11 Surprising Uses for Old Candles

Whether we like the ambiance or we have some around in case of an emergency, pretty much everyone has a candle or two in her home. If you’re not the type to light them unless your power goes out, they may seem pretty useless for the rest of the year. But that’s totally not true — there are plenty of ways to repurpose candles! From waterproofing paper to cutting down on your energy bill, click through to check out great ways to reuse candles.


Around the House.

1. Unstick Drawers. Remove the sticky drawer and rub a candle along the runners. Put the drawer back in and open and close a few times to make sure it sets well.

2. Caulk Your Home. Candle wax is a cheap way to fill in gaps and holes around doors and windows, and save you money on your energy bill.

3. Quiet a Sticky Door. Sticky doors can drive you crazy! Remedy that by removing the door from its hinges, and rubbing a candle over the hinges.

4. Fix a Dent in Wood Furniture. Fill in chips and dents in furniture by rubbing a candle on the area, so the wax fills in the space. Next, use a furniture marker to match the color. Easy peasy!



5. Mend a Shoelace. Stop those fraying shoelaces in their tracks! Dip the ends in some melted candle wax and let dry.

6. Polish Your Shoes in a Pinch. Scuffed shoes? They’ll be good as new with some candle wax, canola oil, and a tin can. Click here for detailed instructions.

7. Fix a Zipper. Nothing is more annoying than a fussy zipper. Un zip the zipper and rub a candle along the teeth. Zip and unzip a few times to make sure it worked.


More Great Uses.

9. Prevent Tears While Cutting Onions. Can’t stand those teary eyes? Light a candle before you slice away.

10. Waterproof a Shipping Label. Shipping a package to Seattle? Rub a candle over the shipping label before taking it to the post office.

11. Waterproof a Recipe Card. Similarly, rubbing a candle along a recipe card will prevent the spills that happen all too often in the kitchen.

12. Repurpose as a Pin Cushion. Candles are a great way to keep pins handy.

11. Make Citronella Candles. These bug repelling candles can be pricey, so why not make your own with some leftover candles? Click here for instructions.


William C
William Cabout a year ago


W. C
W. Cabout a year ago

Thank you.

Sonia M
Sonia M1 years ago

Good tips thanks for sharing

Bea P.
Bea P5 years ago

Thanks, bookmarked it.

Yuliya Dalbunova
Yuliya Dalbunova5 years ago

Wonderful list of ways to re-use candles! Love the shoe polish item:)!!!

C R.
Chloe R5 years ago

Thanks :)

Kirsten Mcculloch

Wow, some great tips I didn't know there, thanks. I will definitely be trying the candle while cutting onions tip - I am *very* susceptible to onion fumes!

You can also use a white candle to draw on paper and then paint over the top for the white bits to show up. My kids love doing that, and make some pretty cool patterns. Batik on paper really.

Debbie Crowe
Debbie Crowe5 years ago

I'm putting a candle in the kitchen for the next time I cut onions, and to waterproof a recipe card from splotches! Thanks Katie!

Dee H.
Daphne H5 years ago

Great inspiration

Elizabeth Pugliese

I have to try the pincushion one.