Natural Bug-Repelling Citronella Mint Candles

Most DIYers know that citronella is a scent that repels mosquitos, but did you know that mint has been known to repel wasps? This is a tutorial on how to make your own outdoor candles to help ward off these pests so you can enjoy your afternoon picnics or summer-evening card playing on the patio.

A couple of things to know about homemade candle making are that you can reuse old candle bottoms and crayons; however, these items when melted can emit toxins through the gas released. If you do it this way, you’ll want to open up windows and turn on your fans.

We prefer 100 percent natural beeswax. There are no toxins in beeswax.

Home-Made Citronella Candles

Items Needed

  • 36 ounces beeswax
  • Waxed string for wick
  • 3 metal candle bottoms
  • 3 8-ounce glass or metal containers—you can even use old soup cans as sturdy outdoor candle holders
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint essential oil
  • 1 teaspoon citronella oil


  1. In a double boiler, melt the beeswax down to a liquid.
  2. Measure out the wick string for your containers and add on three to four inches. Cut three pieces this same size.
  3. Pull the wick through the metal candle bottom to the tip. Tie the other end around a pen or stick. Repeat on the other two strings.
  4. Place the wick bottoms in the containers and use the stick or pen to balance the wick straight down the center of the container.
  5. Remove the beeswax from heat and stir in citronella and mint oils.
  6. Pour the beeswax into the containers, around the wick, so the wick stays centered.
  7. When the pouring is done, double-check the wick placement and adjust as needed so they’re in the center of the candles.
  8. Allow to cool, dry and harden—approximately 3 hours.
  9. When dry, remove the string from the stick and trim the wick to about 1/2 to 3/4 inch above the wax.
  10. Now they’re ready for use!
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