Updated: Aug 24
Our candle shop wants to make a difference! We collect leftover wax from our customers, as well as use every little scrap of wax that’s left over from our candle making process.
Note: These are not the tealights we sell in our shop as gift sets. The recycled ones are given to our customers for free!
How it all began
My candle making journey started by recycling old candles. Sometimes, there is quite a lot of wax left over after the candle no longer burns. (It shouldn’t really be so, the candle maker needs to calibrate the candle as best as possible to minimize this. But that’s a topic for another time. Things do depend on how the customer treats the candle, too.) I hated to see the wax from used-up candles go, so I gradually taught myself to recycle the wax and reuse it.
Of course, if you put different types of leftover waxes together into one jar, you will hardly get an optimally functioning candle. Either, the candle starts tunneling and leaves wax on the sides of the jar. Or, and that's a worse scenario, the flame is too big and your jar gets too hot, which is a hazard. (It has happened to me once that my improvised candle jar cracked from the heat of flame keeling to one side. I had wax all over my cupboard. If you ever do candle recycling at home, always place your candles on an additional candle holder. Better safe than having to clean wax from all over your furniture.)
Recycled tealights are born
But back to our recycled tealights. Because I work primarily with beeswax, and beeswax is such a valued commodity in my shop, I wanted to find a way for people to not throw away beeswax left over from their used-up candles. That’s where the idea of customers being able to return my leftover wax in exchange for a better deal on their next order came from.
Before we get to that, there is one step you can undertake to minimise the amount left over from our Heart of Europe beeswax candles. Hugging them! I write about candle hugging here, so make sure you read the article. By doing this regularly, you will optimise the burning of your candles, and the amount of wax left at the end of the candle’s life will be smaller.
But yes, there will always be some wax left. You can return it to us and get a discount for your next order! If you live in Brussels, and pick up your candles in person, just send me an email or a Facebook or Instagram message letting me know you’ll be returning wax left over from our Heart of Europe Candles. I will send you a discount code back, which you can use for your next order!
The leftover wax will be recycled into beeswax tealights, which in turn go out as freebies with orders. You give back but also get back in return!
What else you need to know
If you’re not able to pick up your candles in person, I’d still encourage you to collect your leftover wax, and maybe send it back in a bubble envelope once every six months, when you accumulate a larger amount.
Also, you can return our candle jars to get the same discount on the next order! But with candle jars, there is another option still. You can have your candle jars refilled! This option is only available for customers who pick up their candles in person (unless you are willing to pay for shipping fees, which would be great!). You can read about it on our Candle care page, as well as on the actual Candle refill product page. I will also write a blog post on this topic in the near future.
And if you are not able to, or don’t want to return your candle jars, you can still clean them and repurpose them in your home. More information on how to do that is coming soon. So keep an eye on our blog!
Why do I take back only wax from Heart of Europe candles?
In short: I do not know how other waxes behave. Creating a candle is a mixture of art and science. There is a perfect combination of candle size, wick type and the type of wax (not only beeswax vs. rapeseed vs. paraffin, but actual wax type within these categories, each beeswax behaves differently according to what part of the hive it comes from, and how well it has been filtered, for example). Every time one variable changes, the candle needs to be retested.
But… I’m happy to accept your leftover wax if you really loathe to throw it out. I can offer nothing in return (apart from some recycled tealights and/or imperfect candles as freebies in your next order) but I can promise I will recycle it. Only, it will be for my own use, in a candle jar haphazardly thrown together from a mixture of various waxes. The candle will not burn optimally and will have to keep an eye on its behaviour (that’s why it cannot travel to your home). It will be used!