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How to save money recycling old candles!

Updated on June 19, 2013

Do It yourself crafts that save you green!

If you have read my blogs before, you know that I am a self admitted "cheap-skate". I am also on a mission to reduce the amount of waste produced by my family. While I would like to say that I am going "green" to make a socially accepted statement, I honestly am not. My husband may call me a "hippie" but I leaned in business that waste equals money so I am applying this thought process to my home life. The more waste we throw away, the more money we spend. You can see this ideology reflected in the number of companies eliminating packaging and offering their consumers to opportunity to reduce their carbon footprint by "re-using" previous containers. Are they making a statement...nah...they saved money on the packaging!

I began my household spending and waste reduction by making my own green cleaning supplies. My husband hated to admit that they worked but the did so I was ready for my next challenge! I went to my cupboard and what did I find....over a dozen candle jars with leftover wax. Many of these cost $10 or more depending on the brand. Please remember, I am CHEAP and consider a $10 candle a luxury item. I buy them...but they aren't necessary. In the past, I have tried spending less on them but find that the scent and the burn time are not the same. These fallen soldiers have burned as far down as they could and now all I have to show for my $10 is a jar and extra wax. I am calling it a scam.The candle companies tempt you to make the purchase by providing nicer jars and making them seem as big as possible thereby increasing their apparent value. At the end of the day, the bigger they are, the harder they fall. When they have given you all they could..... you simply toss an expensive jar and over an inch of sweet smelling wax in the trash can. CONSPIRACY!

So...here are my thrifty (cheap) solutions. They are ways to recycle that unused wax and the gorgeous jar it came in.

1. EASY--Make your own candles!! This is easier than it sounds. Sure---you can go buy more wax and scent and make enough candles for everyone but you already paid for the scented wax and jar so why not just use what you have!

  • Depending on the wax, you can scrape it out of the jar with a spoon or you can place the jar in the microwave for a few seconds. If the metal part of the wick is exposed, remove it prior to placing into the microwave! I have heard of other methods involving boiling water but I have 5 kids so quick and easy is best for me.
  • Wash and dry the container you wish to use. You will need to place a wick at the bottom of the jar. Wicks are very inexpensive and can be purchased at craft stores. You can place a dot of hot glue to hold the wick in place but it isn't always necessary.
  • Now its time to put the wax in your recycled candle. If I scraped it out, I sometimes will just toss it straight into my readied jar making sure that it is butted up next to the wick. I sit it on my oven when I bake and as it warms, it will melt down and become a candle. If you have used the microwave to melt your wax, you should be able to pour the warmed wax directly into your new candle! If you are pouring, be sure to hold the wick straight up as you do to keep it from falling into the wax!

2. EASIER-- Use them like candle tarts -Many brands are now selling candle "tarts" . These tarts are simply candle wax molded into shapes that you melt down to release the scent.

  • Simply scape your unused candle wax into your tart warmer (if you have one) and you now have made your own tart! Okay, so it didn't start out as the same shape...but they all look the same when they are melted! :) I have even heard of some people just placing them into a decorative tin and placing them on a radiator, heating vent, or just on top of the oven as they bake to release the scent! The wick can be easily plucked from the jar and the jar can be reused!
  • QUICK TIP!!! To get remaining wax out of the jar add water to the jar and place the candle in the microwave for a minute or so. The wax will melt and will float on the water. Then you pour it out and are left with a completely wax free jar!

3. EASIEST--If you have a cupboard full of unusable candles and still have new ones that you are burning---simply chunk the wax out of your unusable candles and add it to the candles you are currently burning! This will use up the leftover wax and extend the life of your newly purchased candles!

I know that to some people this may seem like a waste of time and energy but it will certainly save candle addicts some green over the course of a year. It is also a great way to teach your children about saving money and is a low cost "quality time" activity with them. If you get started and enjoy extending candles, you can make candles for friends and family. Your local craft store will have all of the supplies (wax, scent, & wicks) and for about $20, you can make a dozen candles. If you are going to do this many, I would advise keeping an old crock pot just for candle making to melt your new wax and then ladle it into you candle. My next blog will have the full steps to candle making so stay posted!

Enjoy getting green and saving money! If you have any tips on these candles or other ways you save money...PLEASE SHARE! I am always the humble student in life.


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    • profile image

      mercy 

      5 years ago

      wow..i like this article.it has really helped me with my project.

    • Mommymay profile imageAUTHOR

      Heather May 

      5 years ago from Ohio

      It was my pleasure! Thanks for reading. If you find any other great tips as you start saving them, please let me know!

    • Anna Haven profile image

      Anna Haven 

      5 years ago from Scotland

      Interesting article. I love my candles and send away quite a lot of the glass jars to recycling throughout the year, with wax still in them! Good to know that there maybe a way to re-use. Thankyou :)

    • Mommymay profile imageAUTHOR

      Heather May 

      5 years ago from Ohio

      Thank you for reading! I hope that saving the wax doesn't end up on your "honey-do" list! My children are just like you....they have been taught to stay away from flames so they see me light candles and it's a race to blow them out.

    • hawaiianodysseus profile image

      Hawaiian Odysseus 

      5 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      Very interesting! My wife is absolutely bonkers about candles, so she'll be happy to hear about ways we can use up that remaining wax. Me? I'm frantically going around the house before bedtime blowing out the candles. Don't want to wake up some night all lit up like a candle myself!

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