In the summer, we spend a lot of time outside. We live on a farm, so there are a lot of mosquitoes, flies, and other bugs. We have a few ponds on the property, so we can barely sit outside without having to swat mosquitoes all evening! I used to burn citronella candles, but they kept tunneling because I didn't burn them long enough for the wax to melt. I decided to make wax melts so I can burn them for as long as we need them, whether it be half an hour or several hours.
Bug Repellent Candle Melts
First, I assembled my ingredients. I used soy wax flakes, Insect Repellent essential oil blend, a silicone mold, and stearic acid. The soy wax that I used was for containers only, so it would be too soft to make wax melts. I added some stearic acid to make it harder so it would pop out of the molds.
I made a double boiler with a heat proof glass measuring cup set on canning rings inside a larger pot. I added 8 ounces by weight of wax flakes and 3 tablespoons of stearic acid and heated on medium until it melted.
It will seem like it takes forever to melt, but once it gets started, it goes quickly.
Once it was all melted, I turned off the heat and carefully moved the melted wax to the counter and set on a hot pad. You'll need to use hot pads for this. The glass will be hot!
I let it cool for about 10 minutes before I added 2.5 mL of essential oils. If you add the oils when it's too hot, they will burn off. Then stir for several minutes.
I used a premade blend of lemon eucalyptus, citronella, lemongrass, lavender, and cedar wood. I like the Bug Fighter blend from Simply Earth.
I prefer to use silicone molds for my wax melts because they pop out easier. You can use any heat safe container or even reuse the clamshells that you buy tarts in. You just want to make sure that your cubes are about 1-1.5 inches cubed.
I let the wax cool completely. Then unmold it and let it sit for at least 24 hours. Waiting a week or two is best.
Next time you're outside pop one in your burner and wait a few minutes for the oils to waft through the air. We have a decent sized patio, and this gets rid of most of the bugs in about 10 minutes.
For more tips and how much essential oil to use, check out the blog post.