Candle Recycling


How to Recycle Candles

You can recycle used candles. You can also melt down your candle making projects that didn't turn out the way you wanted. The skull on the left, for example, is plain white wax poured over colored candle wax scraps.
Good Luck!

  1. Clean the candles as much as you can.

  • Remove any labels.

  • Cut the burnt parts of the wicks off the candles.

  • Remove any exterior decorations that look like they were added after the candle was made, such as pressed flowers, glitter, etc. Scrape them off with a knife if you have to (Be careful!)

You will be melting candles that you most likely don't know the candlewax formula. Use extra caution in melting these used candles. There may have been a glaze or glue used on the candle surface that may not melt or mix well and may even smell yucky.

  1. Follow the directions for work area preparation, mold setups, and the other basic steps from our candlemaking how-to page.

  2. Melting the used candles

Melt the whole candle, wick and all into the melting pot. As the candles melt, remove the wicking and any noticeable dirty stuff from the wax with a fork or skewer.

  1. Pouring the wax

Stir your wax well, but let it settle before you pour. And don't pour the whole mixture into your candle. This will leave undissolved particles and dirt in your pot and not in the candle.

If you really want to, you can pour your wax through a nylon stocking to have cleaner wax.

Variations in pouring temperature, additives, scent, color, and type of wax used will produce different results every time. Experiment to discover what you like. Remember, you can always melt the candle down and start over.


What will my recycled candles look like?

Since you most likely don't know the candlewax formula, you won't know what your candle will look like (glow, opaque, etc).

Can I change the color of the wax?

Yes, but do use a dye specifically for candlemaking, as to not add more impurities to the wax. It is difficult if it is already dark and murky, if you've mixed a bunch of colors together.

Can I use crayons to dye the wax?

Yes, but use crayons sparingly. Use only to a crayon per pound.
Using more than that will impair the burning quality of your wax, and dirty your wick
Using too much will also color your candle unevenly, and may sink to the bottom of your mold.You can only get pastel colors with crayons.
Crayons are used best in candlemaking as a color enhancer, for adding a little to your wax already dyed by a candle dye to get the color you're looking for.
Use quality crayons, like Crayola! Cheap crayons do not work well in candle wax.

Can I add scent to the melted wax?

Yes, you can. But if the wax is already scented, be careful. Some scents do not mix well with others. Remember, experimentation is necessary with scents. Some scents, especially some true essential oils smell differently, some smell terribly, when heated(or overheated). Try not to use scented oils that are added to a carrier base(scented massage oils, etc). These additional oils bring unnecessary additive to your wax and can affect the burning quality, although careful experimentation may bring an acceptable balance between good burning quality and an interesting candle appearance. Watch out, too much scent(too much of anything, really) can damage molds.
This is a long explanation on scents because scent can be the most expensive additive in Candle making. For beginners, buy an inexpensive oil, like a home fragrance lamp ring oil. These oils are meant to be heated and can work well. Many oils not specifically made for Candle making may smell strong at first when the candle is newly made but slowly lose its scent. Scents specifically made for Candle making hold their scent over time the best.