How to make your own citronella candles to deter insects

Are you tired of constantly applying bug spray and still being bothered by pesky insects while enjoying the outdoors? Try making your own citronella candles! Not only are they a natural and effective solution for keeping insects at bay, but they also make for a fun DIY project.

How to make your own citronella candles to deter insects

What is Citronella?

Citronella is a plant that is native to tropical Asia and has a strong citrusy scent. The essential oil derived from the citronella plant has been used for centuries as a natural insect repellent. In fact, it is one of the most common ingredients found in insect-repellent products.

Benefits of Using Citronella Candles

There are several benefits to using citronella candles as a method of deterring insects. First and foremost, they are a natural and chemical-free solution. Unlike traditional insect repellents that often contain harsh chemicals, citronella candles are made with all-natural ingredients and are safe to use around children and pets.

Another benefit of using citronella candles is that they are portable and convenient. You can take them with you anywhere, whether you are camping, hiking, or simply lounging in your backyard. They also provide ambiance and can set the mood for outdoor gatherings and events.

What You Need to Make Citronella Candles

Making citronella candles is a simple process that requires a few basic supplies. You will need the following:

  • Wax: You can use either beeswax or paraffin wax, but we recommend using beeswax as it is all-natural and has a longer burn time.
  • Wicks: Wicks can be found at most craft stores and come in different sizes depending on the size of your candle. Make sure to choose a wick that is appropriate for the size of your candle and the type of wax you are using.
  • Citronella Essential Oil: This is the crucial ingredient that will deter insects and can be found at most health food stores or online.
  • A Double Boiler: A double boiler is necessary to melt the wax safely and can be found at most kitchenware stores.
  • Containers: You can use any container to hold your candles, such as jars, tins, or even muffin tins. Make sure the container is heat-resistant and able to withstand the heat of the melted wax.

How to Make Citronella Candles

  1. Prepare Your Containers: Make sure your containers are clean and dry. Using jars, you can decorate them with ribbon or paint to add a personal touch.
  2. Melt the Wax: Fill the bottom part of the double boiler with water and place it on the stove over medium heat. Place the wax in the top part of the double boiler and let it melt, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add the Citronella Essential Oil: Once the wax is melted, add a few drops of citronella essential oil and stir to combine. Depending on your preference, you can add more or less, but remember that a strong scent will be more effective at deterring insects.
  4. Pour the Wax into the Containers: Carefully pour the melted wax into the containers using oven mitts. Leave a little space at the top to allow for the wick to be inserted.
  5. Add the Wicks: Once the wax has cooled slightly, insert the wicks into the center of each container. You can use a wick bar or a wick-centering device to help keep the wick

Frequently Asked Questions

How long do citronella candles last?

The burn time of citronella candles depends on the size of the candle and the type of wax used. On average, a small candle made with beeswax will burn for around 20-30 hours, while a larger candle made with paraffin wax may burn for up to 50 hours.

Are citronella candles safe to use around children and pets?

Yes, citronella candles are safe to use around children and pets as they are made with all-natural ingredients and do not contain any harsh chemicals.

Can I use other essential oils in my citronella candles?

Yes, you can use other essential oils in your citronella candles to enhance the scent or add additional insect-repelling properties. Some popular essential oils to use include lemongrass, eucalyptus, and lavender.

How can I make my citronella candles more effective at deterring insects?

The strength of the citronella scent can have a big impact on how effective your candles are at deterring insects. To make your candles more effective, use a high-quality citronella essential oil and add a few extra drops to the melted wax. You can also try using a combination of citronella with other insect-repelling essential oils.

Can I use different wax types to make my citronella candles?

Yes, you can use different types of wax to make your citronella candles, such as beeswax or paraffin wax. Keep in mind that the burn time and scent will vary depending on the type of wax used. Beeswax has a longer burn time and a natural honey-like scent, while paraffin wax is less expensive but has a shorter burn time.


Making your own citronella candles is a simple and cost-effective way to deter insects and create a pleasant outdoor atmosphere. With a few basic supplies and essential oils, you can easily create your own natural insect-repellent candles to enjoy on your patio, on camping trips, or in any outdoor activity. With the ability to customize the scent and size of your candles, you can make them unique to your personal preferences and style.

So, don’t let bugs ruin your outdoor activities anymore. Get creative and start making your own citronella candles today!

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