How to Make Bug Repellent Bars

How to Make Bug Repellent Bars

By Erin Huffstetler | 05/30/2013 | 11 Comments
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Tired of getting chewed up by mosquitoes? Take care of the problem by making your own bug repellent bars. They don’t have any of the nasty chemicals that you’ll find in store-bought repellents, and they work just as well (plus they’re good for your skin, too):

How to Make Bug Repellent Bars

Bug Repellent Supplies

What You’ll Need:

Beeswax (pellets or bars)
A solid oil (shea butter, cocoa butter, shortening, etc.)
A liquid oil (olive, coconut, almond, canola, etc.)
Bug Off essential oil (a blend of nine essential oils that repel mosquitoes)
A soap mold

What You Do:

Measure Your Ingredients

Measure out equal amounts of beeswax, solid oil and liquid oil by weight. I used two ounces each of beeswax, shea butter and coconut oil.

Double Boiler

Heat the three ingredients in a double boiler, until they’re completely melted. (A Pyrex measuring cup in a pot of boiling water works perfectly for this.)

Pour Your Bars

Pour the melted ingredients into soap molds. Add several drops of Bug Away essential oil to each bar (I used seven drops). Then, stir to combine.

Let the bars harden for several hours. Then, pop them out of their molds, and they’re ready to use. They’ll be a bit soft the first day, but will continue to harden over the next several days.

Homemade Bug Repellent

To Use:

Simply rub the bar over your skin anytime you’re going to be outside, and reapply as needed. The essential oils will keep the mosquitoes away and the oils will moisturize your skin.

Tips:

  • Essential oils lose their potency over time, so make a small number of bars, and keep them in a sealed container when they’re not in use. I like to keep mine in a travel soap container
  • Already have a nice collection of essential oils? Lavender, sandalwood, lemongrass, cedarwood, citronella, eucalyptus, catnip, patchouli and tea tree oil all repel mosquitoes. Create your own “Bug Off” blend instead of buying one
  • Prefer bug spray? Here’s my recipe for a homemade version
  • The beeswax and oils used in this recipe can also be used to make lotion bars and lip balm
  • Essential oils should never be applied to the skin full strength

More Bug Repellent Recipes

This video shows you how to make my bug repellent bars, sticks and bug spray.

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Comments

  1. Cool recipe! Thank you!

    Please can you tell me if you have a dedicated measuring cup for melting beeswax in a double boiler set up, or how you have been able to get your measuring cup totally clean afterwards?

    Also, have you dedicated your soap molds to non edible projects with essential oils, or would you consider using them for baking next? (Some cooking stores have really cute silicone baking molds)

    Kate

    • I’m not Erin, but… I get my measuring cup clean by setting it in the sink and pouring boiling water over it. Then I wipe it out with a rag. The same thing works for votive candle holders. The boiling water melts the wax residue enough that it wipes off easily.

    • Hi Chris,

      I don’t think the bars would set up properly with petroleum jelly — it’s a softer oil than shea butter and cocoa butter. Could be wrong, though.

    • You might be able to drop one into a candle warmer (a Sentsy warmer or something similar). It’s not something I’ve tried at this point, but it’s an interesting idea. Just make sure you use something that’s specifically designed to warm candle wax — wax is highly flammable when heated directly.

  2. This also works great in empty chapstick tubes as a non-petroleum based lip balm. Smells and tastes better too!

  3. I would like to make a bar of “bug off” soap. Can I use only Tea Tree Oil? Thanks, Margaret

    • Tea tree oil is great for keeping pests away, so it should work well. I don’t love the way tea tree oil smells, so I usually blend it with something else. Lavender works well, and it’s another pest deterrent.

  4. Could I successfully produce these with a soy wax in place of the beeswax? I have a 5lb bag of soy wax just begging to be used for something other than massage candles.

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