Reusing Candles is an idea originally published by National Geographic[1] that allows people to re-use candles by melting the wax and pouring it into a new container. For the full site, please check the references.

Reusing Candles


Preparing Used WaxEdit

  • Assess the amount of wax you have available. If it is enough to fill a bowl or coffee can to a depth of 6 inches, you may want to dip your candles. If it is a smaller amount or if you prefer an easier method, you should pour candles into a container.
  • Fill a large pan with about 1 inch of water. Heat to a simmer.
  • Place a saucepan, metal bowl or coffee can inside the larger pan. Add your used candles, being sure not to mix different types of wax, such as beeswax, paraffin and soy wax. It is safe to mix two candles made from the same type of wax, even if they have different colors or fragrances.
  • Clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pan, with the sensing end in the wax. When the temperature reaches 185 degrees F, your wax is ready to use.
  • Skim charred bits, unused wick and other debris from the melted wax with a spoon or fork.

Pouring CandlesEdit

  • Clean and dry a glass or ceramic container, such as a shot glass or teacup.
  • Cut a piece of string or wicking so it is at least 2 inches more than the height of your container. Wrap your wick around a spoon or fork. Dip it into the wax briefly to coat it.
  • Place the utensil across the top of your container, so the wick hangs down into the container's center. Adjust so the wick just touches the bottom of the container.
  • Pour a small amount of wax into the bottom of the container, and then adjust the wick so it stays in the center. Repeat, filling the container to about 1/4 inch below the rim.
  • Let stand for about an hour to set, and then cut the wick so about 1/4 inch sticks out from the top of your new candle.

Dipping CandlesEdit

  • Make sure your melted wax is in a deep, slender container. Ideally, your dipping wax should be at least 6 inches deep.
  • String a clothesline or place a broom handle across two chair backs or other steady supports. This is where you will hang dipped candles to dry.
  • Cut your string or wicking to a length of at least 16 inches. Tie a fishing weight, metal nut or a few pennies to each end.
  • Hold the string in the center, and dip both ends into the wax to your desired candle length. Remove and let cool for four seconds.
  • Repeat this process, making sure your candles cool for several seconds between dipping, until the candles reach your desired size.
  • Hang the candles on your line or broom handle, making sure they don't touch. Let them stand for a full day, and then cut off the weights from the ends and trim the wick to about 1/4 inch.