DIY Citronella Candles


We spend a lot of time in our backyard either tending to the garden or relaxing on the porch.  And most nights, when it's cool enough, we eat dinner out there.  I particularly love the warm, sticky summers we have here, with lightening bugs, honeysuckle, and magnolias everywhere.  But warm and sticky means tons of mosquitos.

Badger is our go-to bug spray, and simply enough the main ingredients are essential oils.  So I'm reading the ingredient list and thinking, if they work in a spray why wouldn't they work in candles?  Thankfully, other people on the internet have already thought of this and worked it all out, so I took what sounded good from different places and came up with these candles.  They seem to work pretty well so far, and they don't leave you stinky like the spray.

DIY Citronella Candles

You will need:
Essential Oils (Citronella, Lemongrass, and Rosemary)
Glass Jars (canning jars work great)
Clothespins to clip the wicks in place
Food Thermometer

1. Melt the wax to about 150° in a double boiler (or in a pyrex measuring cup inside of a pot of hot water).

2. Dip the wicks in the hot wax and then affix them to the center of the bottom of each jar.  Use the clothespins to keep the wicks centered to the top.
Step 3. Mix in your essential oils.  Most recipes call for about 1/2 tsp of oil per pound of wax.  I used about that for the citronella, but then added in rosemary and lemongrass oils.  We like the way these smell, so the stronger the better?

Step 4. Once your oils are mixed in, and your wax has cooled to 135° (+/- 5°), you're ready to pour.  After pouring, the wax will cool pretty quickly and may sink a little.  You can top them off as you go.

5. After the wax has cooled, trim the wicks, cover the jars with their lids, and set the candles aside to cure for 24-48 hours before burning.  
 Mosquito-free dinner time!  Plus some extra romantic ambiance ;)

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