Emergency Preparation – Homemade Emergency Candles from Orange Peels

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Storm season is upon us which means that learning how to prepare for summer storms is one of the most important things you could do for your emergency preparation right now. If you do any sort of emergency preparation for your family, you’ll know how important it is to have good quality flashlights on hand. Preparing for a power outage though is about more than flashlights for lights. Lanterns and of course, candles have their place in your preparations too. The catch is that emergency candles can actually be pretty expensive and if you’re buying smaller ones, you’ll want to pick up a candle lantern too so that you can use them more than one place. For our family though; expensive isn’t acceptable. Yes, I want quality, but I don’t want to go broke to have the quality that I require. That is easy enough to handle though since making homemade emergency candles isn’t as hard as you might think. In fact, one of the easiest ways to make homemade emergency candles is by using orange peels. Yes, you read that right; orange peels.

Upcycled Orange Peel Emergency Candles - If your family practices any form of emergency preparation, you need this DIY! These homemade emergency candles made from upcycled orange peels are quick to make and work great in a pinch! Let me show you how to make them and when to use them!

I love finding new ways to use things that others might consider trash and finding new ways to use orange peels was one that was on my list. I already make a homemade orange oil cleaner with them but I went on a mission to find other ways. These homemade emergency candles now have a permanent spot on my list of things to reuse to save money right along side my new ways to use apple peels, ways to use old towels, ways to use old sheets, ways to use WD-40 and more.

Emergency Preparation – Homemade Emergency Candles from Orange Peels

Keep in mind that these homemade emergency candles are made from upcycled orange peels which means they won’t be shelf stable so you’re unable to make them too much ahead of time. I suppose you could use a food dehydrator to dehydrate the peels for long term storage, but I’m not entirely certain how well that would work when it came time to use them. They work best if you know there is a chance of a power outage or for things like your family camping trip. If you’re in the middle of a power outage though, they are a quick and easy emergency preparation project to help keep your family in the light.

When you make these homemade emergency candles for emergency preparation, you will get one candle out of each orange. The top half of the orange is not used for anything other than creating a way to block the wind. If you don’t want to use the tops, you can use them to make homemade orange oil cleaner so they don’t go to waste.

You Will Need: Each orange makes 1 homemade emergency candle

To start, cut the orange half. You’ll want to make sure you use a sharp kitchen knife to make sure that you get a nice, even cut since you’ll be burning half to create your homemade emergency candles. If you want a longer burning candle, cut closer to the navel end. The end with the stem is the part that will hold the oil later on so by cutting closer to the navel end, you’ll create a large well for the oil.


This is the stem part of the orange. I wanted to show you so you know which end to cut away from. This part will end up being the wick so if you do want your homemade emergency candles to burn longer, cut away from this end. The farther away you cut, the longer your candle will burn.



Once you have the orange cut, carefully take the teaspoon and remove the fruit from the inside of the orange. Go ahead and do both halves even though you will only be burning one half.



Make sure you don’t remove or otherwise destroy the center stem of the orange. It will act as your wick so you don’t want to remove it or do anything that would keep it from lighting like you need.



When you’re ready to light your homemade emergency candle, fill the end with the stem with the cooking oil. If you cut your orange in half and didn’t do one side larger than the other, you’ll need around 1/3 cup oil to fill it.



When you’re filling your orange half, be sure you don’t completely cover the stem. If you do, you won’t be able to light your homemade emergency candle correctly. Once you have the orange half filled with oil, you can light your homemade emergency candle. It may take a few minutes to get the stem to catch and be fully lit. Don’t be discouraged about that if it happens. It will light if you give it enough time.



If you don’t want to use the other half of the orange peel to make a homemade orange oil cleaner, you can use them to make homemade orange peel fire starters or you can hollow the half out the same way you did with the lower half and use them to block the wind for your homemade emergency candles.

To do so, simply cut a large hole in the top of the orange half to allow heat and any smoke to escape and place on top of your homemade emergency candle after it is lit.



Even those these aren’t really shelf stable, they are still amazing for emergency preparation for one reason; they burn for hours. Ours burned for around 9.5 hours and barely used any of the oil we added. We did have some singing around the top rim of the orange peel, but that isn’t a bad thing. It made our entire house smell amazing!

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Stacy Williams

Stacy Williams is a 37-year old wife to a USAF Gulf War Veteran, mother of two teen girls and fur-mamma to a rescued pit bull. The face and brain behind the frugal living and lifestyle blog Six Dollar Family, she also owns and manages Long Haul Wife, Republic Preparedness, The Genealogy Queen and a handful of others sites. By the age of 30, Stacy had overcome a drinking problem, a drug addiction, divorce, survived domestic violence, and had built a life for herself and her daughter after spending 10 months in a homeless shelter. Stacy is passionate about homeless advocacy and addiction education.  Her first book, also called Six Dollar Family is available on Amazon.

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