How to Bring New Life to Old Candles

I love candles, I mean really love them! I love them SO much that we may have at least one candle in every room. They smell great (I’m looking at you Capri Blue candles), come in a variety of beautiful jars, and add a pleasant glow to any room. But there is a down side too – some of them are a bit pricey and sometimes the wick burns a cavern straight through to the bottom – Ugh!! They’re gone too soon!! I’ve wondered how to bring new life to old candles, but worried the process would be messy, difficult, and expensive.

Capri Blue candle image

Mover, Shaker, Candlestick Maker

This was my first time refreshing or even making candles and I was a bit hesitant that I’d burn the wax, get wax everywhere, or the project would be a total FAIL. Thankfully none of those things happened and now that I’ve done it, I can assure you that all of my worries were needless. In fact, the process wasn’t messy at all and my refreshed candles look brand new and at a fraction of the price of new candles. I spent $34.43 on supplies, but I didn’t really need the metal wick centering devices (you’ll see below) because I could have easily wrapped the wicks around pencils or chopsticks to hold them in place (savings of $7.49).

Overall I gave new life to 6 candles and even made a new candle from a large Pottery Barn container (which required at least 3 candles worth of wax). I’d estimate that a 5 lb. bag of soy wax flakes could make about 9 average sized candles.

How to give life to used candles - pottery barn container turned candle

Not unexpectedly, I wish I’d done it years ago as I’ve been guilty of holding on to many Capri Blue Volcano No. 6 Candles and others long after they burned down only to throw them away. Never again!!

Here’s a demonstration in photos of the steps I took:

candle making supplies
Assorted candle making supplies
candle jars on baking sheet to melt wax
Pre-baked candles
candles after baking off wax residue
Melted wax after baking
candle jar and essential oils
Essential oils for fragrances
adding wicks and centering devices to wicks
Holding wicks in place
how to give new life to used candles - melting wax
Melting wax
how to give new life to used candles - pouring wax into candle jars
Fill with melted wax
how to give new life to used candles - bath and body works candle with chopsticks holding wicks in place
Curing
how to give new life to used candles- celery kemble candle before wick was cut
Completed
how to give new life to used candles- celery kemble candle on bar
Enjoy!

Supplies

  • old saucepan for melting soy wax flakes
  • cookie sheet(s) covered with foil and/or parchment paper
  • scissors
  • spent candle jars (cleaned of all old wax and residue), mason jars, vintage jars, tea cups or whatever you want to turn into a candle
  • disposable chopsticks or a pencil; I also used metal centering devices (convenient, but optional)
  • Soy candle flakes
  • Pre–waxed wicks
  • glue gun (optional); you can also use regular glue or candle wax
  • Pure Citrus Essential Oils
  • Paper towels

Steps

1. Remove old wax from candles

Here I tried 2 methods – the boiling water method and the baking method. For one group of candles I boiled water and poured it over the candles to melt the old wax. This melted the old wax which floated to the top and hardened. However this process took too much time and it was messy working with water and wet wax (I would not recommend). For the next group I preheated the oven to 200°F, covered a baking sheet with aluminum foil and parchment paper and placed the candles top down on parchment paper and baked for 10 minutes. I was nervous that the candle labels would darken or burn, but thankfully, they didn’t. Cool slightly then handle with an oven mitt and a paper towel to remove wax residue from sides and top rim (this method was much easier with only 10 minutes of wait time).

2. Attach the pre-waxed wicks to the floor of each jar

I used a glue gun because of the quick drying time, but you can use regular glue or even candle wax. I threaded the tops of the wicks through the metal centering devices to hold them in place. For the candles with wider tops, I used several disposable chopsticks to hold the wicks upright (but you could also wrap the wicks around a pencil to hold them in place. Note – some candles may require 2 or more wicks depending on the circumference of the jar (for even burning).

3. Melt wax

I carefully poured the soy wax flakes into a pot and melted it over medium heat, keeping an eye on it so it didn’t burn. I used a chopstick to stir the wax, but a spoon works just as well.

4. Pour wax into jar

I was a bit nervous with this step, so I poured the melted wax into a cup first, added essential oils, then poured the wax into the candle jars. Once I got the hang of it, I added the essential oils directly to the candle jars (since each candle was scented differently), then poured the melted wax on top. This method worked perfectly and I didn’t spill a drop!

5. Allow wax to cure

Curing took about 2 hours. After they hardened, I removed the wick centering devices and chopsticks and cut the wicks short with scissors. I let the wax fully cure for at least 24 hours before burning.


Reviving my favorite spent candles was relatively inexpensive and pretty straightforward. If I’d only known how to bring new life to old candles years ago I could have saved a lot of money!! Now that I’ve gone pro, I should probably treat myself to a Diptyque candle!! Well, maybe just the small one. 😉

How to give new life to used candles - splurge candle by Diptyque Paris


    Share this post!

You may also like

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.