Pouring candles - refillable, ceramic candles being made

The Art of Candle Refilling: A Step Towards a Greener Future

Candle refilling is a sustainable way of buying a new scented candle, but how does it work and why is it more sustainable?

Britain is a candle-loving nation and according to a study by Vend, we have been buying more and more candles since 2014 and our candle habit looks set to keep growing for the foreseeable. All that is great news for us candle lovers. But there is a downside. For every scented candle, there’s an empty candle pot. And though the pots can be repurposed for myriad things, there’s only so many toothbrush holders you really need. 

Why refilling candles is a better option than recycling.

Depending on the source, it's estimated anywhere between 360 million and 2 billion candle pots are thrown away each year in the UK. Either way, that’s a lot of pots. 

And, while recycling is great in theory, we as consumers have watched as our waste we sent for recycling has ended up in landfill halfway around the world. Plus, reuse is always a better option than recycling. Recycling uses energy to break down the waste and then re-make it into something new. The whole process often uses more energy than was used to create the original product. Reuse saves all that, allowing the original product to keep being used again and again and, if it’s made well in the first place, to continue being used for a lifetime and beyond. 

Refillable candles are the most sustainable option.

Enter refillable candles. When we launched Great House Farm Stores, making our candles in refillable pots seemed like the obvious solution to the problem of candle pot waste. Refillable candles mean you don’t have to compromise the scented candle experience - you can keep buying beautifully scented candles, but without the waste - you have a pot for life that can be refilled again and again and again. 

Every little helps.

As environmental issues become more and more of a concern and sustainable living something more and more of us aspire to, it's those small lifestyle changes and choices we make that can add up to really make a difference. Refillable products are starting to become more available across different categories - you can now buy refillable versions of all kinds of household products, so why not refill your candles too?

What are the most sustainable candles?

Buying sustainable candles in the first place is a great small step toward a greener future. Consider things like ingredients - can you find candles that use plant based ingredients? Provenance is also really important. Buying candles that have been made in the UK means less transportation and a smaller carbon footprint. Packaging is also a big part of the products we buy. Is the packaging plastic-free? Is it recycled? And recyclable? 

Can any candle be refilled?

Within reason, any old candle pot can be refilled. As long as the container is heat safe and watertight, it can be refilled with a brand new candle. This is not only great news for the environment, it’s great news for candle lovers. All those beautiful empty candle pots you can’t bear to throw away? They can be refilled with new candles and enjoyed all over again. 

Pioneering candle refills.

Every single candle we’ve sold since March ‘21 is refillable with our Pillar Refill candles. We designed our Pillar Refills to be a simple, clean and sustainable way to refill your candles again and again. Just choose your scent, order your refill, and when the post arrives, unwrap your refill and pop it in your empty candle pot. 

For any other candle pot, we offer our Poured Refill service. Keep reading to find out more…

Candle refilling: a bespoke service. 

Refilled candles are just like new candles, but made especially for you. You choose the pot and you choose the scent to create a candle totally unique to you. Here at GHFS we offer all of our Original Scent Recipes as candle refills, so you can choose any scent from our Aromatherapy, Signature, and Seasons of Life ranges, or even one of our limited edition Seasons scents. So depending on your preference, what scent you’re craving, or the time of year, you can create a unique, completely bespoke candle. 

You can explore our range of scents here

So, how does candle refilling work?

When you send us a candle pot to be refilled, we make sure it’s clean and free of any debris, we check it’s watertight and safe to be refilled. Then we mix the precise blend of oils for our Original Scent Recipe you’ve chosen with our vegan wax and pour your candle with an organic cotton wick. After the candle has set and cured, we package it up in plastic free packaging and send it back to you. You send us an empty candle pot and, a little over a week later, voilà - you get a brand new candle!

If you already own a GHFS candle pot, you can refill it by ordering one of our easy Pillar Refills, which you simply drop in. 

The art of candle refilling.

Refilling candles is something of an art. Every candle pot is slightly different, which means every refill is different. To ensure the candle is filled properly, it is essential the quantities of wax and oil are calculated correctly. And to ensure the candle has a clean and safe burn, the type, size, number and placement of wicks is crucial. With refilling candles, there’s no practice run, so it has to be right the first time! 

We’ve been refilling candles since we launched in early 2021 and have refilled everything from tiny votive sized candles to huge statement candles weighing in at 1.2kg. With copious testing and keeping records of each refill order, we can ensure our refills will burn safely and burn well. 

Three refilled metal candle containers

Refillable candles make great eco-friendly gifts. 

Candle refilling is not only a great way to reuse your empty candle pots, it’s also the perfect way to give someone a totally unique, and sustainable gift. 

Gifting a refillable candle to a family member or friend is a lovely way to give something that will last a lifetime. Your loved one will be able to refill their gift time and time again and each refill is a chance to remember how much they are loved and the occasion when they received the candle. 

We don’t just refill empty candle pots. If you’ve got a container that’s sentimental or holds special meaning for you and a loved one, it’s possible we can pour a candle into it - as long as it’s heat safe and watertight, it’s quite possible we can refill it! This is a lovely way to create a meaningful gift and give new life to something that’s been well-loved.

How to care for your refillable candle and make sure it lasts even longer.

To make sure you get the most out of your refilled candle and it lasts as long as possible, there are things you can do to take good care of it. From ensuring a good first burn to avoid tunneling, to keeping the wick trimmed and extinguishing the candle carefully, caring for your refilled candle is just like caring for any other candle. 

For more on how to care for your candle, see our article: "How to Care for Your Refillable Candles: Tips and Tricks". 

The future of candle refilling.

While refilling your empty candle pots is not going to save the planet all on its own, it is a great step toward a greener future. Remember, every little helps! Refilling and reusing things is the simplest way to lessen our negative impact on the environment. So, along with refilling your household items, why not consider refilling your candles too?

Got a candle pot to refill? Find out if we can refill it here

Back to blog