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How to Recycle Your Old Candles

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candles,decorating tips

If you’re like most thrifty environmental do-gooders, you probably feel a little guilty when you throw away the remnants of an old candle – there’s just this feeling that you should be able to recycle old candles.

Great news! This time, your instincts are right! You can definitely recycle your old candles and the candle jars, too.

Candle Recycling Tools

You may already have most of what you need to recycle your candles sitting around the house, but if not you can grab supplies at your local craft store:

  • Saucepan (preferably old)

  • Knife and/or spoon

  • New or used jars or cans

  • Wicks


Step #1: Collect Your Wax

If your old candle isn’t in a container, all you have to do is use your knife to cut out the wick and wick clip (the shiny base at the bottom end of a wick) and chop up the wax. If it's in a jar or other container, place it in the freezer overnight. The cold temp will cause the wax to shrink and dislodge from the edges so you can more easily pry it out with a knife or spoon.

(BONUS: To get that jar clean, first use vinegar, cooking oil or baby oil to further loosen the wax, then wash in soapy water. Ta-da!)

Step #2: Melt Your Wax

Now, there are two ways to do this. The first is to throw your wax right into the pan and melt it on low while stirring, like an outlaw melting lead to make bullets.

The second (recommended) way is to place your wax in a tall tin can and then put that in your pan with water, kind of like a makeshift double boiler. This way you can heat the water to a boil, melt the wax in the can and more easily pour your new candles – all while saving your pan from certain doom.

Step #3: Make Your New Candles

You can use the old jars you cleaned up in Step #1 or new ones, or whatever else you might have lying around that looks like it'll hold wax and a wick.

Place the new wick in your chosen container so the wick clip rests in the center at the bottom. (It should stand on its own.) Then slowly pour the molten wax to fill up the container. Once you let it cool for several hours you may notice a divot around the wick. Reheat any leftover wax and pour it in to fill the divot.

That’s it! You’ve just saved a few bucks on candles and recycled at the same time. You should feel pretty awesome – even if your new candles are all brown and smell like midnight jasmine apple pie.

ATGStores.com hopes you have fun saving a little money while recycling your old candles.

These candles shaped like wine corks from Deco Glow are a great gift for any fan of the fermented grape. 

Candle sets from the Mill Valley Candleworks are handcrafted in Mill Valley, CA, using premium wax, natural essential oils, botanical essences and European linen wicks, and come in seven heavenly scents. 

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