Citronella candles are everywhere this time of year and for good reason – they really do help keep those pesky mosquitoes away! Of course, you can run to the store and buy a few candles or you can try making homemade citronella candles.
These candles are pretty easy and fun to make! You can also add specific essential oils that can help ward off biting horse flies too!
How to Make Homemade Citronella Candles:
What You’ll Need:
- Soy Wax for candle making – I ordered this
- Natural Candle Wick
- geranium essential oil
- citronella essential oil
- popsicle sticks
- 8 oz glass jelly jars or other small jars
- glass measuring cup
The first step in making a homemade citronella candle is to melt your soy wax in a double boiler. You can simply put your glass measuring cup in the saucepan with a couple of inches of boiling water.
One note on your jars – you don’t have to only use mason jars. I had a few different-sized glass jars at my house and made a variety of sizes. However, I did find the 8oz sizes are the easiest size – for placing your wick (read down a couple of steps), and for lighting your candle later. Go ahead and use empty glass jars you have at home. But if you don’t have any, or you want to make a bunch and use them as gifts – then I totally recommend getting a dozen 8 oz glass jelly jars.
For each 8 oz candle you make, you will need about 2 cups of soy wax chips. The 3 lb bag of soy wax chips should get you at least (8) 8oz glass jar candles.
I suggest using disposable popsicle sticks to stir your wax while it is melting. This wooden “handle” won’t get hot while you stir and you don’t have to worry about cleaning it (cleaning wax is a huge pain!)
Use citronella and geranium essential oils for your homemade citronella candles. Read this post here about the 5 must-have essential oils you need for camping and why I suggest using geranium with your citronella. This bonus oil really helps getting rid of the biting horse flies. It’s not a magic wand that makes the flies completely disappear, but they are way less likely to land and bite when the geranium is nearby.
Use a 2:1 ratio for the citronella and geranium oils – for the 8 oz jars, add 16 drops of citronella and 8 drops of geranium essential oils.
It gets a little tricky making sure your wick stays straight and in the center when you pour in your melted wax into your 8oz glass jar. One tip is to put a few drops of wax at the bottom of the jar and placing the wick in it. Make sure the wick is centered and let it cool and harden. This will help it stay in place when you pour in the rest of the melted wax.
Bug Repelling Essential ↓
When your wax is melted, use a pot holder to pull out your glass measuring cup from the saucepan and pour the melted wax into your jar.
I used 2 more popsicle sticks to hold the wick in the center while I waited for the wax to harden.
It will take a couple of hours for your wax to cool and harden. When it does, then you can go ahead and trim the wick.
Now your homemade citronella candles are ready to use! Bring them camping, keep them outside on your deck or patio area, or have one on a nearby table when you weed the garden!
There are noticeably fewer mosquitoes and flies around when I have my homemade citronella candle lit!
Don’t forget to check out our popular DIY Mosquito Repellent Bracelet with Essential Oils too – this also really works!
Looking for more ways to use your essential oils? Read these posts: