Easy Homemade Bug Repellant Candles
There’s a special charm to the home-made smoke candles – citronella, peppermint, thyme, catnip and other bug-repellent (especially mosquitoes) scents. Of course you can buy the commercial bug repellant devices and candles, but why not broaden your self reliant horizons and put all those candle nubs to work at the same time?
Here’s how to make your own inexpensive batch of mosquito-repelling candles on your stovetop, in your oven or even outside over a fire. This is a great project to do indoors on a rainy or cool summer’s day when the kids are bored or cranky.
– candle bits
– wicks, wick sticky and tabs
– glass and metal containers
– tongs, hot pads, oven mitt
– essential oils, such as citronella, mint, thyme, geranium, cloves and eucalyptus
– a pencil or Popsicle sticks
– wooden long-handled spoon
– waxed paper.
We’ll work today with mosquito-beating candles made on a stovetop in a double boiler.
1. Gather your collection of candle ends, stubs and burned-downs. Fill the bottom of the double boiler halfway with water, and plop a few candle ends into the top after you’ve made sure they’re clear of wick-tabs and other residue. Start cooking over medium heat. You’ll use this first batch of wax to prep your wicks.
2. When the wax is sufficiently melted in the pot, start dipping your wicks into the pot to completely coat the wick. You’ll want to trim the wick to various lengths to suit whatever containers you’re using for candles. Let the wicks relax in the wax for about five minutes and make sure they’re saturated inside and out.
3. Remove the waxed wicks to cool on a sheet of waxed paper. You’ll know they’re “done” when you can squeeze them in the wax mixture and no air bubbles escape. When they’ve cooled, attach the wick tabs that will steady the wicks in the containers, and use the wick sticky to secure them in the center of each container. Use the pencils or Popsicle sticks to hold the wick centered while you prepare the candles.
4. Add more wax and candle ends as needed to the mixture, and add whatever essential oils you’re using. I like to always use a base of citronella, then add a few drops of either peppermint, cloves, thyme, orange, eucalyptus or geranium.
5. As the wax liquefies, remove it from the heat source and keep stirring. Let it cool just slightly, then use your oven mitt to pour the liquid carefully into your candle containers, one at a time. Remove the Popsicle sticks first, then affiliate them after you’ve filled the container.
6. Continue the process until you’ve made as many candles as you need or you run out of candle ends (we never seem to run out!)
7. Allow the candles to cool indoors for a day or so, away from drafts, until they’re completely solid. Then simply take them outdoors with you next evening, light them up (safely!) and let them go to work!
It’s simple, safe and so inexpensive!
This same method can be used to make candles that will repel many different kinds of insects, all you have to do is use the correct herbs.
Below is a list of some herbs that repel different kinds of insects.
With the exception of Lavender and Tea Tree ALL essential oils must be diluted before use:
- PENNYROYAL ( highly toxic to pregnant women and cats )
- TEA TREE OIL
- CATNIP – Preliminary studies have shown catnip oil to be 10 times more effective at repelling mosquitos! Also a great flea repellant.
- EUCALYPTUS OIL– Patch test before using on your skin. Keep out of mucus membranes.
ADDITIONAL EFFECTIVE INGREDIENTS
NEEM OIL – To generations of native people, Neem was known to provide protection from disease; therefore, protecting and planting Neem was not only considered a sacred duty but it was encouraged by religious sanction. Neem is a tropical tree grown in many Asian countries, and in the tropical regions of the western hemisphere. Through its gentle but effective means of controlling pests and plant disease, the Neem Tree is considered to be one of the most promising trees of the 21st century. with great potential in the fields of Pest Management, Environmental Protection and Medicine. It is believed to help control diseases like malaria, cancer and AIDS, and its use can combat desertification, deforestation, and global warming.
SOYBEAN OIL – The New England Journal of Medicine found soybean oil to be an effective natural repellant. Comparing to DEETs 302 minute repelling capabilities, a soybean-oil–based repellent protected against mosquito bites for an average of 95 minutes.
YARROW -To repel ticks, mosquitoes, and black flies, try a diluted tincture of yarrow (Alchellia millefolium) flowers directly on all exposed skin. A recent US Army study showed yarrow tincture to be more effective than DEET as an insect repellent.
GARLIC – Another effective natural bug repellent can be made by mixing one part garlic juice with 5 parts water in a small spray bottle. Shake well before using. Spray lightly on exposed body parts for an effective repellent lasting up to six hours. Strips of cotton cloth can also be dipped in this mixture and hung in areas, such as patios, as a localized deterrent.