So fun fact – In researching these candles, I learned that store-bought citronella candles only contain about 1% citronella! As you will see below, these DIY/natural candles contain other ingredients as well, but what those extra ingredients actually are matters. The candles bought from your average store contain pretty toxic chemicals- something I never thought to care about, no matter how many candles I burned through every week. No matter what candles you are burning – citronella or not – you want to make sure they are made of soy wax or beeswax. Also, take a close look at the label of your favorite brands of citronella candles (or any type) – they probably contain palm oil, a product that is causing much of the world’s deforestation. Do your research and understand your impact!
For convenience, I linked the exact items I used, but there are tons of other options out there.
This was much easier than I expected.
- Soy wax shavings– It’s tough to give an exact measurement for this; however, when it melts, it will decrease in volume by about 1/2. So instead of measuring, I took the jar or tin I chose for the candle and filled it twice. That was the perfect amount.
- Wick- Apparently you can make your own, but I tried to save myself the hassle of doing that and worrying about how to tape it to someone to secure it. Luckily amazon sells cotton wicks that come with stands. It was so easy. Even if I had to buy 100. There are ton of options on amazon depending on how man you want to buy,
- Essential oils (see below for which oils are best) – Many sources will tell you to add 3 drops per cup of wax, but I probably added about 20 drops. The more the merrier!
- Optional soy wax coloring – A little goes a long way! As the candle cools down, the color will not be as bold.
How to –
1. Put your jars in the oven on the lowest heat setting while you are melting the wax – for me, this was 170 degrees. Having warm jars will help the candle to take the correct shape and not crack while melting!
2. Boil water in a sauce pan.
3. Put your measured wax in a bowl and place it on the sauce pan.
4.Once the wax is fully melted, move the pan off of the heat to let it cool down a bit- for two or three minutes. Just like the lotion, you want to add the oils when it is melted but only “warm.”
5. Stir in the oils and optional coloring.
6. Pour it into your jar and secure the wick for it to cool. (If you don’t buy wicks that come with “stands,” you can just lay a pencil or something over the top of the jar and tape the wick to it. I also read that you can hot glue the wick to the bottom of the jar. I’m not sure about this one or if the glue could make the candle fumes toxic. )
7. Cut the wick about 1/2 inch above the candle and wait for 48 hours before using the candle.
Remember, if all natural bug repellent sounds great but making it sounds not so great, you can find some on my etsy shop here.