blown out candle in a glass

Things you can do with your Old Candles!

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You have a great smelling candle you love to burn all the time, but once the wick is too short, or too much of the wax if gone, you toss it in the trash. But wait! The ends of candles are super useful, so don’t throw them out just yet!

Fix a stubborn zipper: Have a zipper that’s tough to zip? Fix it with a little candle wax! Rub the nub of a candle onto to teeth of both side of the zipper while it is open, then open and close the zipper a few times. It should smooth the way for the zipper to close and open smoothly!

Unstick your drawers: Have a stubborn, sticky drawer in your dresser? Pull the drawer off its hinges and turn it upside down. Run the butt of a candle over the track, then slide the drawer back into place. It should be much easier to open now!

Protect your recipes: Got food on another recipe card while you were cooking? Gross! Save your recipe cards from little spills by rubbing a white candle end over the whole card. It will prevent foods from sticking to the surface, and make little droplets of food easy to wipe away.

Make new candles: If you have a collection of candles so short you can no longer burn them, you can melt them together to make new candles! Just put your candles in a double boiler (see note below) over medium heat. When the wax is melted, pour into a container of any kind. You can use mason jars, cookie cutters (on parchment paper sheets), candle holders, cups, anything that can withstand the heat! If you want to make candles that are free standing, grab some wax-lined cups and fill them with the hot wax. After it cools, you should be able to peel the cup part away from the candle. Don’t forget to drip the wick in while it is still hot!

Citronella candles: Make your own bug fighting candles by melting some candle ends, and adding citronella oil into a double boiler (see note below) before pouring. It’s cheaper than buying a new one every season!

Polish your shoes: Out of shoe shiner? Use old candle wax instead! Just rub the candle wax over the shoe, just as you would with a cloth and shoe wax. A good coating of clear wax will work in a bind, until you can get out to the store!

Shine up your old candle:  This tip is one of my favorites.If you have some old candles that have collected dust and don’t look nice anymore but still smell fantastic you can make them look like new again!  Take an old pair of pantyhose and use it to shine up your candle… it’ll look just like new!

NOTE:  NEVER heat wax in a pan directly over heat (gas or elec) – always use a double broiler pan (a double pan where you put water in the lower pan and the wax etc in the top one – using steam from the heated water to melt).  If there is any moisture in the wax it can explode and even if it doesn’t – “bubbling” can happen and also splatter you with hot wax.  (Thank you Mary)


Cathy T.:  I set mine on my stove, then when the oven is on I get the nice scent from the wax melting!

Suzanne T.: Fire-starter. Put a small wad of dryer lint in each of the holes of a paper egg carton, letting a corner stick up. Then carefully fill each hole with old candle wax. When hard, tear carton apart into 12 starters for your fireplace. Light carton & lint together…place in fireplace before lighting the lint, it is flammable.

blown out candle in a glass



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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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  1. I have a simmer pot similar to a crock pot. I throw chunks of old candles in it and the scent fills the house. When it starts getting weak, just take out the old and start over. The old wax can still be used for other household fixes..

  2. Be careful using lint from the dryer for fire starters. Some lint can be toxic if burned. A fantastic alternative is to go to your local hardware store and get the wood shavings/sawdust from where they cut wood down to size for their customers. They are great fire starters and a great project for a Scouts.

  3. I burn a lot of candles. I save the remaining wax in a coffee can until the Fall. I pick pine cones, melt the wax and roll the pine cones in the melted wax, sprinkle with glitter, then bag them in celafane bags and give them as gifts as fire starters. The glitter looks looks nice in the fireplace and the pinecones smell wonderful.

  4. I create 100% soy candles that have the brightest light and longer burning power than any paraffin candle. Very inexpensive down to the bottom of the jar! Come see me.

    1. I used to do that until it cracked a very good glass/crystal candle holder. Don’t let them burn down now.