Mosquitos and I have never gotten along.
I smack them with my hand every time I see them.
They swarm me like thirsty vampires meeting their first human in decades, and leave welts all over my body every time they see me.
Guess what, vampire insects – I have a new secret weapon. DIY, super-powerful, mosquito repelling, made ’em myself, citronella candles!
Here are the supplies you’ll need to take your next backyard BBQ from “bug buffet” to bug free:
Young Living Citronella Essential Oil
Young Living Purification Essential Oil
Double boiler or pot and glass measuring cup
Woodsies Craft Sticks
I repurposed my Wildtree spice jars for this project, but you could clean out and use glass containers from old candles or Mason jars. Make sure your jars are clean and completely dry before you begin.
To start, put a dab of super glue on the bottom of the wick tab and secure it to the bottom center of your glass jar. This will prevent your wick from floating up once you add the wax. To keep your wick centered while the wax dries, secure it with two sticks taped together at the ends. I used craft sticks that I had on hand, but you could also use chopsticks or wooden skewers. Trim your wick just above the sticks (for now).
Once your wicks are secured and trimmed, place jars on a cookie sheet and put them in your oven at its lowest setting (mine was 170 degrees) until the wax is ready to pour. Warm jars will help your wax cool evenly and will be less of a temperature shock to your glass when you pour the hot wax in.
I don’t have a double boiler, so I made my own out of a sauce pan and Pyrex glass measuring cup. Fill your cup with wax flakes and place inside a saucepan of water to heat the wax. Bring water to a boil over high heat and then reduce to medium-low and continue simmering until wax is completely melted.
I started out with 2 cups of wax flakes, which reduced (once melted) to 1 cup of melted wax. Once the wax was melted I added 10-15 drops of Young Living Citronella Essential Oil and 5-8 drops of Young Living Purification Essential Oil (per one cup of melted wax).
Once your wax is melted and the oils are stirred in, use a hot pad to remove your candle jars from the oven and your Pyrex from the sauce pan. Carefully pour the wax into your candle jars, filling them up to the lip of the jar. Ensure that your wick is still centered after your pour (adjust as needed by gently moving the sticks).
Cool your candles on a cooling rack. This might take a while depending on how large your candles are. I made several little candles and found that a one pound bag of wax flakes filled about 10 ounces worth of jars.
Once your candles are cooled, trim the wick to 1/4″ – 1/2″, light ’em up, and watch those annoying, bloodthirsty mosquitos flee your backyard! (Apologies to your neighbors.)
Now let’s talk about these oils – the magic ingredients! My friend Beth from Unskinny Boppy introduced me to Young Living Essential Oils. We’ve been using them around our home for about two months, and we’re hooked! The thing I like about Young Living Essential Oils versus other brands is that they are guaranteed to be undiluted, free of synthetic chemicals and 100% pure. These oils are powerful and effective and a little goes a long way!
Young Living’s Citronella Essential Oil is more powerful than “citronella-scented” candles you might buy in the store to repel mosquitos. These candles are made with synthetic chemicals and mimic a citronella scent, but do not disperse actual citronella oil – THAT’S what really keeps those bugs away! To give those pesky pests the one-two punch, I also added Young Living’s Purification Oil. Purification is an oil blend that cleanses and disinfects that air, neutralizing mildew, cigarette smoke and disagreeable odors. It also disinfects and cleanses cuts, scrapes, and bites from spiders, bees, hornets and wasps. It has many uses (I dapped it on a spot of acne and it cleared it right up) but for the purpose of these candles, I like that in addition to all this it also helps keep the bugs away!
If you’d like to try Young Living Essential Oils for yourself, please CLICK HERE to sign up to shop as a retail customer (it’s free!) and I will receive a credit for your purchase (at no additional charge to you). I’m also happy to answer any questions you have, so feel free to email me or ask them in the comments. Thank you!
UPDATE: I forgot to add! If you’re not familiar with using essential oils the price tag might shock you, so it’s important to mention that a little goes a long way, and these bottles last a long time. For example, 10 drops of Citronella Essential Oil per 1 cup of melted wax (which yielded 1.5 candles for me) breaks down to a total of $0.71 – that’s only 47 cents spent on 100% pure citronella per 3 oz candle. I used about 60-70 drops of Citronella for all of the candles I made and I still have a ton of oil left in my bottle for future use.
100% pure therapeutic grade Citronella Essential Oil (15 ml bottle/250 drops): $23.36 retail or $17.75 for Wholesale Members*.
Purification Essential Oil Blend (15ml bottle/250 drops): $24.67 retail or $18.75 for Wholesale Members*.
*Signing up as a Retail Customer is free and you can shop Young Living and pay retail prices. Another option is to sign up as a Wholesale Member (which requires the purchase of a starter kit; prices and products included vary) and you will receive products at a 24% discount. Please feel free to email me or comment below if you have any questions.
This post contains affiliate links.