The one thing that can ruin a lovely summer evening is the buzz of mosquitoes. Those little pests seem to have a single goal in their lives, to irritate us beyond all reason. However, you can use these diy citronella candles to rid yourself of these nasty pests, as homemade candles can be made with essential oils which repel mosquitoes.
This candle making guide will detail the different oils you can use to make your own at home.
Mosquito candles are also known as citronella candles because most of the candles available in stores use citronella oil as a repellent. However, other essential oils are effective in repelling mosquitoes as well, so you can change the scent of your candles for some variety.
Making Your DIY Mosquito Candles
The technique used for making diy citronella candles is identical to my basic candle making. The only difference is that you will be using different essential oils with mosquito repellent properties. You can use them on their own, in combination with citronella, or any of the other oils.
To begin, you will need wax, a wick, a double boiler and essential oils. If you want to make pillar candles you will also need a mold, or you can opt for bucket candles similar to those sold in stores. Bucket candles are usually better because the wax remains in the container and it continues to permeate the air with the insect repelling essential oils.
As with other types of candles, you will need to use and prepare the mold or bucket with a wick suitable for the wax you will be using. For a large bucket you may want to think about using more than just one wick.
To make your own pillar citronella candle, thread the wick through the hole in the mold, and then seal the hole with mold seal, pressing it down firmly to prevent the wax from leaking out of the mold. Place a cocktail stick or pencil on the top of the mold and wind the wick around it; this will help to keep the wick in a central position.
For a DIY bucket candle or container candle, pour a tiny amount of melted wax in the bottom of the container, wait until its half set, then push the wick down into the wax.
Place the wax in a double boiler and heat to 180f (80c) add any dye you may be using along with your choice of essential oils.
Pour the wax into the mold. Making sure to keep the wick in place as you pour.
As paraffin wax cools it contracts and begins to sink, so once the wax is half set you will need to pierce the wax in several places. Then top up with more wax (heated to 180f (80f) if you are using a mold that you will need to remove your candle from, make sure you don’t go over the original line of wax.
A container or bucket candle made with paraffin wax will also need toping up, but you don’t need to worry about the wax being to cool or going over the sides of the original wax line.
Allow the citronella candle to harden for approximately a day and then it’s ready to burn.
Now you can relax in peace in your backyard. Light your diy citronella candles in the evenings to provide a lovely ambient feel to your yard and keep the insects away at the same time.
Candle Making Essential Oils to Repel Mosquitoes
The most frequently used essential oil in mosquito candles is citronella, which has a pleasant, citrus fragrance. Citronella is probably preferred because its insect repellent properties have been verified and confirmed by scientific research. However, this doesn’t mean that it is the only efficient essential oil you can use.
Other frequently used essential oils that have been used efficiently in DIY mosquito candles include clove, cedar wood, lavender, eucalyptus, peppermint, rosemary, lemongrass and rose geranium. You can mix and match these different fragrances to create your own signature mosquito candles to suit your preferences while still repelling insects.
For example, some people may want to avoid citronella because it also appears to repel cats. If you have cats in your home, they may not appreciate the smell and avoid coming near the house while your candle is burning.
Candlemaking is so much fun because of the freedom you have to experiment. Even if you can find recipes for different essential oil mixes, most of the fun is in creating your own.