How To: Recycle candles

Recycle candles

You're a committed environmentalist but you love your candles. What are you to do? Did you know that you can recycle your candles? There's bound to be stuff left over. Just watch this video and learn!

Recycling old candles isn't really all that difficult but you should be a little bit cautious. If you overheat the wax, it can be very dangerous. Never try to boil wax. You should use a relatively low heat and we had it warm enough that the pot of water was just starting to make bubbles but not boiling; a setting of 6-7 on our range. If the wax should start to produce smoke, turn off the stove, remove it from heat and walk away until it cools down. If the vapors should happen to ignite, use a metal pot lid or a wet towel to cover the fire and extinguish it.

Use a water bath method to melt the wax. You can use either two pots that fit into each other or a pot with a glass bowl set inside of it. If the pots run a risk of touching each other on the bottom, you may want to put something in the bottom of the pot of water to prevent contact between the two.

The wax will melt relatively slowly and as it does you may notice impurities and other things floating in the wax. You may even have wicks if you don't choose to break up the candles first or if you're using lost of pieces of tapers. We used a flat-head screwdriver to tunnel into the candles and break them apart. The smaller you make the pieces, the less time it will take for the wax to melt.

It took about 1 hour to melt the first batch of wax but we were still experimenting with the heat setting. The second set of wax for a 1 liter candle only took about 30 minutes, perhaps even less. We used about seven 2-inch tall pillar candle stubs for the 2 large candles plus one votive-style candle. For fun we also put in several drops of essential oils in one of the batches of melted wax. We'll see if we used enough once it's set but at the moment the smell is still very noticeable.

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