Re-Wicking Store Bought Candles

I don’t usually go in for prefab candles from the store, because I prefer to make my own using soy wax and natural scents in reusable containers. But at the beginning of the summer, we were desperate to get our hands on some citronella candles to get some relief from the bugs. And since I’m always looking for a good deal, I happened upon some citronella buckets at the local dollar store, for $7.00 a piece. Not a bad price for a bucket-sized candle, and I figured it would last us pretty much the whole summer.

Well, so far they seem like they will. They’re not the best, but they are fairly effective at keeping the bugs at bay. The only issue we’ve had with them is the way they’ve been burning. They’re burning right down the center, leaving a big ring of usable wax around the perimeter –

Not pretty, and not effective. So we decided we may as well re-wick them, and since they were all starting to burn pretty low, we’d combine the wax from the four candles down into two. Rather than chipping all the wax out and dirtying up a double boiler, we decided to go the low-key route and use the candle bucket itself as it’s own double boiler since it’s metal –

Of course we had to watch this very closely to make sure the bucket didn’t capsize and create a giant mess and fire hazard. We used a pair of kitchen tongs to get the pails in and out of the water safely. And once all of the wax become molten, we used tongs to pick out the old wick and any bits of debris we saw floating in there.

Fortunately, I had some pre-waxed and tabbed long wicks in my candlemaking supplies, so we were able to use those. We simply threaded the top half of the wick around some plastic skewers that we had lying around (from an edible fruit basket I got a few weeks ago. I thought husband was nuts to keep them, but hey – we found a use for them!). Then we dropped the wick into the melted wax until the tab was sitting on the bottom, and left it to harden –

Once the wax set up, husband removed the skewer and trimmed the wicks. So now our “new” candles are all ready to go to see us through the rest of the season –

I’ve saved the other two buckets, so when we burn through these two at the end of the summer, I’ll clean them all out well and put them into my candlemaking supplies. Then some winter afternoon when I need a project to do I can make new candles for next year, using soy wax and some citronella oil.