Keep the bugs at bay this summer when you learn how to make citronella candles with soy wax, citronella essential oils, and canning jars. Perfect for camping and picnics, these homemade candles will keep away the creepy crawlies so your family can enjoy the late summer evenings.
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 outdoors 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 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 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!
How to Make Citronella Candles with Eucalyptus
Homemade Citronella Candles Materials:
- Candle wax – we prefer soy wax; one pound of wax will make three small candles
- Candlewick – we like the longer candlewicks with the bottoms attached as they are easy to use
- A canning glass jar or other containers of some sort – we used 4 oz, but you can make them any size you like
- Citronella oil
- Eucalyptus oils
- If you just want to make it easy, you can buy an all-in-one candle-making kit! You will still need to buy the oils.
Homemade Citronella Candles Instructions:
First, you need to melt the wax. Don’t melt the wax in a good pot or pan. You can either use an old pan you don’t care about or create a double boiler using an old coffee can or a liquid measuring cup. You won’t be able to use the container for anything else again so make sure it’s old.
The candle-making kit has a nice pitcher to melt and pour the wax.
Pour 1 cup of the wax into an empty coffee can. Place the coffee can in a pot and add a little water to the pot. Bring the water to a gentle simmer and allow the wax to melt. Stir to help it melt.
Let the wax completely melt until it is completely clear otherwise, the candle will be bumpy.
Wrap the candlewick around a pencil or pen. If you want to keep the wick standing straight up glue, tape, or use the melted wax to affix the metal bottom part of the wick to the bottom of the jar. Lay the pencil over the top of the jar.
Once the wax is melted, carefully pour it into the jars. Make sure to avoid the pencil. Let the oil cool a tad, but not so much that it starts to set. Add the oils – 10 drops of citronella and 5 drops of eucalyptus per candle. You can add more or fewer oils based on your preference.
You can see in the photo above that I didn’t let the wax melt 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.
It will take a good 2 hours for the wax to set at room temperature. Put the candles in the fridge to speed up the process.
How to Make Citronella Candles with Eucalyptus
- 1 cup soy wax
- 1 candle wick
- 1 canning jar
- Empty coffee can
- 10 drops Citronella Essential Oil
- 5 drops Eucalyptus Essential Oil
- Clean out the coffee can so no coffee remains drying completely.
- Pour the wax into the coffee can.
- 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.
- Use an old spatula or spoon to mix the wax to help it melt. Allow the wax to melt completely until it is clear.
- Place a wick in the center of the jar. Carefully pour the wax into the jar to the desired level.
- Add oils to the wax - about 10 drops Citronella and 5 drops eucalyptus.
- Wrap the wick around a pencil to help it stay in the middle of the wax.
- Allow the wax to set completely. You can put the candle in the fridge to help it set quicker.
- Trim the wick to the desired length once the wax is set.
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!!
I’ve been wanting to make some citronella candles thanks for sharing your DIY.
Pinned & sharing Thanks for joining the Inspiration Spotlight party.
Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond says
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.
Again… you rock
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.
Ugh. Yes, we have terrible scorpions and they are really hard to get rid of. :-/
Frugal Hausfrau says
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!
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!
I should try and make those. I already have all the ingredients!!
Have you linked up at #bloggerspotlight this week? This would be perfect!
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!
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!
I have a lot of baby jars and I would never find a fantastic idea more than this. Good job.
That’s a great idea!
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 🙂
Citronella is pretty strong for sure!
Lou Lou Girls says
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
I need these candles! I live in Wisconsin and we have a mosquito problem!! Thanks for the info!
why don’t you mix the oils to the melted wax before pouring into the jars?
thanx for the response
Shellie Bowdoin says
Thanks for lending your craftiness to Oh My Heartsie Girl Wordless Wednesday!
Cathy Kennedy says
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!
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
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
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.
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
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.
thanks for sharing this one – I always get bit by bugs in the summer and this will go perfect on my balcony! thanks 🙂
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!
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!