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4.50 from 2 votes

Homemade Citronella Candles

These candles are a safe, non-toxic way to create a bug free zone on your deck or patio, and they're super easy to make.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Author Heather Dessinger



Prepare Your Candle Jars

  • The wicks I recommend come with a metal tab attached to the bottom. The tabs keep the wicks from floating as the candle wax melts. Attach one of the stickers to the bottom of the wick tab and then place the wick in the center of your container.

Melt & Pour The Wax Mixture

  • In a double boiler (or large pot of simmering water with a stainless steel bowl or smaller pot resting inside), gently melt the beeswax and coconut oil over low heat.
  • Once the wax is fully melted, remove it from heat and stir in the citronella. Move quickly to the next step - the wax begins to harden as soon as it cools.
  • Pour the melted wax into your container and check the position of the wick to make sure it is still centered.

Set The Wick

  • Use a pencil or chopstick to prop the wick up in the center. My wicks are dipped in wax so they stand up well with just a little support. If you're using wicks that are not dipped, you may need to tape them to the pencil/chopstick to keep them in place.
  • Sometimes candle wax cools too quickly it tends to crack down the center. With the galvanized buckets I used for this set that wasn't an issue at all. 
    However, if you find that your candles do crack while cooling, you can heat your oven to 300F, place them inside and then turn off the oven. The candles will melt just enough to fill in the crack - all you need to do is leave them in there until they've completely cooled. Make sure to keep your pencil/chopstick in place to secure your wick.

Trim The Wick

  • Allow your candles to harden for 24 hours, then trim the wick to about 1/4 inch. Allow to cure for another 24 hours before using. 
    When lighting your candle, direct the flame at the base of the wick so that some of wax melts and is drawn up into the wick – this helps it burn properly. Allow candle to burn long enough so the wax melts out to the side of the jar. This helps to prevent tunneling (when the middle melts down with lots of wax left over around the edges). Never leave a candle unattended.


* Because beeswax candles are slow burning, they require thicker, sturdier wicks than what is used for paraffin candles. Keep in mind that the way a wick burns will vary based on many factors, including the size of the container and how refined the beeswax is. 
I’ve shared which wicks have worked for me using refined beeswax and the jars above, but it may take a little experimentation to find the perfect size for your wax/container combo.
Cleaning Tip: Place any oven proof containers in a warm oven to melt wax that has dried on the sides. Once the wax is melted, wipe it out with a paper towel or old newspaper.