Recycling Candles


Take one box of old candles that are burned too low to light again.
Scrape out the wax.
You can combine similar colors, or mix it up. You can always adjust the color later by adding candle dye if you like.
You might also want to combine similar scents. Since I usually gravitate to “food” scents like apple, vanilla, cinnamon, pumpkin pie, etc, those blend well. (If you’re not recycling from strongly-scented candles, you might need to add more scent as you may “cook” the scent out while re-melting the wax. Add scent at the last minute. The candles I was recycling were strongly-scented, so I didn’t add any more scent. They came out smelling nicely spicy! Like I was baking ten different things in my kitchen at the same time.)

Be sure to separate out all the old wicks and tabs.
Old jars can be repurposed, too. After being scraped out well, they clean up easily with a little hot soapy water.
Re-wick your clean, dry jars. Place salvaged wax in a double boiler and bring to pouring temperature. (See How to Make Container Candles.)

Check out your mystery color. I used a spoon to dip some wax out and let it dry a few minutes so I could see what color it would be when it set up.
I didn’t like it that much, so I added a bit of red candle dye.
That’s more like it!

Pour candles, supporting wicks while candles set up, and topping off as needed. Look at all these virtually free candles!
This is the price I like to pay for Yankee candles.
Along with using repurposed jars, I used some other things from around the house. This is a little toothpick pot that goes with my set of “Texas Wildflower” hand-thrown stoneware.
This making candles thing is dangerous if you’re a candle addict like me. If I keep up at this rate, candles are going to take over my house. There will be candles towering in stacks along the walls, piled on every table, usurping good jam space in my pantry. Clover may have to give up her goat house for candle storage. Maybe there’s some help for this. Some kind of medication. I’m in trouble here!

Candle-Crazy in West Virginia

P.S. Send matches.

P.P.S. Also see So You Want to Make Candles–Basic Supplies to Get Started and Fun with Container Candles.

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on February 9, 2009  

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45 Responses | RSS feed for comments on this post

  1. 2-9

    OK, I really do need to get my candle making supplies down. Of course I should probably wait till after we’re done making the chicken coop so we can these darn birds out of my kitchen!! (six 11 week old leghorns who are crazy!! No more leghorns for us!!)

  2. 2-9

    That’s what I love about remelting the old ones………some new flavor and color and it’s FREE! Great job!

  3. 2-9

    This is a fabulous idea!
    I can get used candles at garage sales fo next to nothing and make lots of new ones.

    I have considered doing this remelting, blending thing with other items, like lipsticks and soap pieces. I never thought of doing it with candles. Thank you so much for the inspiration!

  4. 2-9

    Where did you get your pitcher that you melt your wax in? I’m gonna get adventureous and try this soon too. Found a website that sells the supplies. I like your pitcher and want one like it… LOL

  5. 2-9

    You are SO creative and thrifty baby! LOL I refuse to buy Yankee Candles – there is no reason to spend $20+ on a frigin candle.. :no: Have a good week!!

  6. 2-9

    Wow x 2. I can totally recycle old wax left around too. I’ve got 5 gillion candle jars and stuff… well not quite. Both my hubby of 8 years and I love candles. Don’t burn too often due to forgetting, dud! I love Party Lite, but almost FREE is way better. Yankee candles have too much scent for me, a scent sensitive type of gal.

  7. 2-9

    For once I have a tip for you! To make the wax come out easily, just put the candles in the freezer for a couple of hours and it pops right out–no scrapping needed! :snoopy:

  8. 2-9

    ticka, I’ll do a post about supplies!

  9. 2-9



  10. 2-9

    Yay! Thank you! I have been saving my used-up candles, because there is still so much wax leftover…I just didn’t know what to do about it.

    Working hard at

  11. 2-9

    How do you keep your cats from singeing off their whiskers when you’ve got all those candles going?

  12. 2-9

    Very cool, I :heart: this idea!! Great for gifts as well; they’d never know!

  13. 2-9

    Ok, you’ve got me dying to make homemade candles now. I love Yankee candles but however my pocketbook doesn’t like them so much. :hissyfit:

    I have another idea for containers for you. I drink irish cream in my coffee every morning. So I have quite the supply of drink glasses as they are two in each 1/5. So I plan on using those for holders.

    Now if you get to many of your gorgeous candles, you might give some away for a drawing here. :lol:

  14. 2-9

    When I reuse containers I usually first melt the leftover wax by putting the container on a mug warmer for an hour or so. This is also a great way to use candles that have lost their wicks, by the way, and can no longer be lit.

  15. 2-9

    At least I’m not drooling on my keyboard over this morning’s post, but I swear I smell spicy candles!!! :purpleflower:

  16. 2-9

    The cut glass jars that nuts come in around Christmas time, those are the jars that I love using when redoing candles. I also love bees wax candles, but its hard to homemade those.

  17. 2-9

    I second Ulli’s comment, putting the candle in the freezer for a few hours allows the wax to pop right out of the jar in one or two chunks with a butter knife.
    I was wondering about where to get a metal pitcher as well so I am glad that you will do a post about supplies.

  18. 2-9

    I want to go to the craft store now. I can’t wait. I love the yard sale idea looking for candles and containers too. Darn it snowed again here so a few more weeks till yard sale season. :turtle:

  19. 2-9

    You really need an outlet for all your wonderful crafts. Maybe you could sell online?

  20. 2-9

    Those are some nice looking candles! You make it look so easy that even a non-crafty creative person like me could do it. I’ll have to give it a try! Thanks for such good posts!

  21. 2-9

    I love this. In fact, I’ve been wanting to ‘do’ this and had no idea how to do it. Where can I find candle wicks?

  22. 2-9

    This is a great idea!

  23. 2-9

    I was going to ask you on the last candle post about using up bits of candles and reusing jars. Thanks so much! With trying to cut costs candles are not a priority but if I can make them a lot cheaper, I think that is the way to go! You rock!!!!!!!!!!!

  24. 2-9

    Fun! Since the candles I buy are soy is there an issue in remelting and re-making them?

  25. 2-9

    your house also smells really good when you make candles :chicken: :chicken:

  26. 2-9

    :shimmy: I did try this, but am wondering how to hold the
    wick up while pouring.
    Also, should smaller containers be used to hold the candle?
    I tried to repour in it’s original glass jar and can’t find the wick inside. I’ll have to start all over now.


  27. 2-9

    I just love reading your blog, you are a great writer and I love your sweet animals and your photography. You also have some great looking recipes, I’ve printed lots of them and can’t wait to try them. I made the Pepperoni Rolls and they were great. I’ve been so inspired by your recipes. Is there anything that you can’t do?

  28. 2-9

    Now I can have MORE candles! :snoopy:

  29. 2-9

    Thank you for the instructions! I love burning candles mostly in the winter. I have a lot of left over bits I’ve been saving so I can make new candles.

  30. 2-9

    GREAT post. :-)

    I did this years ago with a girlfriend and we had SO much fun doing it. Reading this reminded me of just how fun it was. Thank you.

  31. 2-9

    Cute! I love repurposing things around the house and making them into candles.

  32. 2-9

    If you will take a wooden ruler and wood clothespin, you could make a wick holder. Just take your hot glue gun and glue one side of the clothespin, laying on its side to the ruler. Make sure that the clip end of the clothespin extends over the side of the ruler. Also, make sure that the clothespin will open/close before the glue dries. Then, lay the ruler across the top of your candle jar with the clothespin clip holding your wick. Let me know how it works!

  33. 2-10

    Love all these great tips..Keep up the good work..

  34. 2-10

    :woof: –I wonder if I could use herbs from my garden to scent the candles?

  35. 2-10

    I also reuse my old candles and use the bits and pieces I throw in a candle warmer pot , it’s electric and warms the candle wax up just right and then I pour it in my candle jars with new wicks.

  36. 3-14

    I have found that putting those almost empty votives in the freezer for a half hour makes the last bit of wax easy to pop out. The wax shrinks a bit and leaves the container neatly.

  37. 3-16

    I have totally just put all of your candle posts in a word doc for future reference and a green-girls party :-)


    Keep the precious pics coming!

  38. 5-23

    cool bannanas :fairy:

  39. 12-18

    I have been recycling candles for a couple of years. I just throw my old candle wax into a crock pot, that I got at a yard sale, and when there is enough, I turn it on and wait for the wax to melt. I also bought a ladle at a garage sale to use just for this purpose. I like the idea of the pan that pours out, but haven’t run across one yet.

  40. 10-4

    Very nice photos!
    My favourite way to recycle candles is using an “Everlasting Garden Candle” .
    This is a metal cylinder filled with paraffin and an everlasting wick. You can put it in a bowl and add old candle stumps. They will melt and feed the candle. You can add more leftover candle stumps when the level in the bowl gets too low.
    It looks great on a summer evening on your table.

    Regards, Maria
    Oh, you can find them here:

  41. 5-3

    Thank you for all this great info–I just recycled a bunch of old candles and it was easy and fun! A couple of notes: I found it easy to just hold the wicks with one hand while I poured with the other, then I just draped them over the side of the jars until I was done pouring and could prop them up with knives. Also, I had been collecting this old wax for YEARS, so it had collected dust and cat hair; I found it helpful to skim the wax with a metal slotted spoon (when it had melted fully), then wipe the gunk off the spoon with a paper towel. I put all my empty jars on a big cookie sheet for filling so that I wouldn’t get wax on the counter and that worked well. If a klutz like me can do this, anybody can!

  42. 1-14

    Do you strain the melted wax to get rid of the stuff that sometimes accumulates in melted down candles? hair, dust, burnt wick, etc?

  43. 1-15

    I wipe off the tops first to get any dust, and I removed the wick and any burnt wick pieces etc.

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