How to Use a Candle When the Wick Is Gone

how to use a candle when the wick is gone

All good things must come to end and that includes your favorite candles… or does it? With a little creativity and ingenuity, you can still get a little mileage out of your candles once the wick has said goodbye. Today we’ll talk about this in-depth and tell you how to use a candle when the wick is gone. 

When the wick is gone from your candle, you can re-purpose the wax as a car air freshener, use it as a doorstop, or safely-seal wine bottles just to name a few uses for the discarded wax. You can even whip up some makeshift wicks and we’ll tell you a little bit about that today as well! 

While you could just store away the wax for melting and making another candle later, sometimes it’s a little more fun to play with the wax and find some great, new uses to put the wax to.  

What Do You Do When a Candle Wick Is Gone? 

When a candle wick is gone then you’ve got a few choices about what you can do with the remaining wax. You don’t want to waste it, of course, so if you like making candles then you can simply store away the wax to use again for a new candle. 

That’s not the only option, of course, as your second choice is to simply repurpose the wax in order to get a little more mileage out of it. There are actually a large number of creative ways to do this, which we’ll cover in the next section. 

Finally, you can always replace the wick and there are even a few makeshift methods when it comes to doing this. After we go through repurposing your wax, we’ll detail some of the makeshift wick options that can help you to get the most out of your favorite candles. 

What Can I Use Instead of a Wick? 

If you’d rather reuse your old candle by whipping up a wick, then we’ve got some excellent suggestions to allow you to do just that. Making up wicks is surprisingly simple and while they won’t be as good as commercial wicks, in most cases, they can definitely do the job when you need them! 

Whipping up Wood-Wicks 

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You might have heard that a toothpick works as a wick in a pinch but you can take it a step further with a bundle of balsa-wood sticks. To use this method, soak your sticks in olive oil for about 20 minutes and then take them out and press them between some paper towels. 

This will soak up some excess oils, but if you prefer you can also simply set them out on top of the paper towels and simply let them dry on their own. Once they have dried, you can poke them into your remaining candle-mass and the olive oil should help them to burn more evenly and give you a little more candle time. 

To check the current price and availability of wooden candle wicks, click here to view the listing on Amazon.

Butcher’s Twine and Borax 

You can make your own wicks with this little recipe, which just calls for some butcher’s twine or cotton cord, salt, borax, and a little simmering water. 

Put 1 cup of water in a pan and bring it to a light simmer, rather than a full boil. Once it’s simmering, then pour it into a safe container and add 1 tablespoon of salt, along with 3 tablespoons of borax, and dissolve these well in your water. 

Consider a facemask and make sure no kid or pets are in the area for this part of the process, as the borax scents are mildly toxic at this point of the process. 

Once you’ve dissolved the borax and salt, put your cotton cord or your butcher’s twine into the water and let it soak for about 24 hours. Don’t worry about cutting it yet, just let the uncut cord soak and you can cut it to length later. 

After 24 hours, hang up your threads with a clothes hanger or with a clothespin for each thread and give them 2 to 3 days so that they dry up completely. Finally, heat up a little wax and dip each thread into the wax to give them a thin coat and suspend your threads with clothespins so that they dry up straight. 

A little aluminum foil underneath can catch any drippy wax so that cleanup is a breeze. Cut your new wicks to length and try them with a few candles. The borax-treated cotton or butcher’s twine should burn brightly and quite evenly to boot! 

How Can I Reuse a Candle Without a Wick? 

Wax is a super useful substance, so you don’t just have to recycle it into your next candle if you don’t want to. Don’t believe us? Well, here are some practical and creative uses for your candlewax that you might not have considered.  

Give one or more of these a try the next time that you have a little extra wax and you can see its usefulness for yourself! 

Plugging up Holes 

Candlemakers can save a lot of money on caulk, as it turns out. The next time that you see a breach in a window seal or another tiny hole somewhere that you want to seal up and waterproof in the bargain, then consider sealing it with a little melted wax or a tiny ball you’ve shaped and shoved in place. 

It works a treat and if you don’t like the look (it’s kind of charming, really), then you can simply paint a little over it once it’s safely dry. 


If you want a little extra waterproofing then wax certainly works quite well at this and has been used for a long time for exactly this purpose. Viking drinking horns, for instance, often had a wax coat inside so that this bovine-beverage glass was well-suited for drinking beverages without giving everything the yucky taste of horn. 

On a more practical side, subbing some wax into your snow-shovel gives it an extra layer of waterproofing protection and you can even rub some wax into leather shoes. It keeps them shiny and helps to keep the weather out of them so that you can enjoy having dry feet and new-looking shoes for a long, long time. 

Sealing Envelopes With Style 

You’ve seen in it movies and some of your favorite fantasy and historical shows… sealing envelopes with wax. It looks amazing and it’s a great way to add a little extra zing to party invitations. 

Hop on eBay and you can even search for ‘signet rings’ or ‘sealing rings’ and find a number of cheap rings that you can press into warm wax to seal your envelope while pressing in an interesting design in the bargain. It’s fun, easy, and a very cool way to use that wax once your wick has bid you adieu. 

Air Freshener 

Your scented candles aren’t suddenly useless now that the wick has gone. Take some pretty lumps of scented wax and put them in hidden places around your vehicle and you’ve got an air freshener that keeps going and going for a very long time. 

When the car heats up, scent gets released, and over time you’ve got a lovely scent pervading your car. Just be sure to pick something that you’ll want to smell all the time or this little plan might just backfire on you! 

Wax up Your Door Hinges 

Do your doors squeak like they came out of a horror movie? Unless you intend to keep that feature as an old-fashioned form of security, why not apply a little wax to your hinges? Rubbing wax in your door hinges can take away that telltale squeak without having to resort to oil. 

Your doors will open smoothly and silently and if you’re the playful sort, your spouse will never hear you coming until you’re right behind them and shouting ‘Boo!’. 

Pincushion Duty 

Find a small piece of spare wood and pour a goodly amount of wax on it and you’ve got a proper pincushion ready-made. You can also have a little fun with it, using more than one expired candle so that you can have layers of color in your new, waxy pincushion! 

Final Thoughts

This concludes our article on what you can do with your candle wax once your wick has waved its goodbyes. As you can see, there are a number of ways to make use of your wax that don’t limit you to candles alone. 

Today we have just touched the surface, of course, but now you know a few of it’s uses then we hope that you will have a little fun with it. See what else you can do with that extra wax that you have at home and you might well surprise yourself. 

It’s a fun little exercise that can help you vent creatively and best of all, when you run out of uses, you can simply collect up that wax, melt it down, and whip up a gorgeous new candle. 

It’s a win-win situation, no matter how you look at it! 

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