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Midland Living Magazine

Homemade Bug Repellent Mason Jar Candles

These homemade “Bug Away” essential oil candles are so simple. It’s really just placing lemons, limes, and rosemary inside a mason jar, topping with water and essential oils.

But wow, are they pretty!  The flickering light that they give off at night is so soothing and relaxing. You might want to make up a few of these even if you don’t have a bug problem!

Here is what you will need ...

  • 16 or 20 ounce mason jars  (or whatever size  jars you have – they will pretty much all work)
  • water
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 lime 
  • a few sprigs of rosemary
  • essential oil 
  • floating candles or tea lights with the metal casing removed


How to make mosquito repellent candles

Step 1: Slice one lemon and one lime into 1/4 inch slices

Step 2:  You can either add the essential oils to the water now 

or wait to add the essential oils to each mason jar later after you’re poured in the water either way seems to work fine.

You want to add about 10 drops of essential oil to each 16-20 oz mason jar. If making 3 candles, you would add 30 drops to 5 cups of water.

Here are some essential oils that are great at keeping away mosquitoes, flies, gnats, and other bugs.

Use one oil, use one of the blend recipes below, or you can make your own combination.

  • citronella essential oil
  • lemon eucalyptus essential oil
  • lemongrass essential oil
  • lavender essential oil
  • geranium essential oil
  • eucalyptus essential oil
  • peppermint essential oil
  • spearmint essential oil


bug repellent essential oil blend #1

20 drops lemon eucalyptus essential oil

10 drops geranium essential oil


bug repellent essential oil blend #2

15 drops lemongrass essential oil

7 drops lavender essential oil

7 drops geranium essential oil


bug repellent essential oil blend #3

15 drops citronella essential oil

7 drops lavender essential oil

7 drops spearmint essential oil


bug repellent essential oil blend #4

12 drops eucalyptus essential oil

12 drops lavender essential oil

6 drops spearmint essential oil


Step 3:  Now you start building your candles – start by placing a sprig or two or rosemary in each mason jar


Step 4:  Layer in two slices of lime and two slices of lemon, placing some slices flat in the jar and others standing upright



Step 5:  Fill jars with water, leaving about 1 inch at the top of the jars for the candles



Step 6:  Place a candle in each jar and light – that’s it.  Super easy, beautiful, and best of all, they keep the bugs away!


 How to use mosquito repellent candles.

  • BE SURE TO USE STANDARD CANDLE SAFETY — Place jars on a sturdy surface where they won’t get knocked over, make sure that they’re far enough away from drapes, fabrics and other flammable things, and make sure that young kiddos and pets can’t reach them
  • set them outside
  • light them
  • replace candles as needed — have extras on hand.  Each candle may only last an hour or two.
  • fruit/rosemary/water should last for a couple days.  When using a second night, I refresh the bug repelling power by adding a few more drops of essential oil to each jar.
  • After 2-3 days when the lemons and limes have wilted, dump out the jars, wash them up, and make fresh candles.  Super simple!
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