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12 Weird but Useful Ways to Use Candles in Your Home

Candles can do a whole lot more than just light up a room and help make a space feel cozy. Put some of that candle wax to use with these 12 weird, but useful hacks.

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Family Handyman

Waterproof Mail

Make sure your mail gets to the right place by using candle wax to waterproof addresses. Just rub the candle over the text and it will be waterproof. This trick also works for your favorite recipes if they are on index cards. Here’s how to remove wax from carpet in three easy steps.

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fire Soloviova Liudmyla/Shutterstock

Make a Fire Starter

You can use leftover candle wax to make fire starters and keep them on hand for your next backyard cookout or camping trip. Just take an empty cardboard egg carton, some lint from the clothes dryer and a few ends of candles. Place the dryer lint in each cup of the egg carton, then melt the candle wax. Pour the melted wax in each cup of the carton so the lint gets covered. The wax solidifies and allows you to tear the cups apart. When you’re ready for a fire, light the torn edge of the cup and the fire will start burning. Just toss one or two in your prepared fire pit and you’ll have a fire in minutes. Build your own DIY backyard fire pit.

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shoveling snowMarkik/Shutterstock

Help with Snow Shoveling

Before you head out to shovel snow this winter, just rub some candle wax on your snow shovel. This will make the snow slide right off. These 10 great snow and ice removal hacks will make winter a bit easier.

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Loosen Sticking Drawers

Have a kitchen drawer that sticks? Use some candle wax to help loosen it up and make it glide easier along the tracks. Check out this guide for details on using candle wax to loosen sticky drawers.

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Family Handyman

Lubricate Screws

Just rub some wax onto screw threads and it will make them easier to drive. Keep an old candle in your workshop and you’ll save lots of time removing stripped or busted screws. Try these 15 revolutionary techniques for driving screws.

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flame Marina Biryukova/Shutterstock

Predict the Weather

According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, a candle can help you predict the weather. If you blow out a lit candle and the wick smolders longer than usual, that means rain is on the way. If the wick extinguishes quickly, expect fair weather. Here are 81 severe weather survival tips every homeowner must know.

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bedSompetch Khanakornpratip/Shutterstock

Stop a Squeaky Door

Have a door that makes an annoying squeaking sound when it opens or closes and you’re out of WD-40? Take the door off the hinges and rub the hinges with a candle. The wax will keep the components from rubbing together and squeaking. Here are 22 brilliant ways to use WD-40 around the home.

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towelRene Jansa/Shutterstock

Fight Mold and Mildew

Try rubbing your shower grout with a white candle. This will help prevent mold and mildew from growing, and will ward off with other stains as well. Learn how to repair cracked grout.

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shoeAaron Amat/Shutterstock

Fix a Shoelace

Stop a fraying shoelace with candle wax! Just dip the end of the shoelace in melted candle wax and it will harden up and stop the fraying. Learn how to make an emergency candle out of toilet paper and butter!

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bag ang intaravichian/Shutterstock

Unstick Zippers

Free a stuck zipper with an old candle. Just rub the candle on the zipper teeth before you unzip it and it will work smoothly. Discover how to make beeswax candles in glass yogurt jars.

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Stop the Tears

Does cutting onions make you cry? Next time, light a candle near your workspace before you start chopping onions and the candle flame will absorb some of the fumes, making it easier to work. There’s a good chance you’re storing these 10 foods all wrong.

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Cosmetic Fix for Furniture

If you have a small dent in a piece of wood furniture, fill it in with a little melted candle wax. When it hardens, go over it with a furniture repair marker. Try these additional fast furniture fixes.

Rachel Brougham
Rachel Brougham lived through a major home renovation in 2019, knows the ups and downs of home improvement, and loves sharing tips with readers. A veteran journalist of both print and television, she’s won several awards for her writing and has covered everything from the environment and education to health care, politics and food. She’s written for several publications beyond newspapers including Bob Vila, Taste of Home and Minnesota Parent, and she currently writes a weekly syndicated newspaper column. Her memoir, Widowland, about the sudden loss of her husband, was published in 2022. She specializes in everything from home decor and design to lawn and garden, product reviews and pet care. When she’s not writing, you can usually find her tending to her garden (both vegetables and native plants), playing with her dog, watching sports with her family or getting some exercise. A native of Michigan, she currently lives in Minneapolis. An avid user of Instagram, you can follow her @RachBrougham.