Tea-light Candles & Wax Melts In 3 Easy Steps

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Recycling Old Wax

Whether you buy readymade candles, or make your own candles, being left with small amounts of wax is a perennial problem, but just 15g of this waste wax will make a new tea-light candle, which burns for around 4hrs, or wax melts for your oil
burner. Wax from all commercially made candles can be used and melting wax is as simple as melting chocolate!  
Purchase 4hr tea-light cups and wicks to get you off to a flying start.
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Purchase 4hr tea-light cups and wicks to get you off to a flying start.

Step 1 - Prepare

Gather together left over stubs of pillar candles, or the remains of jar and tin candles. Most waxes from shop bought candles will be suitable but, for best results, keep the different scents separate  - you can mix unscented wax with unscented wax and also unscented wax with a scented wax.  When combining colours choose shades of the same colour or ones that will blend to make a new colour. Re-use old tea-light cups (or purchase a supply of polycarbonate ones which can be re-used) and purchase a supply of ready prepared tea-light candle wicks. The foil cases from small cakes make excellent moulds for wax melts (fill to about 0.5cm).  A heat resistant jug and a saucepan will be needed to melt the wax.

Step 2 - Melt The Wax

Always melt wax using the double boiler method (baine marie) and never by direct heat - take extra care when melting scented wax as fragrances are volatile. Place the wax into a heat resistant jug and sit this in a pan of hot water. Keep the water at a good simmer, but don't let it boil. Small amounts of wax melt very quickly, so keep a close eye on it.

Step 3 - Pour The Wax

For wax melts simply pour the melted wax into the chosen container and allow to cool. For tea-light candles pour the wax into the tea-light cups and then immediately add the wick, ensuring this is central and upright. Set one side to cool. Tip - stand the wicks on a flat surface and flatten the metal discs (if required) and adjust the wicks into a more upright position during the preparation stage.

Hints & Tips

Keep a jug specifically for melting wax and don't be tempted to use one that will be needed for food preparation again. A food tin can also be used, but can be difficult to handle when hot, and sharp edges are a concern. An old saucepan for water is also advisable, in case you get any wax in it.
Wax melts are simply fancy shapes of scented wax and small pieces of left over wax can simply be placed in the top of the burner to save on melting. Old ice cube trays (silicon variety) work well for wax melts, and are easy to pop the wax out of. Wash out foil food trays and  pour in a layer or wax approximate 0.5 -1cm thick. Break the wax into pieces to place on the oil burner as required.
Always burn tea-light candles in suitable holders and protect surfaces from heat damage. Allow a thin layer of wax to remain in the bottom of polycarbonate tea-light cups to prevent damaging the base. Keep lit candles away from soft furnishings and anything that can catch fire. Keep out of the reach of children and pets. Never leave a burning candle unattended. Follow the safety advice supplied with the original candles and, if you make a gift of your candles, remember to pass this information on.  
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