Grease Candles Experiment

I did it!  I actually made a candle from leftover cooking grease.  There are a lot of tweaks that need to be made to the process, but it worked.  Here’s what I did….

First I took 2 cups of left over grease

Put it into a pot with 2 cups of water

Melted it down until it was completely mixed together, then set it outside to cool off.

The next morning I had a lovely layer of clean grease on the top

I scraped/spooned off the cleaned grease and dumped the water and food particles into the “compost” pile.

My DIL-to-be and I twisted a metal coat hanger into spiral shapes to hold the wicks upright.

I cut two strips of paper towel 1 inch wide

Salt for the salt soak

Soaked the papertowel pieces in salt water for 10 minutes

Twisted the wet papertowel pieces into a wick shape and dried them in a 200 degree oven for 20 minutes

Soaked the dry wicks in oil for 20 minutes

Wrapped the wicks around the wire stands

Filled the jars with remelted grease


There are definately some things I would change in the process.  First, wire coat hangers are too hard to bend into a good spiral shape.  Hubby suggested bailing wire.  I’ll try that next time.  The wicks weren’t totally dry after only 20 minutes in the oven so I might increase that time to 25 minutes.  I’ll probably dissolve the salt for the saltwater soak in hot water so more of the salt can be absorbed by the wicks.  Then there is the smell.  I may try some essential oils in the grease to combat the smell.  I might also try mixing beeswax into the melted grease to make a firmer candle, although being in a jar it shouldn’t really matter.

So there is my most recent waste-not-want-not experiment.  All-in-all it turned out much better than I expected it would.  The process is simple enough, it just takes a little time to get the grease cleaned and re-solidified.  I think it’s definately something to leave in my Homesteading binder for a future time to try the tweaks I mentioned.

I will be linking to Hearts for Home, Proverbs 31 Thursdays, Simple Living Wednesday, Barn Hop


7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trudy
    Mar 05, 2012 @ 13:16:34

    Sounds like an awesome idea. I am going to have to try it. Thanks for sharing.


  2. Rose Petal
    Mar 14, 2012 @ 08:27:06

    Thanks so much for this sustainable ideas! Hope to try it.
    Rose Petal


  3. becky3086
    Mar 14, 2012 @ 20:18:00

    You basically made tallow but just not a very good tallow like beef fat grease would have made,– still a wondeful idea.


  4. Keni
    Mar 18, 2012 @ 05:15:27

    Try adding herby essential oils like oregano, thyme, and rosemary as opposed to floral or citrus scents which will not meld well with the “savory” scent of the grease.


  5. Amber Mueller
    Nov 15, 2014 @ 20:58:03

    Try using two clothes pins to hold the wick in place while the grease hardens, it worked great for us!


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