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Reducing Waste and Renewing Ambiance - Reusing Candles

Updated: Jul 22, 2023

Creative Ways To Re-Use Candles

Three candles and driftwood

Candles have long been cherished for their warm glow and delightful scents, but their usefulness doesn't end when the wick burns out. Rather than disposing of used candles, there are numerous creative and sustainable ways to repurpose them.

"Candles not only bring warmth and ambiance to our living spaces, but they can also be a sustainable addition to our homes. Instead of discarding burned-out candles, there are numerous creative and practical ways to give them new life."

From recycling leftover wax, to crafting new candles and incorporating them into DIY projects, reusing candles not only reduces waste but also unlocks a world of endless possibilities. In this article, we'll explore some clever and eco-friendly ways to reuse candles and extend their charm beyond their initial use.

The Second Time Around - Reusing Candles

Here at Sweet Ginger Candle Co., we deal with lots of leftover wax. And what a shame it would be to allow our super luxurious coconut apricot candle wax go to waste! We would like to offer you these 11 creative ideas to encourage you to reuse or recycle those old candles you one loved so much. Let them bring you joy once again.

Candle Wax Recycling

After the flame has flickered out, there's often a significant amount of wax left in the candle container. To recycle the wax, follow these steps:

a. Remove Wick and Debris: Before recycling, ensure the wick and any debris are removed from the wax. A butter knife or a similar tool can be used to gently scrape out the remaining wax.

b. Melting and Filtering: Place the wax in a heat-resistant container and melt it using a double boiler setup. To remove impurities, strain the melted wax through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth.

c. New Candles: Use the recycled wax to create new candles by pouring it into molds or reusable candle containers. You can mix different candle remnants to produce custom colors and scents.

Woman holding amber candle

Tealight and Votive Holders

Tealights and votive candles are commonly used for shorter periods, leaving behind a small amount of wax at the bottom of the holder. Instead of discarding these holders, consider reusing them for various purposes.

You can clean the holders by freezing them briefly, allowing the wax to shrink and easily pop out. Afterward, you can use them to hold small items like paperclips, jewelry, or even succulents for charming mini planters.

Create Layered Candles

When candles burn down, they often leave behind a small amount of unused wax at the bottom of the container. Instead of discarding these remnants, collect them to create layered candles.

Melt different colored wax layers one by one, allowing each layer to cool and solidify before pouring the next. This process results in unique and eye-catching candles that combine various colors and scents.

single burning votive candle

Floating Candles

If you have small bits of candle wax or broken taper candles, consider transforming them into floating candles. Melt the wax, pour it into a shallow, heat-resistant dish, and place a small wick in the center. Once the wax cools and solidifies, you have a lovely floating candle to adorn a decorative bowl or a water-filled glass vase.

Wax Melts and Tarts

Wax melts are a fantastic way to enjoy the fragrance of your favorite candles without the need for an open flame. To make wax melts, melt the leftover candle wax and pour it into silicone molds or ice cube trays. Once solidified, pop out the wax melts and use them in a wax warmer or melt burner. This way, you can continue to savor the captivating scents of your favorite candles even after they have burned out.

Make Fire Starters

Candle wax makes for excellent fire starters, perfect for camping trips or cozy evenings around the fireplace. Collect candle remnants and use them to coat small pieces of cardboard, cotton balls, or even dry pinecones. When you need to start a fire, light these homemade fire starters to ignite the flames easily.

Roasting marshmallows over an open fire

Wax Seal Craft

If you love adding a personal touch to letters or gifts, consider using old candle wax to create custom wax seals. Melt the wax, drop a small amount onto your chosen surface, and press a seal or stamp into the hot wax. As it cools and solidifies, it leaves a beautiful, personalized impression.

Repurpose Candle Containers

Candle containers can be transformed into handy storage solutions or charming decorative items. After a candle has burned completely, clean out the container by scraping off any remaining wax and removing the wick. These empty containers can be used to hold small items like office supplies, jewelry, or even mini succulents or small plants. The stylish design of candle jars or tins can add an elegant touch to your organizing efforts.

Decorative Elements

Broken or odd-shaped candle stubs can be integrated into various DIY craft projects. Embed candle pieces into homemade soap bars for a touch of elegance, or incorporate them into decorative candles for a marbled effect. Get creative and explore how these wax remnants can enhance your DIY projects.

Display of candles, handmade soap, eucalyptus, and fragrance

Repair Candle Surfaces

If your candles have developed uneven surfaces or small holes due to tunneling, you can repair them and continue using them. Gently warm the surface of the candle with a hairdryer or heat gun, and then smooth it out with your fingers or a spatula. This simple method restores the candle's aesthetic appeal and ensures a more even burn in the future.

Donate Unused Candles

If you find yourself with candles you no longer want to use or that don't suit your preferences, consider donating them to friends, family, or local charities. Organizations like shelters, nursing homes, or community centers may appreciate the gift of gently used candles to create a warm and comforting atmosphere.

Layers of burning pillar candles

Final Thoughts

By reimagining the potential of used candles, you can embrace sustainability while adding a touch of creativity to your life. From crafting new candles and wax melts, to repurposing candle containers and creating fire starters, the possibilities are endless.

Embrace creativity and discover how these seemingly simple objects can continue to illuminate and inspire your life in meaningful ways. Let your imagination soar and find joy in transforming what once was considered waste into beautiful and practical treasures.

Sweet Ginger Candle Co. strives to bring you a high-quality product using the finest material sourced in the USA. Please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have. We'd love to hear from you!

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