DIY citronella candles are one of the easiest homemade candle recipes you can make! These come together in just a few minutes, but will burn for hours! As a natural mosquito repellent, they work amazingly to help keep you and your yard mosquito free!
Summer bug season is coming and you know what that means; mosquitos. You could spend time dousing yourself with my DIY Bug Spray or you could save time and let these DIY citronella candles do most of the work.
Now only do they look great, but they work so well for keeping mosquitos away from your backyard or patio. Steve and I even like to take them fishing when we go.
Yes, they work just as well sitting on the banks of our favorite lake.
Why Use Essential Oils Instead of Fragrance Oils?
Honestly, I am sure you could find citronella fragrance oil and lemongrass fragrance oil. After all, people use them to make homemade soaps all the time.
However, fragrance oils are synthetic and when I am burning something in my home or around my family, I want it to be as natural as possible. A pure essential oil is the only way to do that.
What Essential Oils Do These Homemade Citronella Candles Use?
For these, you will be using a mixture of Citronella essential oil and Lemongrass essential oil. The brand of oils you use does not matter as long as they are pure, unadulterated essential oils.
Contrary to popular belief and marketing tactics, there is absolutely no such thing as a “therapeutic” oil and as such, any brand will do. Just be certain they are GCMS verified and are not cut with a carrier oil (or worse) and you will be fine.
I personally only use Simply Earth essential oils. Not only are they tripled GCMS verified, but their priced so much better than any other oil company I have seen! I love that I can order individual oils when I need them, but also get them sent to me in my monthly recipe box!
If you would be interested in trying the Simply Earth Monthly Recipe box for yourself, click HERE and check it out. Be sure to use coupon code 6DOLLARFAMFREE to score a FREE $40 gift card off your next order, the BIG Bonus box of accessories for FREE and so much more! It’s only $39.00 too which makes it great for those of us trying to buy essential oils on a budget.
Why Those Essential Oils?
Both Citronella essential oil and Lemongrass essential oil have shown that they can not only help reduce the amount of mosquitoes around you, but that they can actually repel them.
In addition to their ability to repel flying insects, both are great for aromatherapy. Citronella can help lift a negative mood while it relaxes both the mind and body. At the same time, lemongrass is great for fighting off depression and anxiety.
I don’t know about you, but a warm summer night outside with no mosquitoes from a product that helps you feel mentally better and relaxes you at the same time at seems pretty amazing to me.
Trimming the Candle Wick
Once your candles have cooled, be sure to trim the candle wick to around 1/2″ before burning them. Any longer and you create two less than ideal situations.
The first is that a long candle wick can create a fire hazard. No one wants to burn their deck or house down and trimming the wick helps prevent that.
The second is that a longer wick is less likely to give a clean burn. Longer wicks tend to put off a large amount of black smoke since they are burning with no wax around them to contain them. Trimming the wick, however, keeps it close to the wax and allows your homemade citronella candles to burn cleanly.
Why Do My Candle Jars Have Less Wax in Them Now That They’ve Hardened?
One thing to note before you make homemade citronella candles is the process called “shrinkage.” As your candle hardens, the wax will condense more than when it is in its liquid form.
This will cause your mason jars to look less full than when you finished them. They still have the same amount of wax in them, it just doesn’t look like it.
If this bothers you, simply top the jars off with a bit more wax mixture and allow it to harden.
How to Store Homemade Citronella Candles
Once your candles have fully hardened, you’ll need to store them. Since we use mason jars to make them, store them upright with a clean and dry lid and ring.
You’ll want to be sure there is zero moisture on the lid and ring as this can cause rusting and/or mold growth that could ruin your candles.
Keep them in a cool, dry place away from any direct heat or sunlight sources. These homemade candles use soy wax which has a fairly low melting point. Direct heat or sun could cause them to re-liquify in their jar and become unusable.
DIY Citronella Candles
- Clean and Dry Jars. Working with one jar at a time, place a small dab of hot glue in the center of the jar. Attach the wick clip to the jar. Set aside and allow to dry fully before moving on. Once the glue has set, tape the top of each candle wick to a wooden dowel or straw. Center the dowel or straw on the jar and tape into place to hold your wick upright and centered.Candle Wicks, 4 8 oz. Mason Jars, Wooden Dowel Rods OR Straws, Scotch Tape
- Cut wax into large chunks and place in double broiler or wax melting pot.2 lbs. Soy candle wax
- Melt completely over medium/low heat making sure it does not burn. When fully melted, remove from heat and allow to cool no more than 90 seconds. Add essential oils and stir until they are fully combined.2 lbs. Soy candle wax, Citronella Essential Oil, Lemongrass Essential Oil
- Pour wax into each jar being careful not to disturb the straw or cause the wick to move too much. Fill jars as full as possible without spilling.
- Set aside and allow to set and cool for at least 12 hours. Do not place candles in direct sunlight while setting as this can cause them to take much longer to harden.