In order to make a new candle, you'll need to melt old wax pieces together. For best results, make sure that your old wax pieces are very similar in scent or color before you begin. Mixing together too many different scents or colors of wax may result in an unpleasant scent or an unattractive color [source: Peterson]. You'll also want to make sure you break up the wax pieces into smaller chunks using an old knife or a hammer and chisel. Smaller pieces will make removing the old wicks and melting the wax easier [source: DIY Network]. If you cannot remove the old wicks, filter the wax through cheesecloth during pouring to catch wicks and any other debris [source: DIY Network].
Once you've collected your old candle pieces, select the molds you want to use. Shot glasses, sake cups, coffee mugs and other glass or ceramic objects make good candle molds [source: DIY Network]. Prep the mold with a thin layer of cooking spray or wax release spray to make it easier to remove the candle once it's cool [source: Candle Help]. Then center the pre-waxed wick in the bottom of the mold. You can also set the wick after you pour the hot wax, if you prefer.
Now that your mold is ready, set up your melting device. Heat a double boiler on your stove or create your own by setting an old sauce pan into a slightly larger one filled half-way with water. When the double boiler is hot, place the wax chunks into the top part to begin the melting process. When the wax has melted, pour the liquid wax into your mold and let it cool. Then trim the wick, light it and watch your new candle glow!
Now that you know the basics of making candles from recycled wax, try experimenting with new colors, shapes or decorations. Click on the links below to learn more about reusing and recycling your old candles.
Related HowStuffWorks Links
- Candle Help. "Recycling Your Old Candles into Votives & Tealights." (Accessed 4/14/09) http://www.candlehelp.com/?content=recycle
- DIY Network. "New Life for Old Candles." (Accessed 4/14/09)http://www.diynetwork.com/diy/cr_candles/article/0,,DIY_13748_5334642,00.htm
- Envocare. "Some Hints and Tips on Making Recycled Candles." Envocare Ltd. March 27, 2007. (Accessed 04/20/2009). http://www.envocare.co.uk/candle_making.htm
- Peterson, Josh. "Making Old Candles into New Candles." Planet Green. 11/13/08. (Accessed 4/14/09)http://planetgreen.discovery.com/home-garden/reuse-candles-diy-candles.html