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what to do with leftover candle wax

What to Do With Leftover Candle Wax

Written by: Harlem Candle Co.



Time to read: 3 min

After fully enjoying the warmth and fragrance of your favorite candles, you might find a bit of wax left over at the bottom of the jar. Or maybe your candle tunneled a little bit and you're left with some wax on the sides of your jar as well. 

So what can you do with that leftover wax? A lot, actually! 

5 Ways to Reuse Leftover Candle Wax

After you're finished burning your candle and you have less than 1/2 inch of wax left, don't throw it out. Instead, here are some of our favorite ideas to upcycle that old or unused candle wax.

1. Make a Tealight

There won't be enough leftover wax to make a whole new candle (unless you have a lot saved up), but you might have enough for a small DIY tealight


Tealights are basically miniature candles in a shallow metal or plastic cup. All you need to make one is some leftover wax, an empty tealight cup, and a small tealight wick. The cups and wicks are very inexpensive and can be purchased from your local craft store or on Amazon. 

To make a tealight from leftover candle wax, just remove the wax from its jar (you can do it easily using this method) and then melt it into the new tealight container. 

2. Homemade Wax Melts

Wax melts are scented pieces of wax that can be melted in a candle warmer or tart warmer to release fragrance. If you loved the fragrance of your candle, you can make the smell last even longer by turning the leftover wax into wax melts. 

wax melt

It's also the easiest way to reuse old candle wax if you own a warmer. All you have to do is gently heat the leftover wax until it melts. Once the melted wax collects at the bottom of the jar, allow it to cool down to room temperature, then place it in the freezer for a few hours. This causes the wax to shrink, which makes it easy to pop out of the jar as a single, large chunk.

Making wax melts is also a fun DIY project for creative types. Instead of letting the leftover wax solidify in the jar, you can pour it into small molds (like an ice cube tray) and add your own coloring, essential oils, or decorations. 

Even if you don't own a warmer, these wax melts are perfect as decorative pieces or small gifts!

3. Fragrance Pouches

Another way to relish your favorite candle fragrance is to turn the leftover wax into lovely fragrance pouches. These are great for adding pleasant scents to small spaces like closets, clothing drawers, or even inside your car. 

fragrance pouch

Similar to making wax melts, it's very easy to do. Just follow the same steps as above to melt, cool, and freeze the leftover wax. If want to make the scent stronger, you can mix in your own fragrance oils or herbs. 

Once your wax has solidified and you've removed it from the candle jar, cut it into small pieces and place them in a small linen pouch. 

4. Seal a Letter

For all you writers, poets, and romanticists out there, leftover candle wax can also be repurposed into beautiful wax seals to make your letters even more special. 

sealed letter

Just melt the remaining wax in your candle, let it cool a little, then pour a small dollop onto your envelope. Before it hardens, press on it with a wax seal stamp for an elegant, personal touch. 

If you don't have a stamp handy, you can also use a wine cork or the back of a spoon to press the wax into your desired shape.

5. Wax Fire Starters

This is a great idea for camping enthusiasts or if you have a firepit in your backyard. Leftover candle wax can be repurposed into scented fire starters, which can be placed under wood and kindling to safely get a fire started.

fire starter

There are many ways to make wax fire starters, depending on how much wax you have left and the materials you have at home. The most popular method is to pour the melted leftover wax into paper baking cups (the ones you use to make muffins or cupcakes with), along with a cotton wick and your choice of shredded paper, cotton balls, twigs, wood shavings, or even pine cones. 

You can also add spices or extra essential oils if you'd like. Cinnamon sticks and rosemary are both excellent choices for this, since they also have the added benefit of repelling mosquitoes!