How to Recycle Old Candle Wax into New Candles

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This happens to me a lot.  I have old candles that I love that end up burning weird so that there’s a lot of actual wax left, but not enough wick to burn it.   In the past I’ve just sadly thrown them away.  NEVER AGAIN!

Here’s how I upcycle all that old wax into new candles. These can be for personal use, or serve as really easy, home-made gifts.

You will need


  • Double broiler, two pots of similar size, or a tin can.
  • Wax from old candles.
  • Wicks (I get my wicks from Michaels).
  • Container for new candle.
  • Pencil or popsicle stick.

STEP ONE: Gather old wax.

This round’s victim was my Chocolate Aunt Sadie’s candle.  Burned in the past mostly around Valentine’s day, it would have me salivating within seconds.

Aunt Sadie's Chocolate CandleThe first step is to get a spoon and chip the wax out of your container.  The metal circle that holds the wick in the bottom will probably be stuck.  Just use a spoon to pull it out from the bottom once you get there.  Then break up the wax into meltable, even chunks.  I was going to reuse the container, but mine ended up looking like this:


So it was off to the recycle store with that mess.

STEP TWO: Set wick.

I had a couple of votive containers I have been using over the years.  I originally got them at the dollar store.  So I just used a couple of them as my new candle containers.  Before I melted the wax, I prepped the containers by lining up the wick to the bottom center, and wrapping the wick around a pencil that would hold it in place while I poured:

prepping wick


STEP THREE: Melt wax.

Then I actually melted the wax.  You could use a double broiler, but I have nothing that fancy.  I just filled a pot with a couple of inches of water, brought it to a boil, and then stuck a tin can with the wax chunks in it so it would melt without ruining my pot.  I bent the can so that when I poured the wax out it would act as a spout.

IMAG1277NOTE: Be mindful and careful when burning the wax! Do not leave it unattended.

STEP FOUR: Pour candle.

After the wax was melted, I poured it into two of my containers, almost as full as I wanted them.  I then let them cool completely (which took overnight in my case, but will vary with the original candle you used.)  Then I melted down a little bit of the wax I had saved to top them off so they would burn right.  I let that cool, trimmed the wick, and I was done!

homemade candle

I got two new candles out of something I would have previously thrown away.  I’m keeping one, and I haven’t decided yet whether to keep the other or gift it.  I was surprised at how easy the entire process was:  the longest part was waiting for the first cooling.

I’m never throwing another candle away again.

14 thoughts on “How to Recycle Old Candle Wax into New Candles

  1. donebyforty

    Waste not! That’s a cool project, Femme Frugality. We rarely ever burn candles but maybe we should — nothing wrong with creating a little atmosphere.

  2. becbier

    I have thought about doing this but I have never actually done it or even known how! Thanks for showing us all how to do it. Definitely have to try it!

  3. Mel

    “Then I melted down a little bit of the wax I had saved to top them off so they would burn right.” What does that mean?

    1. femmefrugality

      So apparently if you only do the first pour, there can be a bit of separation from the container. Then if you do a second pour with just a little bit to top it off once the first pour has dried, that wax will fill in all the gaps.

      1. Leah

        That’s what I came here to say (obviously didn’t quite read well enough). I just pour slowly and rotate between jars. The bigger the jar, the more careful you have to be with the pour.

        On the upside, I’ve done layered candles before in a mason jar. If you freeze each layer in between, you can get really crisp layers. Makes a fun gift.

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  5. themomoftheyear

    I love this idea and have so often thought about trying to do something like this! Thanks for the info–and now I have to bug you to tell me where you get your wicks. My husband just got into beekeeping and I am already envisioning homemade beeswax candles??

    1. femmefrugality Post author

      Whoa, that’s intense! Bees to wax to candles. I’d want one. I got the wicks at Michael’s.


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