How can I reuse or recycle paraffin candles without making them into other candles?

candle250.jpgWe covered candles and their wax about a year ago but Chris Petescia has emailled with a more specific query about paraffin-based candles:

I understand that they are not good to burn for health and environmental reasons, and have switched to beeswax and soy. However, I have a decent stock of what MAY be paraffin candles (they do not say what they are made from). I don’t want to give them/sell them to anyone, because I don’t want anyone else to have the negative elements affect them in any way. IS there any use for them? I’d hate to just trash them…

On the other post, Rene makes a possible suggestion about making them into wax pucks for skateboarders and the like – but anyone else got any other non-candle related suggestions for Chris?

(Photo by jilted)

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15 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle paraffin candles without making them into other candles?”


  1. Karlie says:

    You could use them to water proof something

    You could also use them to put a finish on wood. Rub it in as is, or pour on the hot wax and buff it off when it’s cool.

  2. fuchsoid says:

    Unperfumed paraffin wax is good for sealing jars of jam, and you can re-use it.

  3. Ben says:

    You can check if they are paraffin or not by the feel of the wax.

  4. mercutiom says:

    It may consume more energy than you want, but if you melt the paraffin down into liquid form, it works as a natural exfoliant. Of course you have to monitor the temperature pretty rigidly to ensure you don’t burn yourself.

    • Joao says:

      I think this issues is casued by the heat differental between the lid+wick and the oil stored below. I was having a similar problem.To solve this, I cut off the bottom of a soda can, and trimmed it down until I just had the small dome’ from the bottom. Punch a whole in this for your wick to go through. Pull the wick through the top of the mason jar lid-hole and then through the hole in the dome. This creates about a 1-2 cm distance between the lid and the flame, and disperses the heat into the dome instead of the lid of the jar. It will stop the oil from pooling on the lid.The only issue then is you have to remove the dome to seal’ the candle with the extra mason jar lid.

  5. lisa says:

    I put all of my old wax melts into a tall empty olive oil can. I heat the olive oil can up in a large pan of water on med high heat. I then dip pinecones and pine needles in the wax until they are covered with many layers of wax. then I put them in a basket and give to friends.

  6. sam. says:

    you could melt them into cubes for sculpting or you can use them to coat fruit so that they keep longer.

  7. isma says:

    I use the rest of the candles of parafin for my fires I have outdoors. Often I can’t find wood that is dry enough due to rain. So a bit of parafin with wood makes a fierce and long burning fire. It does not smell if you don’t put to much in it,

    Ps. Don’t cut branches of the trees, or even chop trees down. I only use the wood that lays on the ground. !!!

  8. Robert says:

    Along the lines of isma -

    I get a paper egg carton, then I collect lint from my dryer and stuff about 3/4 of each egg cup with the dryer lint. Then I melt the paraffin wax. Poor the wax into each egg cup mixing with the lint. As it cools I pull some of the lint up to form a wick, not too long, 1/4 inch or so. Let cool. Then cut the egg cups up into individual units, place them in my camping gear for starting camp fires. Also works well in the fireplace or beach fires.
    Light the wick and this lint candle will get your fire going.
    -Cheers

  9. Iain says:

    Some cyclists use paraffin wax to lubricate their bicycle chains. It doesn’t lubricate as well as oil, but, unlike oil, dirt doesn’t stick to it, so dirt (and sand) doesn’t work into the innards of the chain, which is how chains get worn out. As I understand it, cyclists who use paraffin boil it, dip the chain in, take it out, and let it dry.

  10. Karlie says:

    Another thought I had was to use it as a carrier for an essential oil.

    I have jar type candles and an electric warming plate to release the scent without the flame. I suppose you could put the wax in a jar with your favorite oil scents and let the heat move the smell into your space

  11. Amber says:

    You can remelt them and make luminaries out of them. Luminaries are made from candle wax, but are large enough to fit around a candle. You can embed leaves, flowers, and shells in them. Place a candle inside and they will glow, but the wax will not melt or burn. You can reuse them again and again with new candles.

  12. Shaundra says:

    I’m pretty sure the OP is looking for eco-friendly ways to use the wax…. burning paraffin candles releases harmful emissions into the air. I’m also curious as to how to be environmentally-aware when getting rid of paraffin wax.

  13. chris says:

    You could make fire starters for wood burner mix melted wax (paraffin) with wood or recycled paper for catalogs

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