What to Do with Old Candles

a bowl of old candle wax ready to be repurposed

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Have a few Homesick candles that are nearly finished? Don’t toss out the wax. Instead of letting your favorite candle’s leftover wax go to waste, reuse and repurpose it! 

Even if you know how to reuse candle jars and have a few projects in mind, what do you do with the leftover wax at the bottom? Here are some clever ideas, tricks and tips on what to do with old candles.

#1 Loosen Stuck Zippers

Did your favorite pair of jeans’ zipper get jammed? Or do you have a dress with a stuck back zipper? Rub a bit of wax across each side of the zipper teeth, move the pull tab up and down and voila! No more stuck zippers! Use this technique on clothes, pillow covers, tents and sleeping bags, too! Just be sure to use a non-colored candle to avoid stains.

#2 Silence Squeaky Hinges

Whether it’s the door of a room or a kitchen cabinet, sooner or later it’s bound to get a bit squeaky. Instead of waking a sleeping baby or letting it drive you mad, apply a touch of wax to the hinges and work it into the components. By giving your doors the silent treatment, it makes a more peaceful home. 

Learn More What You Can Do with Our Candle Tips

#3 Make DIY Firestarters 

Enjoy a bonfire at the campsite or a warm fireplace in the winter? Use the leftover wax in your old candles to make firestarters. Repurpose an old egg carton, fill it with dryer lint and pour wax (melted over low heat in a saucepan) carefully into each egg-shaped cup. Allow the wax to set and harden overnight, tossing your DIY firestarters into your bundle of wood for a roaring fire. It’s that easy!

#4 Plug Leaky Gaps in Windows and Doors

Got a leaky window or door that needs sealing and can’t make it to the hardware store just yet? Temporarily seal it with leftover candle wax. Instead of wasting energy and driving up energy bills, recycling old wax to caulk cracks and unwanted gaps can seal your home up tight.

#5 Seal Letters with a Kiss (and Wax Stamp)

an envelope seal stamp next to a sealed and an unsealed envelope

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Are you sending a sentimental, old-timey letter to Granny or a fancy wedding card to newly married friends? Use old wax to create a seal! Melting the wax, add a small coin-sized dollop onto the envelope and press it with a wax seal stamp of your choosing. You can find many seals online or at a local craft store. Since Homesick candles have a natural ivory tone, you can add a few drops of dye to create the tint of your choosing.

An even better idea? Send a sealed card or letter along with one of our personalized candles to a special someone.

Check Out Our Options for Personalized Candles

#6 Polish Your Shoes and Furniture 

Polish scuffed-up leather shoes and scratched wood furniture with a blend of one-quarter cup of melted candle wax and one teaspoon of canola oil. Mix the polish solution well, allowing it to cool a bit, and then buff your leather shoes or a purse with a rag. Keep the polish on low heat to keep it liquified until you are done. This works with scratched furniture, too! 

#7 Get Crafty with Batik Fabrics

Try out a new art project and create a traditional batik fabric technique. Start by pouring melted wax into a pattern across a tablecloth, linen napkins or pillowcases. Once the wax has dried, dip the fabric into a colored dye and allow it to dry as well. Lastly, place a layer of paper towels to absorb the wax in sections, melting it away with a warm iron. The results should leave you with a beautiful motif.  

#8 Make Reusable Food Wraps

a snack lunch wrapper

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Have a beeswax or natural soy wax candle? These food-safe waxes are perfect for making reusable food wraps! Simply grate the leftover wax into smaller pieces, melting it over a square cut from the fabric of your choice. By making your own eco-friendly food wraps, it reduces your dependence on single-use plastic baggies and plastic wrap. 

Like these clever tips for reusing and repurposing old candle wax? Discover more candle tips and ways to lengthen the life of your Homesick candle.