The fourth of July is approaching soon. For me, when I think of the fourth of July, one of my strongest memories is of the scent of citronella candles. Every time we went to the fireworks, we always had a few of them. The scent is nostalgic for me.
Well not only does it bring out my positive patriotic memories, citronella oil is plenty useful. It is a strong anti-fungal and an effective insect repellent. Especially for those pesky mosquitoes. Citronella oil comes from the lemongrass plant.
The problem with buying citronella candles from the store is much of the time you get an artificially produced citronella scent. The artificial scent smells like citronella to our human noses, but it doesn’t do much good for repelling insects. You need to use the real oil derived from the lemongrass to get the full effect. So, why not make your own? It’s way easier than you think.
All the supplies you need are:
- Candle wax (I used soy)
- Citronella oil (I get mine here or you can find it on amazon)
- Candle wicks
- Empty glass jars
- A double boiler or a pot placed on top of a pot of boiling water
- Toothpicks (optional)
Step One: Secure wicks
The first thing you need to do is secure your wick to the bottom of the jar. You can do this with a piece of tape.
Step Two: Heat jars
In order to make sure the wax dries and hardens evenly, you should place the glass jars in the oven at your oven’s lowest setting. This just keeps the jars closer to the temperature of the melted wax.
Step Three: Melt wax
Melt your wax in the double boiler. It will reduce to about half its size when melted, so keep that in mind. Stir occasionally as it is melting. Once it is completely melted, it will resemble the color of olive oil.
Once the wax is completely melted, mix in the citronella oil. I added 4 drops of oil per cup of wax, but I found my candles were not quite as strong as I would like, so I would recommend 5 drops per cup of wax.
Step Five: Pour wax
Pour your wax into the jars. If the wick is leaning to far to either side, you can just use a toothpick to prop it up to ensure it stays in the middle until the wax hardens.
Step Six: Let wax harden
Let the wax harden in the jars. This may take several hours depending on what type of wax you use, how warm the room is, and how large your candles are.
Step Seven: Trim wicks
Step Eight: Burn your candles!
You can even make colored candles by adding in some crayons when you melt the wax. I love how the white looks, but I might have to play around with colors. Wouldn’t red white and blue candles be fun for the fourth?Try making your own citronella candles, and let me know how it goes!