Repurposing Candle Wax

Do you have pieces of leftover candles? You can stretch your candle budget by melting down your

 old wax to make new candles.

Keeping your wax remnants to reuse after a candle burns down is one way to save money and stretch your supplies, especially if you like to burn candles. Here is an easy method for turning those remnants into new candles.

Supplies List


Fill the larger pot part way with water and begin to heat it on medium heat. Add wax chunks to the melting pot and immerse the melting pot in the water. The water level on the outside of the melting  pot should come roughly to the same level as the wax on the inside of the pot. Allow the wax to melt.

Chunks of wax in the double boiler

In the meantime, prepare your clean jars for the wax. Add the number of wicks you want to use to each container. You can add a drop of melted wax to the bottom and press the wick into it to hold it if you like. I found this wasn't necessary for my purposes, but it is helpful if you want your wicks to stick precisely where you put them. Alternatively, you can purchase candle wick stickers to be sure they stay put. Place a pencil across the top of the container and either tie the wick around it to keep it from moving when you pour the wax or tape the top to the pencil if the wick is too short to tie. 

Once the wax is melted, carefully pour it into your containers to avoid moving the wick from its position. If you have a thermometer, you can wait until the wax reaches around 135 degrees to pour. Otherwise, wait until it  is slightly opaque. This should help keep a well from forming in your candle (see my notes below). You can also preheat your glass containers for better side adhesion. I did not find this step necessary as the sides did not pull away from the outside, but given the nature of wax, I can see where it could be helpful.

Pouring the wax into a container

Set the candles in an area where they will not be disturbed and allow them to gradually cool to room temperature. If a small dip forms in the center, you can melt the top gently with a hairdryer to even it out.

A few things I learned:

1) Wax will shrink and create a well in the middle of the candle (and can also pull away from the sides) if poured while too hot.

I did not use a thermometer when I poured these, nor did I wait very long for the wax to cool. This caused a well to form in a couple of the containers. After doing some investigation, I learned that being a bit more patient and pouring wax at a cooler temperature should help alleviate the problem. The temperature at which it should be poured depends on the type of wax, but 135 - 140 degrees should be a good generic rule to use.

2) When burning the candle for the first time, be sure to let it burn until the wax melts all the way around the container.

This was the biggest mistake I made after making the candles. With the first few candles, I burned them for a short time and then blew them out. I ended up with a well in the center. After doing some research online, I ran across an article that said to let your candles burn until the wax melts all the way around. It seemed odd, but I tried it, and it worked!

Poured candles (front) and fire starters (back) from repurposed candle wax