Repurposing offers the ultimate in sustainability. You don’t even need to impact your carbon footprint to drive to the sorting center.
Candle wax is one such substance with multiple uses — don’t recycle that old jar. Here are 11 ideas for how to reuse old candle wax that will save you cash while preserving the planet’s resources.
If you’ve long dreamed of letting your creative side soar, designing crafts worthy of Etsy, but you feel you lack the talent, here is your chance. It doesn’t take much artistic precision to create a funky new candle from your reused wax that showcases your unique personality and makes the ones on store shelves jealous.
Your first step is to melt the wax — a candle warmer does the trick. Don’t worry if you only have one. Each layer has to completely cool before you pour the next, so you can only do one at a time, anyway. Place a wick inside a clean new container like a mason jar, and pour the wax inside. Repeat with the next wax “flavor.”
What if your wax colors don’t complement each other? If your child has any crayons worn down to the nubbin, use them to create the hue you desire.
You catch a chill while sitting by your bay window. There are three feet of snow outside, and you don’t feel like slogging through it to get to the hardware store for caulk.
Why not reuse candle wax to stop that draft? While it won’t last as long as traditional caulk, it will do the trick of sealing that crack until more pleasant climates for shopping return.
You might want to skip this tip if you parent a teen prone to sneaking out — you need all the alerts you can get. Otherwise, that squeaky door makes you feel like you live in a haunted house.
Exorcize those noisy doorway demons with a bit of reused candle wax. Whip out that warmer and get your old candle melted. While it liquifies, remove the pins from your door. Dip them in the wax, then reinsert, listening for signs of trouble. Repeat if necessary.
Sometimes, a glass of wine with dinner is just what the doctor ordered. One is enough. You don’t want to overdo it and risk waking up with an aching head and the dreaded “hangxiety.” However, getting the cork back in the bottle proves impossible.
Reach for that old tapered candle burned down to the nub. If it’s approximately the right size, microwave it for about five seconds — enough to soften it a little. Then, insert it in the bottle. It will seal as it cools. Leave a bit at the top to grab. You might even put a fingerprint indent to make it easier to remove the following evening.
Did the zipper on your favorite jeans hit a snag, refusing to go up all the way? Are your kids making jokes along the lines of “are you afraid of heights?”
Zip yourself to the top by reusing a bit of candle wax. Simply rub the lump along the inside and outside of the teeth. Then, maneuver the zipper up and down several times until it glides smoothly.
Backyard barbecue season always comes with uninvited guests — namely, mosquitos, flies and noseeums. If you don’t want to get bit to death while enjoying your burger on your back deck, reuse that candle wax to make repellent.
You can pick up citronella essential oil for pennies. For effective bug-repelling, add three drops for each cup of melted wax. Pour your mixture into a clean container with a new wick and set it on your patio once it dries.
Starting a fire with an ordinary pack of matches can leave you with crispy fingers if you aren’t careful. Even longer wooden models don’t always do the trick.
However, you can make firestarters with reused candle wax. You can also make your home smell delish! This recipe calls for cinnamon, clove and rosemary to make it feel like your holiday dinner awaits in the oven. Arrange your materials with some twigs or other flammable materials in muffin tins and pour in your wax. Once it hardens, you can start your next blaze with ease.
Does your dining room table have a gouge where your kiddo proudly plunked down his soccer trophy? You don’t have to cover it with a tablecloth when guests visit.
Instead, use a bit of reused candle wax to fill the slash. Melt the wax and use a dropper to apply to deeper gouges. A fine paintbrush works for smaller scratches. Rub off the excess when it dries and coat with a furniture marker and a fresh coat of polish.
There’s something classic about receiving a wax-sealed letter. You can even use this trick when helping your little ones prepare their Valentines.
You can pick up a wax seal tool for less than $20 at nearly any craft store. Dip it into the wax and affix it to your letter. You score bonus points if you can coax a raven into delivering your note, a la “Game of Thrones.”
If you’re reusing scented candle wax, you have an easy job. Melt the wax enough to remove the wick. Let it harden and break it into cubes using a butter knife or screwdriver. Add it to a wax potpourri melting pot to suck out every last bit of fragrance.
Another idea for those reusable scented candle wax cubes is to transform them into fragrant sachets. All you need is a piece of cheesecloth and a bit of ribbon. Add your leftover wax bits to the cloth, tie it with a ribbon and place it inside your dresser drawers. Your clothes will take on a light, delicate fragrance.
Sustainability means making the most of the materials that you have. There’s no need to let old candles become landfill fodder or even toss them in the recycling bin.
Instead, try one of the 11 ways above to reuse old candle wax. You’ll solve a host of household problems and leave your abode smelling sweet.