It’s time to begin enjoying the outdoors more now that the weather is warming up. As fun as those barbecues and patio parties are, insects can really put a damper on outdoor plans. You can spray smelly chemicals on the body, but who wants to?
Citronella candles are a natural alternative to repelling those annoying insects and provide a pleasant scent at the same time. They can easily be made and are also very adaptable to what you have on hand. The key ingredient you must have is citronella essential oil. Citronella oil is obtains from the leaves and stems of the Cymbopogon species.
You can use a variety of vessels when making a citronella candle. Some common vessel sources are:
- #10 aluminum can
- aluminum pots
- mason jars
- terra cotta pots
- flower pots that do not have any holes in the bottom
- glass or metal containers
- hot glue gun
- a double boiler
- wax (soy wax, paraffin wax, old candle stubs)
- pre-waxed wicks with tabs (150mm / 6”)
- citronella oil for candle making (use 1 oz per lb of wax)
- additional scents (lemon verbena, eucalyptus, bergamot, etc.)
- Clean containers.
- Measure wicks so they stick up about 1.5”
- For added measure, use a glue gun to lightly glue the bottom of the wick to the surface of the glass or metal pot.
- Either use a microwave to heat wax or in a double broiler over medium heat, melt wax thoroughly.
- When the wax is melted, add the fragrance. Add 1 oz of citronella oil per pound of wax and augment the scent with 0.5 oz of other scents per pound.
- Let the wax cool slightly and carefully pour into containers. Secure the wicks with a chopstick or clothespin to keep them in line.
- Allow them to sit in an undisturbed location in a warm place to cool. Allow candles to cure for 48 hours before burning.