Make a Candle in Microwave using Broken Old Candles
Can I make a candle in the microwave? Yes, you can make a candle in less than 5 minutes!
This year when I was unpacking Christmas decorations, I found an old, misshapen candle that had melted while being stored away. But, what can I do with old candles? Rather than trash it, I wondered if I could melt it down and make a new candle. I’ve made candles by recycling old candles before, but it was quite a production – using a double boiler and generally making a mess. Since you’re basically just melting the wax, I wondered: “can I make a candle in the microwave?” So, I gave it a try and it worked fabulously!!
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Since candles are not cheap, recycling them is a great, frugal idea! Rather than throw away this $25 pillar candle, I made three jar candles from it. I used old jelly jars and a peanut butter jar. Jar candles cost $5 – $25 each! This is like getting them free and it only took a few minutes. They smell great, and they look nice too! And it was SO easy and fast!
It just makes sense to make a candle in less than 5 minutes!
Here’s how I made a candle in the microwave:
- old candle(s)
- empty jar
- knife & cutting board
- Cut candle to fit. I used an old pillar candle; I measured how tall I wanted the candle to be – slightly shorter than the jar it would go inside. Then I scored (cut) around the outside of candle and carefully used slight pressure to break the candle the rest of the way – without breaking the wick. Then I cut the wick, leaving about 1/2″ extra so there’s enough to stick out of the wax and be able to light it. If possible, choose a jar that’s slightly wider than your candle. Mine wasn’t, so I shaved down the edges with my knife. I found a serrated knife works best.
- Add wax to jar. Fill the jar about 1/4 full with chunks of wax from your old candle. For larger jars you can heat this wax for about two minutes in the microwave. Smaller jars don’t need the extra time to melt the wax. Now, add the core of the candle with the wick sticking up. Fill in the sides around core with extra wax shavings and chunks.
- Heat it. Put it in microwave for two minutes. Carefully remove the jar from the microwave. It will be hot! Add more wax chunks and shavings to the sides, being careful to leave the wick sticking up out of the wax. Use a butter knife to carefully push the excess candle wax down the sides to fill the jar. Put back in and microwave for two more minutes. At this point, if the wax is liquid all around the outside you’re done. If it has not all melted, microwave for two more minutes. Larger jars with more wax may take longer to melt. NOTE: inside “core” of original candle should not melt. Only the outside shavings need to melt.
- Cool it. When all the wax has melted and filled the jar completely solid, carefully remove the jar from the microwave set it on a glass shelf in your refrigerator and allow to cool.
- Enjoy it!
CAUTION: The jar and wax will be hot! Be very careful. It’s a good idea to warn your family that there’s a molten hot candle cooling in the fridge! Also, be very careful not to use any metal in the microwave. Make sure the glass jar you’re using has no metal on it. Do not put metal jar lids in the microwave. Do not use the bottom of an old candle, if it has a metal piece holding down the wick. Remove any metal before putting in microwave.
- Optionally, you can grate the candle wax with a cheese grater instead of using larger chunks. This will allow it to melt faster and look more uniform when you’re done. The outside shavings will melt and hide the large chunk in the middle. It’s okay to leave the middle core as one chunk and you’ll be less likely to lose the wick down in the wax if you do. BUT PLEASE NOTE: Instead of grating the wax, you can just heat it for a few more minutes to melt to a more uniform look. That’s what I did!
- I don’t recommend microwaving for more than two minutes at a time because the wax or jar may get too hot. Giving it a little time in between heating seems to give it a chance to regulate temperature.