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How to Make the Most from Your Old Candles

Do you have a bunch of old candles lying around your home? Or do you just throw away an almost whole candle because the wick is gone? Are you a crafty person who wants to learn something new?


  1. Obtain some old candles.If you have a bunch of old candles lying around the house, then it'll be easier for you do this project. But don't worry if you don't. You can go to a thrift store and buy bags of candles that are very cheap. You could also talk to friends that you have and see about getting their old candles. Some churches give away old candles.
  2. Find an old saucepan or something similar that can get wax on it.It is easier if the saucepan has a pouring spout to it. You can also try to fill a pot with water and then put an old can which you will later fill with wax into it. This method will most likely not get the pot as full of wax.
  3. Break up the old wax and stick a few pieces in the saucepan over low heat.
  4. Stir the candles until they have melted.
  5. Prepare the container for the wax while you are waiting for the candles to melt.
    • Attach the end of the wick to the bottom with a drop of paraffin.
    • Take an old pencil or something similar that is round and long, even a straw and place it over the top of your container.
    • Place your wick in the middle of the container so that it drapes over the pencil.
    • Optionally use a piece of tape to hold the wick to the pencil.
  6. Pour.After the wax is completely melted, pour the melted wax into your container. Keep a little bit of the wax in the saucepan to use later. It could take from a few minutes up to a few hours for the candle wax to completely harden. Once the wax is almost completely hard, you will notice that the wax is dipped in right around the wick.
  7. Take the little bit of wax that you left in the saucepan and make sure that it is completely melted.
  8. Pour the extra wax into the dip to make the dip fill in.
  9. Let this little bit of wax completely harden.
  10. Remember depending on what type of container you used, either light the candle directly in the container or you can slip it right out of the container.
  11. Keep in mind that if you are having a hard time getting the candle out of the container, stick the container in the freezer for about five to ten minutes.This should help the candle let go of the container and help it slide right out.
  12. Decorate your new candle with glitter, sand, flowers or any other idea you might have to make your candle pretty.
  13. Finished.

Community Q&A

  • Question
    What is the best material to make candle wicks?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Cotton. Take 2-3 threads off of a cotton undershirt, twist together, dip in melted wax, and tie a paperclip or something with a little weight to the waxed string to ensure the wick stays centered and it goes all the way through the candle.
  • Question
    Can I use the old container the candle came in?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    It depends on the container. With jar candles, it is recommended that you don't reuse in case of breakage. For any other, use your best judgement.
  • Question
    Can wax melts be recycled into candles? Do they burn as well as regular candle wax?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    I have recycled spent wax melts into candles. Some brands burn better than others, but they all burn. There won't be much scent, but I don't care about that. I tend to blend similar colors together and use half pint mason jars to make the candles.
  • Question
    Can I use pure essential oils for making candles?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Yes, you can. It will make a lovely smell. Make sure you put enough in so you can smell the oil, but don't put too much in because it can create a really strong smell and sting your lungs.
  • Question
    How do I clean dirty wax for making candles?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Heat the old wax in a pot, when it is fully melted pour it through some cloth into a bowl. You can also melt the wax then let it harden, remove it from the pot and cut of the bottom section, the dirt will have settled to the bottom while it cooled.
  • Question
    How can I get a color I want using old candles?
    Chinmay Gupta
    Community Answer
    Use food coloring. It is concentrated, and pouring a few drops on white wax, or a teaspoon on colored wax can convert it to the color of your choice. Use your own judgement in deciding how much, though.
  • Question
    Are there any other options to melt the candles?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    You can use the microwave. Cover the wax with a paper towel so it doesn't splash up. The time to melt the candle depends entirely on how thick your candle is. Either way, you need to keep an eye on the candle as you're heating it up. Do not leave the candle unattended in the microwave.
  • Question
    How can I get wax out of a jarred candle without a candle warmer?
    Community Answer
    Place the candle in a pot of water over a stove, making sure that the water covers the sides but not the top. The wax will eventually melt, and when it does, you can follow the above steps.
  • Question
    When the wax has melted, can I mix dried herbs into it to make herb-scented candles?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    I don't think you should as it could create a fire hazard. The pieces of dried plant material will potentially catch fire and just smell like smoke. There shouldn't be anything in your candle except the wick, and maybe some decoration on the outside, if your candle is wide enough that it won't burn. To scent candles, buy a fragrance oil in the desired scent and add it to the melted wax before pouring it.
  • Question
    Can I use fragrance oil? If so, how much?
    Community Answer
    Yes. You should add enough to bring out the fragrance. Using too much fragrance will produce a strong smell, which might be irritating to the lungs.
Unanswered Questions
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  • You can also use this technique to make a layered look candle, using an old punch bowl. Once the wax is completely hardened, you can slip it out of the punch bowl and have a rainbow colored candle.
  • Depending on the size of your container, you can make really small votive type candles, or you can make candles that are bigger than anything you could ever find in the store.
  • You can even use it as a gift for occasions such as friendship day or teachers day, etc.
  • The best thing to do is experiment with the size and shape of the candle you want.


  • Don't EVER heat wax over a direct heat source (like a stove burner). WAX DOES NOT BOIL! If it gets too hot, it simply *flashes* into flame without warning. Always use a "double boiler" method putting the wax in a container suspended above boiling water. That way, the wax cannot get hotter than the water.
  • Don't mix different types or brands of candles. Wax is NOT all alike. Different candles have different melt points and additives. Combining different types of wax will result in a poor-looking, poor-burning candle. It's just a waste. Not all types of candles burn the same kind of wick either.
  • If you are using a gas stove, make sure that you clean any and all spilled wax from the surface. If you don't, you could catch your stove on fire.
  • The wax is going to be hot when you pour it. Make sure you take care to protect your hands and face. Rubber gloves may melt onto your arms. Thermal hand mitts are better.
  • Do not walk away from the stove with melting wax in the pan since it may start a fire. Be patient. Watch carefully.
  • Make sure that the container you are using will hold up to melted wax. Thick canning jars are great for the project. You can also use old punch bowls that are made of really thick glass.

Things You'll Need

  • Old saucepan
  • Spoon
  • Candle wicks from a craft store or old candle wicks
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Pencil or something similar
  • Punch bowl, thick glass jars, metal molds, etc.

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Views: 370,811

Cindy Bonner

Jan 19, 2019

"I have a number of used candles where the wick has burnt away, but there is a lot of wax left. I now know how tomake new candles from the old wax. Very descriptive and easy-to-understand instructions. I'm thinking of trying to layer colors with the leftovers from different colored candles."

Valerie Daniels

Sep 5, 2019

"I like these great tips for making candles at home. We need some ideas on making different scents for our candles.These will make great gifts for my friends. Thank you very much."

Hazel Shimmin

Apr 2, 2019

"Started crafts this year, but my candle making is what I like doing best. Very helpful info on this page regardingthe dint in my candles. Now I know how to fill them."
Rated this article:

Hanna Dowman

Dec 14, 2019

"For Christmas I'm making my mother a "Spa in a Jar." This was very helpful because I wanted it to have acandle."


Mar 2, 2019

"Thank you so very much for this. We are doing a project and it helped me lot. Thanks."

Mary M.

Dec 6, 2019

"Awesome. I have several old candles that need to be repurposed. Thank you."


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