I don't know if this applies to anyone else but I am surrounded by candles. Hemmed in, you might say, by wax. My mother is big into candles, and so we always have quite a few lying around.
If you've ever burned a candles all the way down, you'll know that there is quite a bit of wax left over. Instead of throwing that away, you can quite easily melt it down and recycle the unused wax into new candles!
Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.
Step 1: What You Need:
Of course, in order to the coolest candlemakin' mutha on the planet, there's a few things you need:
*A Pot. Best to use one that you don't ever want to make food in ever again.
*Water. Boil it. Also best to use some you'll never want to drink again.
*A secondary container, like a tin can or bowl. make sure it fits in the pot, and won;t float or flip over when there's water surrounding it. Still best to use something you never want to eat out of ever again.
*Cutting/Mixing Implements. Need a sharp knife for sizing up the wax you're melting, a duller knife to cut it up once it's soft, a spoon for mixing, and some, um, grabbers. Forceps. Clamps. Whatever. something to hold the tin can while you're fiddling with the wax inside. Use stuff you'll never want to put in your mouth again.
*Gloves. Pretty self explanatory, I mostly use them so I don't have to carry the wax with grabbers/forceps/clamps, I can just pick up the can and pour. easier in every way. Use gloves that you'll never want to wear to a Ball again (where else do you wear gloves?)
*Stove/Warming Plate/Campfire/Iron Forge. A source of heat. No, you can't just stuff the wax in your pants. (but to each his own.) If you absolutely must use the stove to cook edible food on again, you'll need some:
*Tin(Aluminum) Foil. Use this to cover the other burners, so you don't get wax down in the workings of the stove. Don't plan on wrapping up your takeout with this foil ever again.
*Candle Containers. Since you're recycling old candles, you can use the cups they came in.
*Wicks. I use Shoestring. Screw borax and salt, you don't need that crap to make a good wick, just some string. (And the will to survive, but that has nothing to do with candle making.)
*Wax. (See the next step.)
Step 2: Prep-er-a-ti-onnn....
First, get some wax.
You could buy some new wax, but that would defeat the purpose of recycling, wouldn't it?
I happen to have a ton a burned out candles lying around, which, coincidentally, gives me all the containers that I'll need to reuse the wax.
Unfortunately I have to pictures of the wax before I melted it, so you'll have to make do with the first picture of me staring into the abyss.
Also, cover the other burners on your stove with tin foil, so your food doesn't smell like wax for the next month because you dropped the can of hot wax and it spilled all over the stove and now you've got to clean it up because there's no way that you'll be able keep living with pink wax all over the place.
Also, make sure to cut your wax up into smaller pieces, they'll melt faster that way.
When you've got a pile of max, move on.
Step 3: I'm Mellllting!!!
Put on your pot of water, and fill it with enough water to keep it boiling for a while (like half an hour), but make sure that there's not too much, otherwise your tin can might flip over, and you'll be horribly scarred for life, like the guy below.
Put your wax into the can, and wait, stirring occasionally.
While you wait, you can prep the candle holder and the wick.
Step 4: It Wicks Away Moisture!
... sorry again.
For wicks, Google told me to use string soaked in salt water and borax, then coated with wax and dried for FIVE FREAKING DAYS.
Well, time is money in the candle business, and I don't have time to sit around watching wax dry.
So, I thought to myself, "How can I balance speed and ease of production with durability and dependability?"
I used shoe strings.
Cut off the plastic at the end, and stick one end into the cup so it just touches the bottom, and tape the top to a ruler or something across the top of the cup. Pour in the wax and wait.
Step 5: Scented Freshness-osity!
As a side note, you can add some scents to your candle if you're froo-froo enough.
Do it when your wax is completely melted, so you can stir it around a bit.
Step 6: Finishing Up:
It takes about 5 hours for a candle to become completely cool, but after about 1 or 2 it's good for lighting.
Trim the wicks about a half inch above the wax, and light er up.
That's about it, now you can sit back and relax in the afterglow of your accomplishment.
PS: Don't bother cleaning up, it doesn't work. Better to just buy a new house.
Participated in the
Homemade Holidays: Holiday Gifts