoid:

  • Olive oil – too thick and low smoke point
  • Coconut oil – can clog wicks
  • Nut-based oils – can go rancid quickly

For best results, I will reuse oils with high smoke points like vegetable, canola, or sunflower. I can filter oils first to remove food particles. Combining old oils together is fine too.

Can I Use Bacon Grease?

Reusing small amounts of bacon grease is possible with some precautions:

  • Strain – Pour through coffee filter to remove food bits
  • Limit to 25% of oil content – Too much can clog wicks
  • Expect strong scent – Lard can have a potent smell
  • Store in fridge – Slows rancidity

A little bacon grease can add a nice smoky aroma. But too much can make candles smelly or unsafe to burn.

Candle Making Equipment Needed

Making candles from used cooking oil doesn’t require much specialized equipment. Here is the basic supplies list:

  • Glass jars or containers – Look for heat-safe vessels like canning jars. Must withstand hot wax.

  • Wicks – Use cotton or paper wicks designed for container candles. Match diameter to jar size.

  • Double boiler – Helps evenly melt oil without burning or scorching. Can improvise with pots.

  • Thermometer – monitors oil temperature as it melts – aim for 180-200°F.

  • Dyes – (optional) – Use soy or vegetable-based dyes to color candles.

  • Scent oils – (optional) – Add essential oils for homemade scented candles.

  • Popsicle sticks – For centering wicks while candles set.

With just these basic supplies, I can repurpose used cooking oil into lovely candles for my home.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Ready to turn used cooking oil into candles? Follow these simple step-by-step instructions:

1. Prepare Jars and Wicks

First, wash jars thoroughly and dry well. Place wicks centered in the bottom of each jar and attach to side with a small piece of wax or tape.

Use cotton or paper wicks specifically for container candles.

2. Melt Oil in a Double Boiler

Pour filtered cooking oil into the bottom pot of a double boiler. Heat oil on medium until melted – aim for 180-200°F. Watch temperature closely.

Improvising a double boiler by nesting pots works too.

3. Add Dye and Scent (Optional)

Once melted, stir in a few drops of dye to color oil and drops of essential oils for scent.

Use soy-based dyes. Add scent oils sparingly – 1 tbsp per pound of oil.

4. Carefully Pour Oil into Jars

When oil is 180-200°F, carefully pour into prepared jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Center wicks as you pour using popsicle sticks.

5. Cool Candles and Trim Wicks

Let candles fully cool and harden for 24-48 hours. Trim wicks to 1/4 inch before burning.

And that’s it – now I can enjoy my easy DIY candles made from recycled cooking oil!

Making Scented Candles

Adding scents to cooking oil candles is a nice optional step. Here are some tips:

  • Use essential oils – They provide natural fragrance from plants. Avoid synthetic perfume oils.

  • Add oils sparingly – Too much scent can overwhelm candles or clog wicks. Start with 1 tablespoon per pound of melted oil.

  • Mix and match – Combine complementary oils for appealing blends like lavender + lemon or jasmine + rose.

  • Consider scent intensity – Spicy oils like clove are very strong. Floral scents are milder.

A few drops of essential oils allows me to create lovely scented soy candles from reused cooking oil. Lavender and citrus oils are nice options to try first.

Safety Tips

When upcycling cooking oil into candles, it’s important to take safety precautions:

  • Repurpose small amounts – Work in manageable batches to avoid spills or burns.

  • Watch oil temperature – Heating too high can cause flash fires.

  • Never leave oil unattended – Stay nearby as it melts.

  • Use candle holders – Place jar candles on heat-safe surfaces when burning.

  • Trim wicks – Maintain proper wick length to prevent smoking.

  • Keep away from drafts – This can disrupt candle flames.

  • Extinguish fully – Make sure jar feels cool before leaving candle unattended.

Taking simple safety steps will allow me to enjoy my handmade reused cooking oil candles safely.


With this guide, I have all the knowledge needed to give used cooking oil new life by repurposing it into eco-friendly candles. This crafty recycling project reduces waste in a fun way.

The process is easy and only requires some repurposed jars, wicks, and cooking oil I have on hand. I can customize candles by adding dyes and scents with essential oils too. Homemade candles also make thoughtful handmade gifts for friends and family.

Now put that old cooking oil to good use. Follow these tips to sustainably transform it into beautiful candles that look great in any home!