I have been experimenting with making candles; you can see some of my tips in previous posts. This time I thought I would have a try at making mosquito repellent candles. Usually the candles you buy for this purpose are made with citronella, but I didn’t have any citronella oil and frankly I don’t really like the smell.
I knew other essential oils have insect and mosquito repellent properties and wondered if I had any that I could put together that would be a nicer combination than citronella. Peppermint, lemon, eucalyptus, lemongrass, geranium, cedarwood, tea tree, neem, camphor and lavender are all said to repel mosquitoes and other bugs. I had some peppermint and camphor oils that I had bought on a holiday in Egypt some years ago for muscle pain relief and thought I would try these for an alternative use in bug control.
- Camphor is a waxy, white or transparent substance extracted from the wood of the Camphor Laurel tree found in Asia. It is a natural mosquito repellent and has lots of medicinal uses. Camphor relieves nasal congestion and coughs when rubbed on the chest as an oil and is used as an ingredient in throat lozenges and cough syrups or in Vicks. Camphor is also used in some anti-itch ointments, creams and cooling gels because it is can be absorbed through skin and is effective at treating pain locally. It has an analgesic effect which makes it a favorite oil to be used in pain relieving massage blends for sore muscles and arthritic pain.
- Peppermint is the herb Mentha piperita and its leaves are commonly used as a tea to aiding digestion. Other uses of peppermint leaves include the treatment of insomnia, headaches, nervousness, morning sickness, colic, muscle spasms, rheumatism, motion sickness, fevers and colds. When added to hot water, the menthol-rich vapors are inhaled to relieve congestion. Peppermint oil is sometimes added to cough lozenges to soothe the throat during a cold. When applied topically, the oil is believed to relieve sore muscles and joints, and to soothe dry, itchy skin. Peppermint is commonly used as a flavouring or scent in many different products, and it also a great bug repellent.
You can refer to my Candle Making Tips for more detail of the process:
- got the right wax for making container candles: Soy Wax GW464
- selected my jars: 3 x ~66ml frosted candle jars with lids
- measured the fill volume of my candle jars: 3 x 66 = 200ml
- calculated that for 10% fragrance load I will need: 200ml x 10% = 20ml fragrance
- selected my desired fragrance: Peppermint and Camphor
- decided on ratio of 15ml peppermint and 5ml camphor
- calculated the amount of wax flakes I will need: 200ml – 20ml = 180ml x 0.83 = 150g wax flakes
- measured the width of my candle jars: 45mm
- selected the appropriate wick for that width: CN6 wick
Now it is relatively simple to make my candle using The Candle Maker that does everything for me – see my previous post for more information on this gadget and how it works.
I am loving the smell of these candles – so much nicer than citronella and seem to be just as effective at repelling mosquitoes.