Sunny lemon scented candles are sure to brighten your day! The all-natural citrus candle is made with soy wax plus lemon essential oil and has a refreshing crisp scent. This lemon candle DIY includes different lemon blends and lots of tips for the best smelling lemon candles.

lemon scented candle

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Homemade lemon scented candle

Lemon scented candles are one of my all-time favorite candles! The scent is so invigorating + uplifting and makes you feel energized and focused. Burning a lemon candle instantly fills any room with positivity and good vibes.

Over the years, I’ve lit my way through Yankee Candle’s Sicilian Lemon, Bath & Body Works Sugared Lemon, and the Meyer lemon candle from Williams Sonoma. I love them all. But guess what’s missing? A homemade lemon candle. Time to rectify that!

My lemon candle is made with soy wax and has a delicious lemon scent that will refresh your home and lighten your mood. Pouring your own candles is an incredibly satisfying craft. And it’s so easy to do! You only need a handful of materials, and the active time is less than 30 minutes.

Loving all things lemony? Be sure to check out some of my other DIYs that feature this zesty scent, like citrus wax sachets,  homemade room spray, homemade citrus soap, lemon sugar scrub, and this lavender lemon honey soap.

hot to make lemon scented candles

What are lemon candles good for?

Lemon essential oil is a staple in aromatherapy. The oil has a highly aromatic citrus aroma with a zesty, tangy bite to its scent. Lemon candles can have these potential benefits:

  • Cleansing: Lemon EO has purifying properties and is great for deterring unpleasant odors. I love using my lemon soy candle as a kitchen candle to remove cooking smells.
  • Uplifting: The oil can help to relieve stress and reduce anxiety, according to studies.
  • Mood-boosting: Smelling the scent of lemons has a mood-improving effect.
  • Increase focus: The scent of lemon is energizing and can help to sharpen mental focus.
  • Calming: Some also find the lemon scent calming and grounding.
  • Ease nausea: Another study of pregnant women found that lemon EO may decrease morning sickness and nausea symptoms.
diy lemon candle materials

Materials for lemon soy candle

To maximize the enjoyment of your DIY lemon candle, don’t skimp on good-quality materials. High-quality candle wax and pure, undiluted lemon oil are essential to achieve the best smelling lemon candles. Here’s your shopping list:

  • Lemon essential oil is the star of the show! The oil is made from real citrus fruits and gives the most authentic lemon scent. I recommend cold-pressed lemon essential oil for a zesty, crisp scent or lemon essence oil for a sweet, fruity aroma.
  • Soy wax: Golden Brands 646 soy wax is my go-to wax for candle making. The 646 is an excellent choice for container candles and holds a lot of scent.
  • Cotton wick: A pre-tapped cotton wick is a convenient option for DIY candles.
  • Yellow candle dye (optional) lends the lemon scented candle a soft, pastel hue. Skip the coloring if you prefer a white candle.
  • Heatproof glass container: A heat-resistant glass jar is an excellent vessel for homemade candles. I used a textured glass tumbler that adds a bit of ambiance as the candle burns.

Candle making supplies

You’ll also want to gather the following supplies:

  • Melting pot to melt the soy wax
  • Spoon for stirring
  • Hot glue gun to secure the wick to the candle container
  • Wick holder to keep the wick in place as the wax cools
  • Scissors to clip the wick
lemon essential oil candle

Essential oil lemon candle

You can absolutely scent your DIY soy candle with 100% pure lemon essential oil. It will give you the strongest possible lemon scent. But lemon essential oil also combines well with a multitude of other oils to set any mood.

Here are 6 delectable blends that are a fun take on classic lemon scented candles:

  • Lemon citrus candle: Lemon essential oil complements all other oils of the citrus family, like orange, tangerine, mandarin, grapefruit, lime, yuzu, or bergamot. You can combine them at any ratio you like. I recommend starting with 1 drop of 2 to 3 oils and build your own citrus blend from there.
  • Lavender lemon candle: 110 drops lemon + 70 drops lavender
  • Lemon eucalyptus candle: 130 drops lemon + 50 drops eucalyptus
  • Verbena lemon candle: 120 drops verbena + 60 drops lemon
  • Lemon mint leaf candle: 90 drops lemon + 90 drops peppermint
  • Lemon pound cake candle: 90 drops vanilla botanical extract + 60 drops lemon + 30 drops copaiba oleoresin

How to make the lemon scent last longer

Lemon smells very revitalizing and uplifting, but the scent doesn’t linger around after you blow out the candle. That’s because lemon is a top note.

In perfumery, top note refers to the first impression of a fragrance. Although top notes are initially dominant, they tend to dissipate quickly.

A fixative can help top notes last longer. Fixatives are oils that slow down the evaporation rate of other, more volatile oils.

The following EOs can act as fixatives and blend well with lemon:

To make the lemon scent last a little longer, scent your candle with 150 drops lemon essential oil plus 30 drops of fixative oil. Lemon will still be the dominant aroma, just longer lasting and with a delicate undertone.

how to make lemon candle

How to make lemon candles

Step 1: Prep container

  • Wipe your candle container with a cotton cloth to ensure it’s clean and dust-free.
  • Using a hot glue gun, apply a drop of hot glue to the bottom of the wick tap. Then firmly press the wick in the center of the candle container to secure it in place. Set aside.

Step 2: Measure wax

  • Measure out the wax on scales or using measuring cups. You need 8 oz, which equals 2 1/2 cups.

Step 3: Melt wax

  • Place the soy wax and yellow candle dye into a pouring pot.
  • Warm over low heat on the stove until the wax is fully melted.

Step 4: Scent

  • Take the wax off the heat once completely melted.
  • Add the lemon essential oil and stir 30 to 40 times to bind the wax and oil together.

Step 5: Pour lemon candle

  • Pour the melted wax into the prepared candle container.
  • Use the wick holder to keep the wick in the center of the candle.

Step 6: Cool and cure

  • Allow the candle to set at room temperature.
  • For the most potent scent, let the candle cure overnight. The essential oil and wax bind together during the curing process, and you’ll get a more even, intense scent throw.

Step 7: Light

  • Before lighting your lemon candle DIY for the first time, trim the wick to 1/4 in / 6 mm.
  • Place the candle on a heat-resistant surface and let burn until the entire surface of the candle has melted.
homemade lemon candle

Lemon candle DIY FAQ

What does a lemon essential oil candle smell like real lemon?

Yes, a candle scented with lemon essential oil smells like a natural lemon. Lemon essential oil is one of the most authentic and true-to-life smelling oils. It’s very concentrated and has an incredibly refreshing fragrance.

My lemon candles have a fragrance load of 4%. That means the candle is made up of 4% lemon essential oil. This ratio gives you a strongly scented lemon candle.

If you find that scented candles give you a headache, you could go even lighter and reduce the fragrance amount to 2% (90 drops.)

What is the best lemon essential oil for candles?

Lemon essential oil is made in 2 different ways: steam distillation and cold extraction. Plant Therapy also offers a unique lemon essence oil.

  • Cold-pressed lemon essential oil has a strong, zesty citrus aroma that is refreshing and energizing. The oil is made from the citrus peel via a cold-pressed extraction method.
  • Steam distilled lemon essential oil smells similar to cold process lemon oil and is created by steam distilling lemon peel.
  • Lemon essence oil is made from the oil phase of lemon juice during the juicing process. The essence oil features the typical intense lemon scent but with a pronounced fruity note.

So, which is best for making lemon scented candles?

While all 3 oils work perfectly to create candles, cold-pressed lemon essential oil is my first choice. For one, it’s a bit cheaper than steam distilled. Cold pressing also preserves more of the citrus peel’s aromatic compounds, thus giving you a richer smell.

I also love the fruitier smell of lemon essence oil and think it’s an excellent option, too.

Can you put fresh lemon in candles?

No, please stick to lemon essential oil or lemon fragrance oil. No part of fresh lemons is suitable for candle making, neither the juice nor the zest.

Can you use lemon juice to scent candles?

Absolutely not! Adding a watery liquid like lemon juice to melted wax will ruin the wax. It’s also quite dangerous to pour a cold liquid into hot wax. It’s a similar reaction to adding cold water to hot oil: The juice will vaporize instantly into hot steam, and the hot wax will splash everywhere. Please don’t do it!

Can you use citrus peels in candles?

You could infuse soy wax with citrus peel, but I don’t recommend it. I’ve tried to infuse soy wax with big pieces of citrus peel, but the oils in the peel are too weak to fragrance the wax. Plus, you must remove the citrus peel before pouring the candle – otherwise, you’re risking a fire hazard. Not worth the effort!

Can you put dried lemons in candles?

No, putting dried lemon slices in candles is a fire hazard. When you light the candle, the dried citrus slice will catch fire. However, you can decorate the outside of the candle container with a piece of dried lemon.

lemon scented candles

Candle care

How to store DIY lemon candles

To retain the scent, store your homemade lemon candle in a cooler place. Heat will release the fragrance, and the warmer they get, the more scent will diffuse.

I like to store my candle wrapped in tissue paper or plastic wrap in a cabinet. Wrapping the candle helps to hold the scent.

How long do lemon candles last?

Lemon essential oil has a shelf life of 9 months to 1 year. I recommend you burn your candle within that time frame for the best scent.

More soy candle recipes

Want more soy candle-making tutorials? Then have a look at my other essential oil candle recipes:

Yield: 1 8-oz / 225 g lemon soy candle

Lemon Candle Recipe

lemon scented candle

Sunny lemon scented candles are sure to brighten your day! The all-natural citrus candle is made with soy wax plus lemon essential oil and has a refreshing crisp scent. This lemon candle DIY includes different lemon blends and lots of tips for the best smelling lemon candles.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cure Time 12 hours
Total Time 12 hours 30 minutes
Difficulty easy

Materials

Instructions

  1. Prep container. Wipe your candle container with a cotton cloth to ensure it's clean and dust-free. Using a hot glue gun, apply a drop of hot glue to the bottom of the wick tap. Then firmly press the wick in the center of the candle container to secure it in place. Set aside.
  2. Measure wax. Measure out the wax on scales or using measuring cups. You need 8 oz, which equals 2 1/2 cups.
  3. Melt wax. Place the soy wax and yellow candle into a pouring pot. Warm over low heat on the stove until wax is fully melted.
  4. Scent. Take the wax off the heat once completely melted. Add the lemon essential oil and stir 30 to 40 times to bind the wax and oil together.
  5. Pour lemon candle. Pour the melted wax into the prepared candle container. Use the wick holder to center the wick in the center of the candle.
  6. Cool and cure. Allow the candle to set at room temperature. For the strongest scent, let the candle cure overnight. During the curing process, the essential oil and wax bind together, and you'll get a more even, intense scent throw.
  7. Light. Before lighting your lemon candle DYI for the first time, trim the wick to 1/4 in / 6 mm. Place the candle on a heat-resistant surface and let burn until the whole surface of the candle has melted.

Notes

Safety recommendations

Please follow these safety tips when burning your DIY soy candle to prevent fire and accidents:

  • Light the candles only on heat-resistant, straight surfaces (stone, metal).     
  • Never leave a burning candle unattended, and don't light it near flammable objects.      
  • Always allow the wax to harden before re-igniting, moving, or touching the candle.        
  • Take extra precautions when children or pets are present.       
  • Don't extinguish the candle with water.

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