What do you do with perfume after you’ve used it?
Probably nothing, since the fragrance has dissipated, leaving you with nothing but an empty bottle and the scent of “what was.” But what if instead of a ghost of lavender or sandalwood your perfume left something tangible behind?
Having old used candles is kind of like that. You’ve lit them, the wick has burned away, and now you’re just left with a bunch of melted wax that’s dirty, cluttering, and needs to be thrown away…right?
Well, not necessarily. If you’re the kind of thrifty, crafty, environmentally-conscious individual who likes to reuse as much as possible, there are plenty of ways to do just that.
1 – Planting Plants
If you are trying to place plants in an old vase or jar but they wobble around and you can’t get them to stay in place, some old wax might be just what you need to get the job done. It’s soft enough that you can lightly press the stems into the wax.
On the other hand, it’s still firm enough to support the stems and hold them in place.
2 – Silence Squeaky Doors
If you have doors that won’t cease squeaking, you might consider rubbing a bit of wax on the hinges. Not only can this quiet a noisy door, it can allow you to do so without resorting to oil.
3 – Bottle Stopper
There’s nothing more frustrating as a wine connoisseur than a crumbly cork or one that’s snapped in half altogether. If so, candle wax shaped into the form of a bottle stopper might be your new best friend.
This can be a fantastic way of reusing the wax for something that’s both aesthetically pleasing and essential, since you certainly don’t want to leave the bottle open and exposed for days on end.
You’ll probably want to wash the mouth of the bottle again before you pour any more wine out of it, but even so, this is a great way to innovate and bring two of your great soothing passions together.
4 – Air Freshener
One of the biggest reasons people buy candles in the first place is because they are supposed to be wonderfully aromatic. Whether you buy scented candles or “plain” ones, even the scent of wax itself can be a welcome aroma – especially compared to burning rubber and gasoline and all the other odors of the road.
Taking some used candle wax with you and fashioning it into an air freshener for your car can be a great way to recapture and reuse a candle’s scent, especially if you liked it the first time around.
5 – Creating Wine Bottle Lamps or Candelabras
Both of these suggestions are certainly among the artsier and more creative-minded options on our list, which is part of what can make them so satisfying if you’re the artistic or crafty type.
Take a couple of bottles and whatever used candle wax you have lying around. You will need to make sure that you have at least enough candle wax to “stick” to the inside of the bottle as you lower it in.
Once you have successfully lowered the collected candle wax into a candle holder and lowered that into the bottle, add something flammable which you can drop inside and light a flame within your used wine bottles.
These are called “hurricane lamps,” and when done right they’re gorgeously bohemian. You can also try to stick that candle holder on the mouth of the bottle, find a wickless way to light it there, and thus have a safe, controlled wine bottle candelabra.
6 – Seal Envelopes
Want to feel like you’re a Jane Austen character sending the most Sense or Sensibility-laden missive? Take some of that candle wax, gently tip it over the fold of your envelope after you’ve enclosed your letter, and stamp down on it to create an old-fashioned seal.
7 – Fixing a Hole
Candle wax can also be shaped to fill certain holes around the home. For example, if you have a tiny hole near your window stripping and you want to seal it, you can use a bit of candle wax if you are low on caulk.
This can also be a good way of saving on the costliness of the latter material.
8 – Make New Multi-Layered, Multi-Colored Candles
This is an interesting suggestion that can work quite well if you have a lot of old candle wax from different melted candles. Collect the wax from the different candles and fashion them into separate cylinders according to their color.
You can do this with cylinders of various sizes, or even a Pringles can.
Once you have refashioned each layer, and while the wax is still malleable, put them all in a tall cylindrical container (again, like a Pringles packet) and melt and merge them all together to create a new multi-layered multi-colored candle.
9 – DIY Pin Cushion
This is basically a pin cushion version of the plant solution. Simply press your pins (or pens, paint brushes, or whatever it is you wish to keep organized) into the candle wax while it is still malleable, and voila – a DIY container to keep your pin cushions or other materials in place.
10 – Waterproof Leather Shoes and Snow-Proof Shovels
Take a bit of wax and gently rub it on some leather shoes. The waxiness can help block out water, thus helping to waterproof the shoes. This can also be done to help keep snow from sticking to shovels.
11 – DIY Bug Repellent
If you’re looking to keep some bugs away the all-natural way, you might want to try a blend of candle wax and citronella oil. The two mixed together can create a solution which wards off certain bugs due to its aroma and texture.
Reusing old candle wax takes a certain amount of creativity, craftiness, and care. Even so, it can be done, and as these different options show, when done properly, it can lead to some incredibly satisfying results.