How To Reuse Wax Melts and Old Candle Wax 16 Easy Ways
If you love wax melts and scented candles, you’re not alone. The global wax melts market was worth roughly USD 2.02 billion in 2015 and is growing. After using your scented wax melts a few times, you’re left with fragrance-free pieces of wax. Don’t throw them out! We’ll go over several ways on how to reuse wax melts and repurpose them.
Once you’ve purchased your own wax warmer, wax melts are relatively cheaper than many scented candles. Whether you use wax melts, wax cubes, or wax tarts, you can reuse the wax for many purposes.
If you use candles around your home, keep those candle stumps. The following ideas work with leftover candle wax and previously-used wax melts.
Whether you hate the idea of throwing away perfectly good leftover candle wax, want to stretch a dollar, or are just feeling crafty, this post is for you. Grab a bag or container to collect your used wax lumps.
Let’s do this!
How many times can you reuse wax melts?
According to Happy Wax, two or three wax melts provide about 8 hours of fragrance. Different brands have different burn times, but most fall within the 6-8 hours range. Many people find they can reuse the same wax melts several times before the scent slowly disappears.
Realistically, you could probably use wax melts for longer until the fragrance disappears. Warmed wax doesn’t evaporate—only the scent dissipates. A wax melter has a handy bowl or dish that’s perfect for collecting and scraping out once your wax melts are used up.
If you’re wondering how to reuse wax melts, the easiest way is to reuse them again and again. And again.
Types of wax melts
Wax melts and wax candles are commonly made of paraffin, beeswax, or soy. While it’s not necessary, you may want to group the same types of materials together before reusing them to make new wax melts or candles for best results.
For other purposes, such as making arts and crafts, it doesn’t matter as much.
How to melt candle wax to reuse
If your wax candle is almost used up, you can remove the last bits of wax from the wick to reuse for other purposes.
There are three different methods to remove old candle wax:
- The melting method
- The freezing method
- The boiling water method
The melting method
- Double boiler (or large and small heat-safe pans)
- Containers to store the melted wax (glass jars, ice cube trays, or molds)
Using a double boiler (or similar), place all candle ends in a small pan. Set over a larger pan of simmering water. Let the candle ends sit for several minutes. Most waxes begin to melt from 100-145 degrees Fahrenheit (38-63 degrees Celsius). Remove the old wicks using tongs and discard.
To save the wax, you can pour it into small containers (such as ice cube trays), or larger glass jars.
Tip: You can also use a wax warmer or microwave to melt wax, however, a double boiler works better for larger batches.
The freezing method
Sometimes you have a candleholder covered in old wax which makes it hard to remove. To easily remove old wax, place the entire item in the freezer for around an hour. The wax contracts as it freezes making it easier to pop out.
The boiling water method
Remove most types of wax by pouring hot or boiling water over it. Some types of candleholders may be more fragile than others. Depending on the type of candleholder you have, hot or boiling water may not be recommended.
How to reuse wax melts and old candle wax 16 ways
Hang onto your leftover wax. There are some many ways to reuse and repurpose old wax around the house.
1) Make new wax melts
One of the easiest things you can do with old pieces of wax melts is to make new wax melts!
When the fragrance has faded, collect used wax melts from your wax melter.
Once you’ve collected a fair amount of wax, you’ll need to melt the wax (see The Melting Method above). Add a few drops of your favorite essential oils. Pour the hot wax into ice cube trays or silicone molds. Place in the freezer until hardened. You’re ready to (re)use your wax melts!
2) Egg carton firestarters
Since we have an outdoor firepit and an indoor wood-burning fireplace, I love the idea of making firestarters. Jill Cataldo has a great DIY for making firestarters using a paper egg carton, dryer lint, and old wax. Collect dryer lint (a super-flammable ingredient), place lint in each egg holder, and pour hot wax into each egg holder.
The next time you want to start a fire, rip off a small compartment of the egg carton and voilà, instant flames.
3) Pine cone firestarters
While the egg carton firestarter is practical, this pine cone firestarter has the added bonus of being more aesthetically-pleasing. I like the idea of placing a few wax-covered pine cones amongst our firewood on our indoor hearth.
The Tough Nickel shows us how to make these beauties using foraged pine cones, some string, and old wax.
4) Make a new wax candle
Using a new wick, old candle wax, and a glass container, you can easily make your own candle.
If you want to get fancy, here’s a tutorial on making colorful layered candles.
5) Make drawers slide smoothly
We all have a stubborn drawer that squeaks or just doesn’t slide open easily. Remove the squeaky old drawer, and using an old paraffin candle, rub the wax along the bottom of the drawer. Replace the drawer and open and close several times to distribute the wax.
6) Slip and slide
Tobogganing is lame if your ride doesn’t slide well. Make your sled slide faster by rubbing an old beeswax candle along the bottom. Hold on to your toques!
7) Preserve bronze or copper
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Some people look upon the natural greening of bronze or copper with disdain, while others love it. Whether you love or loathe the look of “greened” objects, round up your old beeswax candles.
To prevent rusting, use ⅓ pound (454 grams) of beeswax combined with 1 quart (4 cups) of turpentine. Using a soft cloth, apply and buff onto your treasured objects.
To protect the patina of naturally green copper or bronze objects, use straight-up beeswax (no turpentine required) to apply a thin coating.
8) Easy beading
Make craft time easier the next time you decide to make a beaded necklace or bracelet. Use a bit of old wax to rub along a string, and you’ll have an easier time of gliding beads onto your homemade creation.
9) Make snow glide off your shovel
Shoveling snow is enough of a chore without having to deal with sticky snow. The next time you go out to shovel your walkways, rub an old wax candle or reused wax melt onto your shovel for a stick-proof coating.
10) Sign your letters with a wax seal
Is there anything more old-school and charming than a letter signed and sealed with your own wax imprint? You can buy wax seals from craft stores to put a personal touch on letter writing. Drip a blob of hot wax onto your paper and use your wax seal to press down. Now your letter is signed and sealed!
11) Unstick zippers
A malfunctioning zipper is really annoying. Use some old wax to rub along the zipper’s teeth. Run the zipper up and down several times to lubricate the zipper.
12) Seal cracks in your home
While real caulking is better for sealing drafty windows or cracks in doors, sometimes old beeswax will do if you’re in a pinch.
13) Wax art
Use old wax to decorate glass jars and vases by dripping melted wax.
Or make your own melted wax paintings on canvas. Check out this Instructables wax canvas art tutorial.
14) Stop shoelaces from fraying
Prolong the life of your shoelaces by dipping the ends of fraying laces into hot wax. Bonus—your shoelaces are easier to thread. This works great on a pair of ice skates!
15) Patch up wood dents
While some of us love the look of shabby chic or rustic furniture with dings, dents, chips, and all, it’s not for everyone. Repair dents or scratches on wooden furniture by rubbing an old wax melt or candle until the indentation is filled in. Follow up with a furniture marker and no one would be the wiser.
16) Waterproof paper
This is a brilliant hack that I wish I knew about earlier. Waterproof and protect papers by rubbing wax over the surface. My recipe cards are filled with food splatters and stains…guess I’ll have to rewrite and waterproof them.
Author: Theresa Tesolin
Theresa is co-founder of RusticWise. She helps people unleash their inner DIY spirit by encouraging them to get dirty and make or grow something from scratch.