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How to Make a Citronella Candle

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How to Make a Citronella Candle

Fend off mosquitoes with a homemade citronella candle. Here’s how to make one.

What You’ll Need:
Candle wax (beeswax, soy, paraffin — whatever you prefer. I tend to use beeswax these days)
A container for your candle (thrifted containers work great)
Citronella essential oil
Zinc-core wick or pre-waxed wick (sized for the container you’ll be using)
A wick tab
A double boiler

What You Do:

Stick a Wick Tab on the End of the Wick

Stick a wick tab on the end of your wick. This will help to seat the wick at the bottom of your container.

Melt the Wax in a Double Boiler

Melt the wax in a double boiler. This doesn’t have to be a fancy set up. Just stick your wax in an old jar, and place it in a pot of water. The main thing is that you don’t want to put your wax directly in the pot that you’ll be heating. It’s dangerous to heat it that way.

Set the Wick in Place

Center the wick in the bottom of your container, and pour a small amount of wax over it to hold it in place. Allow the wax to cool and harden. Return your remaining wax to the double boiler while you wait for it to harden.

Wind the Wick Around a Pencil

Wind your wick around a pencil, until it’s standing upright and there’s no slack. Lay it across the top of your container.

Pour Your Candle

Pour your candle.

Add Citronella Oil

Then, add several drops of citronella essential oil, and stir them in.

Allow your candle to cool. Then, top it off with a bit more wax, if needed. Often you’ll end up with a depression around the wick that needs to be filled in.

Trim your wick down to size, and your citronella candle is ready to use!


  • Save the wax from spent candles, and melt them down to make new candles. Wick tabs can be reused, too
  • Look for candle making supplies and containers at yard sales. That’s where I got the wick, tab and container for this candle. Sometimes I even find candles in free boxes that I can melt down and reuse
  • Not interested in making your own candles? The next time you blow out a container candle, add a few drops of citronella oil to the melted wax, and you’ll have a citronella candle the next time you light it

See Also:

More Wax Projects to Try:

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