How Do You Reuse A Candle Without A Wick?

Reusing old candles is an environmentally friendly and cost-effective practice. According to the EPA, over 35 million candle containers end up in landfills every year in the US alone, where they can take over 1000 years to decompose ( Candle wax also takes an extremely long time to break down. Reusing old candle wax and containers keeps this waste out of landfills and reduces the need for new candles to be produced. This saves raw materials, energy, and money that would have gone into making new candles.

Upcycling old candle wax into new candles, wax melts, or other craft projects gives it renewed purpose. The reusable glass jars can also be repurposed around the home. Giving used candles new life reduces waste and unnecessary consumption. With simple techniques, the wax can be safely cleaned and melted down to create elegant new candles and objects. Reusing candles is an easy way to be environmentally conscious and thrifty.

Remove the Wick

The first step in reusing a candle without a wick is to remove the existing wick. You can use scissors or pliers to grip the wick and pull it out of the wax.

Be sure to remove any remaining wick stubs and the metal wick base from the bottom of the candle. According to redditor u/Anxiety-Ball in a thread on r/Candles, you can pour hot water into the candle jar and let it sit overnight to loosen the wick base so it can be easily removed the next day.

Once you’ve fully removed the old wick, the candle wax is ready to be melted down and repurposed into new creations.

Melt the Wax

melting wax in a double boiler to reuse old candles

The first step is to melt the leftover wax from the candle so that it can be reused. The easiest way to do this is using a double boiler. Fill a saucepan with a few inches of water and place it over medium heat on the stove. Rest a heat-safe glass container like a mason jar or bowl in the water bath, making sure the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the container containing the wax. Add the leftover wax pieces, chunks, or whole candles into the container. As the water heats up, it will melt the wax slowly and evenly, preventing it from overheating or scorching which can happen if melted directly on a burner (source: Once all the wax is completely melted, remove the inner container from the water bath and dry off the exterior before pouring the wax into molds or repurposing it.

Add Scent

Consider adding essential oils for fragrance. Essential oils not only provide wonderful scents, but can also have aromatherapeutic benefits. When selecting essential oils, opt for those safely approved for candle making. Some great options include lavender, peppermint, cedarwood, and eucalyptus oils ( Start with just a few drops per pound of wax and adjust to your preferences. You may need more or less depending on factors like the size of your container and type of wax. Combining a few compatible scents can create a custom, complex aroma. Refer to a reputable supplier for usage rates and blending ideas for essential oils. Just be sure not to overdo it on the oils, as too much fragrance can lead to smoky candles.

Pour into Containers

Once the wax has been scented and is thoroughly mixed, it is ready to be carefully poured into containers for the finished candle product. Some common containers used for candle making include jars, cups, tins, and glassware (source). Be sure the containers are clean and dry before pouring in the wax.

The ideal wax temperature for pouring is between 125°F – 145°F to ensure proper setup and cooling (source). Carefully pour the wax slowly into each container, leaving about 1/4 inch of headspace to allow for expansion as the wax cools and shrinks. Allow candles to cool completely before moving or handling.

Pour too hot, and you risk sinking holes, bubbles, and adhesion issues. Pour too cold, and the wax may set up too quickly before filling the container. Play with your pouring temperatures based on wax type, container material, and climate conditions for best results.

Create Wickless Candles

One of the easiest ways to reuse candle wax without a wick is to make wickless candles like wax melts, tarts, or votives. These types of candles don’t require a wick since the wax is melted in a wax warmer, candle warmer, or essential oil diffuser rather than being lit directly.

wickless candles like wax melts made from reused wax

To make wax melts or tarts, simply melt the old candle wax in a double boiler or slow cooker. Then add fragrance if desired – essential oils or candle fragrance oils both work well. Pour the melted wax into silicone molds or tart molds to set. Let cool completely before removing from the molds. Refer to this guide for a step-by-step tutorial on making soy wax melts: How to Make Soy Wax Melts.

Votives or tealight candles can also be made wickless. Reuse candle jars, glass votive holders, or aluminum tealight cups. Carefully pour the melted wax directly into the containers, leaving a depression in the center where the wick normally is. Allow to fully harden before burning in a candle warmer.

The benefit of wickless candles is that they provide ambiance and fragrance without an open flame. They are safer for homes with children or pets and easier to use than traditional candles. Experiment with different shapes, scents, and designs to create one-of-a-kind wickless candles from used candle wax.

Make New Candles

One of the easiest ways to reuse candle wax is to add new wicks and make completely new candles. This allows you to repurpose all of the wax, giving it a new life in a fresh candle.

To add a new wick, you’ll need wick sustainer tabs, wick stickers, and replacement wicks. Start by melting the old candle wax in a double boiler or slow cooker until it’s fully liquid. Then, prepare your candle vessels by adhering a wick sustainer tab to the bottom. Next, take a new wick and attach a wick sticker to the base, pressing it onto the sustainer tab in the vessel. Ensure the wick is centered.

adding new wicks to old candles to reuse wax

Once centered, pour the melted wax into the vessel around the new wick. Let it fully harden and cool. Trim the wick to your desired height, and you have a brand new candle ready to light! This simple process lets you reuse every last drop of wax (“How to Re-wick a candle,” 2020).

With the right materials and some basic equipment, you can give old candle wax new life by adding replacement wicks. It’s a simple DIY solution to enjoy your favorite scents again and again.

Decorate Candles

Personalize candles by adding decorations. You can decorate the outside of the candle container with ribbons, lace, glitter, sequins, or other craft materials. Add a label with a inspirational quote or funny saying. Glue on seashells, beads, or buttons for a beachy vibe. Paint the outside of glass containers with acrylic paints and stencils. Affix artificial flowers, leaves, or twigs using hot glue. The options for customizing the look of your candle are endless!

For inspiration, check out sites like Pinterest which showcase ideas for decorating candles in unique and creative ways. With a reused candle and some simple embellishments, you can make beautiful one-of-a-kind candles to gift or display in your home.

Use for Other Crafts

Leftover candle wax can also be incorporated into many other DIY craft projects. Melted wax is very versatile and can add unique textures, colors, scents, and shapes when mixed into homemade items.

Some ideas for reusing melted wax in crafts include:

craft ideas for reusing leftover candle wax

  • Mixing colored wax into homemade play dough or clay for a marbled effect
  • Using it to make scented crayons by pouring wax into molds with crayon wicks
  • Creating textured paints or chalks by mixing powdered pigments into melted wax
  • Adding wax to the bottom of vases, glasses or jars for stability
  • Dipping objects like seashells or flowers into melted wax to preserve or waterproof them
  • Making homemade wax seals by pouring colored wax onto envelopes or stationery

The possibilities are endless when it comes to finding creative ways to reuse leftover candle wax for crafts. It can add nice sensory elements to DIY projects through scent, texture, and color.


Reusing candle wax is an eco-friendly and resourceful way to breathe new life into candles and prevent waste. The process allows you to save money, reduce your environmental impact, and have fun crafting unique candles to enjoy. Repurposing candle wax aligns with principles of reuse and sustainability. Rather than tossing a half-used candle in the trash, you can melt down the remaining wax and use it to make new candles, wax melts, cosmetics, and more. You get to enjoy the scent and aesthetic of candles while also being kind to the planet.

The techniques outlined here are relatively easy, requiring just basic supplies like containers, wicks, and fragrance oils. With a little creativity, you can customize candles in any color, shape, or scent your heart desires. Reusing candle wax gives you an opportunity to reduce consumption while also making handmade gifts for loved ones. Sustainability does not have to be a sacrifice – with some clever recycling, you can craft beautiful new candles that promote mindfulness and environmental stewardship.

Similar Posts