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How to Make Citronella Candles with Eucalyptus

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Keep the bugs at bay this summer when you learn how to make citronella candles. Perfect for camping and picnics, these homemade candles will keep away the creepy crawlies so your family can enjoy the late summer evenings.


Keep the bugs and spiders away with homemade citronella candles. Add a little eucalyptus to your DIY candles to help keep spiders at bay, too. All you need is wax, wicks, a mason jar and essential oils to keep bugs away all summer long.

One of the nice things about living in the desert is that we don’t really have a lot of flying bugs. Mosquitoes are pretty much non-existent so we can stay out doors all summer without worrying about bug bites.

My family loves to camp in the summer and we generally head to cooler weather, which means we have a few run ins with mosquitoes over the summer.  We always pack store bought citronella candles for camping and they never, ever work.

I did a little research and apparently the store bought candles have lousy citronella in them so they don’t work well.  My sister, who lives in Michigan where mosquitoes are the size of small birds, was told that homemade citronella candles are much more effective than the store bought ones.

So of course, I had to test that theory.

While we don’t have tons of mosquitoes in Las Vegas, we do have really awful spiders. I have heard that spiders don’t like eucalyptus so I figured as long as I was figuring out how to make citronella candles, I might as well add a little eucalyptus to keep the spiders away. Plus it smells heavenly!

candle making supplies

I gathered my candle making materials.

Basically all you need is:

  • wax
  • candle wick
  • a glass jar or other container of some sort
  • Citronella and Eucalyptus oils

For this round of candles I used soy wax – for no real reason whatsoever.  It just sounded good.  One pound of the soy wax yielded 3 candles.

I bought really long candle wicks with metal bottoms already attached.  I really like these and they were super easy to use.

I used different sizes of canning jars – mostly the ones for jelly and jams.  I was experimenting so I didn’t want anything to big.


If you just want to make it easy, you can buy an all in one kit!


citronella oil

I used good quality citronella and eucalyptus oils. I wanted to make sure these candles worked so I didn’t skimp on the oils.   Find out more about the oils I use and why I love them!

How to Melt Soy Candle Wax

Thankfully I thought ahead and didn’t melt the wax in a good pot or pan.  I created a kind of double boiler. The kit comes with a nice pitcher to melt and pour the wax.

Keep the kids entertained this summer by making your own candles! Wax colored with melted crayons make for a colorful DIY candle kids love to make.

I poured 1 cup of the wax in to an empty coffee can.  I placed the coffee can in a pot and added a little water to the pot. Bring the water to a boil and allow the wax to melt.

Let the wax completely melt until it is clear otherwise the candle is bumpy.

Candle Wick for Homemade Candles

I messed around with figuring out how to keep the wick standing straight up and came up with this.  I didn’t really secure the wick to the bottom of the jar first.

I’m not sure if that will make a huge difference or not as it burns.  But you can glue, tape or use the wax to hold the metal part of the wick in place.

Homemade Citronella Candles

Once the wax was melted, I just poured it into the jars and the added the oils.  I used about 10 drops of citronella and 5 drops eucalyptus per candle.

You can see in the photo above that I didn’t let the wax melt all the way in the candle on the left and it’s bumpy. But I let the wax melt completely on the one on the right and it’s nice and smooth.

Put the candles in the fridge for faster cooling.  It took a good 2 hours for the wax to set at room temperature.  Put the candles in the fridge if you want to speed up the process.

How to Make Citronella Candles with Eucalyptus

How to Make Citronella Candles with Eucalyptus


  1. Clean out the coffee can so no coffee remains. Allow to dry completely.
  2. Pour the wax in to the coffee can.
  3. Fill a pot or pan with about 1-2 inches of water. Place the coffee can with the wax in the water. Bring the water to a slow simmer over high heat. Reduce heat to keep water hot, but not bubbling at all.
  4. Use an old spatula or spoon to mix the wax to help it melt. Allow the wax to melt completely until it is clear.
  5. Place a wick in the center of the jar. Carefully pour wax in to the jar to desired level.
  6. Add oils to the wax - about 10 drops citronella and 5 drops eucalyptus.
  7. Wrap the wick around a pencil to help it stay in the middle of the wax.
  8. Allow wax to set completely. You can put the candle in the fridge to help it set quicker.
  9. Cut the wick to desired length once wax is set.
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  • Jen
    May 14, 2017

    Ugh! I hate mosquitos and we have plenty where we live. I will certianly have to try these. If you’re interested, I think this would make a great addition to my Be Clean Be Green With Kids weekly link up – starts each Wednesday and lasts for a week.
    Hope to see you there. And Pinning this post now so I can make these soon with my kids!!

  • Theresa
    May 12, 2017

    I’ve been wanting to make some citronella candles thanks for sharing your DIY.
    Pinned & sharing Thanks for joining the Inspiration Spotlight party.

  • Thanks for sharing your lovely idea to keep bugs away. I love candles and the Eucalyptus would smell so fresh. Thanks for sharing with us at #overthemoon. I’ve pinned and shared.

  • Cheryl
    July 9, 2016

    Again… you rock

  • Christine
    May 14, 2016

    These are so great! My cousin lives in Las Vegas and they had a problem with scorpions in their home!! I wonder what kind of candle you need for that. Ugh. Thanks for linking up at #SaucySaturdays.

    • Camille
      May 18, 2016

      Ugh. Yes, we have terrible scorpions and they are really hard to get rid of. :-/

  • Frugal Hausfrau
    May 10, 2016

    What a great thing to know! From Minnesota, so we have the same problem as your sister!!

    Thanks for sharing with us on Throwback Thursday!


  • Bambi
    May 7, 2016

    I had no idea these would be so simple to make. I have got to try this because here in Houston the mosquitoes are horrible. Thanks for the tutorial!

  • Hil
    May 6, 2016

    I should try and make those. I already have all the ingredients!!

    Have you linked up at #bloggerspotlight this week? This would be perfect!

  • Jaclyn
    May 2, 2016

    We get so many mosquitoes here and I love that these are natural and have no added chemicals! I am going to plan on making some for this summer!

    – Jaclyn

  • Sherry
    May 30, 2015

    I’m so trying this. We live in Central Florida where mosquitoes are also the size of small birds 🙂 It would be great if you could share your post this week at Funtastic Friday. This is the perfect thing to bring to my linky party. Hope you can join us!

  • Sweet
    May 28, 2015

    I have a lot of baby jars and I would never find a fantastic idea more than this. Good job.

  • Denise
    May 27, 2015

    Love this and am definitely going to be trying it! I especially love that you added eucalyptus, mostly because I don’t like the smell of citronella. Thanks for sharing at Fridays Unfolded! Featuring you this week 🙂

    • Camille
      May 28, 2015

      Citronella is pretty strong for sure!

  • Lou Lou Girls
    May 24, 2015

    Hello beautiful! I need to do this. Pinned and tweeted. I hope to see you on Monday at 7pm because we love to party with you! Happy Memorial Day! Lou Lou Girls

  • Renee
    May 24, 2015

    I need these candles! I live in Wisconsin and we have a mosquito problem!! Thanks for the info!

  • jeanne
    May 24, 2015

    why don’t you mix the oils to the melted wax before pouring into the jars?
    thanx for the response

  • Shellie Bowdoin
    May 22, 2015

    Thanks for lending your craftiness to Oh My Heartsie Girl Wordless Wednesday!

  • Cathy Kennedy
    May 22, 2015

    We have mosquitoes here in the Tennessee Valley and I dread getting outdoors. They eat me a live! Your DIY project sounds like an excellent, excellent idea. I\’m saving to make some time down the road, but I am going to share your post link with friends who can benefit from it now. I\’m visiting from Friendship Friday. It\’s nice to meet you. Have a good weekend!

  • Evija
    May 22, 2015

    Thank you for joining our Oh My Heartsie Girl Wordless Wednesday Link Party this looks amazing, wish i could smell them from the computer as I love this scent, have to add to my list to do!! cant wait to try it out myself. Have a great day, co-host Evija @Fromevijawithlove

  • Lorelai
    May 21, 2015

    What a great idea, and just in time for summer! It would be a fun DIY project too. Thanks for sharing at the #HomeMattersParty – we’re looking forward to what you have to share next week. 🙂

    Life With Lorelai

  • Hannah
    May 21, 2015

    I love making candles! As crazy as it sounds, I’ve never even thought of making my own citronella candles even though I have citronella oil. I am definitely going to make these!

    Thanks for linking up on Share the Wealth Sunday.

  • Sarah-Ann
    May 21, 2015

    I just made my own bug spray and was looking for a good diy candle. Thanks for sharing this great idea.
    Sarah @ Living Intentionally Simple

  • Jessy
    May 21, 2015

    This is great- we go through citronella candles so quickly, it would be awesome to make them. Thanks for sharing!

    I stopped in from All Things Thursday.

  • Tianna
    May 21, 2015

    thanks for sharing this one – I always get bit by bugs in the summer and this will go perfect on my balcony! thanks 🙂

  • Karen
    May 18, 2015

    LOVE! We do have mosquitos hre, so I will absolutely try this!
    I would love for you to stop by my blog and join our link party Something to Talk About!
    Have a great week!

  • Jacky
    May 18, 2015

    This is a great diy that I can really use! I live in VA, and we DO have lots of bugs and mosquitos during the summer… thank you for sharing!