DIY Insect Repellent Candles

Spring and summer do not only bring us more sun hours, flowers, ice cream and cozy BBQs but also mosquitoes. These little pesky bugs do not only irritate us but can be also bothersome for our little friends which is why I tried to make my own insect repellent candles. This is the very first time that I made candles myself but it was so much fun. The candles still have to dry so I am not sure how they smell but if they are ready I will share some pictures and information.

I made two different kind of candles, two with biological beeswax and two with rapeseed wax. Compared to candles you will find in regular stores these ones are healthier for your lungs because they do not contain paraffin and artificial fragrances.

To make insect repellent candles you will need:

Wax
Beeswax, Soy wax, Rapeseed wax…choose the one you like best. You can buy them in small pellets or in bigger chunks. The small pellets are easier to work with because you can exactly measure how much you will need for your jar size. Beeswax in chunks is very hard to cut. You will need a sharp knife and some muscles!

  • Beeswax has been used since centuries and has a lovely golden colour. Due to its warm and characteristic smell it might overpower the fragrance of the essential oils. Compared to others waxes it is quite expensive and harder to clean the bowl and other kitchenware.
  • Rapeseed wax has a milky white colour, no smell of its own and is easier to clean afterwards. It accepts other fragrances more easily and is also less expensive than beeswax.

Essential Oils
You can use different kinds of essential oils such as citronella, lemon, geranium etc. By making your own candles you can exactly choose which and how much fragrance you want them to have.

Container
A glass jar, an old flowerpot or maybe a little mug? Be creative and try something! Anything that can withstand heat and is safe to use as a candle can be used.

Wick
It is very important to use the right size of wick otherwise your candle will not burn. With size I do not only mean length but also and maybe even more importantly the width of the wick. Most website do inform you which width you will need for your size of jar/container.

How to make container candles

Prepare your work space/kitchen
Collect all the items you will need such as a cooking pan, a bowl, your wax, oils etc. Have some paper towels or old newspapers at hand to wipe off wax quickly or to protect your working space

Melt the wax
In a water bath melt your wax gently and stir from time to time. The amount of wax of course depends on the size of your container and the amount of candles you want to make. Since it was my first time I just gave it a try. The jars I wanted to fill could hold 80 ml of water. I had to use 80 grams of beeswax but 160 grams of rapeseed wax for one jar.

beeswax

rapeseedwax

Prepare the container
I preheated the glass jars in the oven (50 degrees) so that the beeswax would cool down evenly without making bubbles or leaving traces. To ensure that the wick will stay in place whilst you are pouring the wax into the jar you will want to put it in place. I used a clothespin but you can also glue it on the bottom of the jar by dipping it in the warm wax.
wicks

Mix your fragrances
After your wax is melted you can add the fragrances you liked. I used 1 ml of essential oil for each 28 grams of wax. I am curios how much they will smell after they have dried. Add the oils to your wax and stir well! Let the wax cool down for some minutes and than pour it in the jars saving just a little bit in the bowl. I used different mixes of Citronella, Lavender, Rosemary, Geranium and Lemon.

Let cool down & Top off
Let the candle cool down for some hours. After a few minutes I saw that my candles got a little sinkhole in the center around the wick. Whilst setting the wax naturally forms such sinkholes. To fix the sinkhole I used the left over wax and added it as another layer. That way I got a nice evenly candle.
cooldown

cooling

rapeseedcandle

Finish up
After your candles are completely dry you can trim down the wick to just about 1/2 cm.
finished

These little candles are perfect to use inside on warm summer days. They do not only make your room smell nice and fresh but also protect you and your doggy friend from nasty mosquitoes. Keep in mind that these candles burn less consistently than those that contain stearin. Needless to say that the candle must be positioned somewhere where your dog can’t reach it or accidentally knock it over.
happydog

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