How to Make a Candle Out of a Tangerine, Clementine or Satsuma


I am so excited to write this post because this is one of the coolest things I've ever learned - how to make a completely natural candle using only a Mandarin orange and a little vegetable oil.

How to Make a Candle Out of a Tangerine, Clementine or Satsuma

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You'll Need:

- a Mandarin orange (any tangerine, clementine or satsuma will do)
- a small knife
- vegetable oil (both olive oil and coconut oil have worked in my experience, so I assume any vegetable oil will work as well)
- essential oils (optional)
- a small bowl to hold the finished candle


Directions:

How to Make a Candle Out of a Tangerine, Clementine or Satsuma1. Cut horizontally around the center of the mandarin, just deep enough to get through the skin.

2. Carefully remove the top half of the peel (the side with the stem) from the fruit inside, making sure the pith inside remains attached to the skin. This is important.






How to Make a Candle Out of a Tangerine, Clementine or Satsuma
3. If the pith is frayed, gently twist it so that the fruit fibers are stuck together and stand up straight. This will become your candle wick.

4. Fill the peel with vegetable oil up to a centimeter below the pith, making sure to also soak the "wick." Add a few drops of essential oil for extra fragance if you want.

5. Place the peel in a small bowl to prevent it from tipping over and set it alight, and now you have a completely natural candle! The "wick" may take awhile to light since it could still be damp from the fruit juices, but with a little patience it will light eventually.





If you want to get really creative, carve a design into the other half of the peel and cap it over your candle.

How to Make a Candle Out of a Tangerine, Clementine or Satsuma
Make sure your design is large enough so the edges won't be burned by the flame. You can see here that my eight-pointed star is a little singed.
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This candle burns extremely clean and actually burns for a very long time, depending on how much oil the peel holds or how often you refill it.

This little project delights me to no end, because I love it when really beautiful and functional things can be made out of something so natural and simple. Have fun! And don't forget to eat the fruit too.

If you'd like to make a candle that lasts a little longer, check out this recipe for making candles using beeswax.

How to Clean Your Hairbrushes & Combs


Most people don't give any thought to how clean their hairbrushes and combs are, but the truth is that they are amongst the dirtiest tools you use in your grooming regimen because they are probably cleaned the least.

How to Clean Your Hairbrushes & Combs

Over time, hair, dead skin cells and oil and grease from your scalp get trapped in your hairbrushes and combs (not to mention any hair products you may also be using), which makes it even easier for more dust and fiber to collect within the bristles and teeth. This becomes a perfect breeding ground for bacteria, yeast, fungi and parasites to grow, and every time you run your brush or comb through your hair, you are dragging all that disgusting grime back across your scalp.


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You'll Need:
 
- white vinegar
- hot water
- antibacterial soap
- old toothbrush, toothpick and scissors (optional)
 
 
Directions:
 
1. Remove any hair that is caught between the bristles and teeth of your hairbrushes and combs. You can do this simply by pulling at loose strands with your fingers, but if they are particularly tangled, use scissors to carefully cut apart any knots, and a toothpick to pull the hair apart. Try to get most, if not all of it out.
2. Put a mixture of about one part hot water and one part white vinegar in a cup or bowl, and soak your hairbrushes and combs in the solution. Allow them to soak for at least an hour. The vinegar will help lift away any grime and loosen trapped dead skin cells.
3. Take your hairbrushes and combs out of the vinegar solution, and use antibacterial soap and water to give them a good cleaning. If you're having a hard time getting between the bristles and teeth, use an old toothbrush to scrub the hard-to-reach places.
4. Leave the hairbrushes and combs out to dry in a well-ventilated place.
 
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And there you have it. Keep your hair and scalps clean, everyone.

How to Make a Natural Moisturizing Cream


I previously posted instructions for making your own lotion bars, but if you'd rather make a moisturizing lotion with a lighter consistency that you can put in a jar, then read on.


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You'll Need:
 
- organic virgin coconut oil
- beeswax
- vitamin E capsules (optional)
- essential oils (optional)
- container for the finished product
- tools for a double boiler
 
Directions:
 
1. Heat two parts organic virgin coconut oil to one part beeswax in a double boiler, stirring the mixture as it melts completely into a liquid. Refer to my post on making lotion bars for details on how to create a double boiler. TIP: Add more beeswax for a firmer cream, add less for a more liquid consistency.
2. When the mixture is completely liquid, take it off the heat, and squeeze the gel from vitamin E capsules into it as well, if you wish. Add as much or as little as you want. I generally only use one capsule per every half cup of moisturizing cream.
3. Add a few drops of your favorite essential oils into the mixture if you'd like for fragrance, or for their beneficial properties. Remember to stir everything together evenly. TIP: Tea tree oil and lavender essential oils both have anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and calming properties.
4. Pour the mixture into the container you prepared to hold your moisturizing cream. Make sure you are using a sterilized and clean container. I recommend using a glass container so it can withstand the initial heat of the mixture.
5. Once the mixture cools to room temperature, it should have a creamy consistency that won't be as greasy as solid lotion bars.
 
To Use:
 
Apply your finished moisturizing cream to your face and body as you would any other lotion.
 
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How to Make a Natural Moisturizing CreamI only like using organic virgin coconut oil for my moisturizing cream, lotion bars and lip balms; however, feel free to use any other oil that you feel comfortable with. If you do choose to use virgin coconut oil, keep in mind that it solidifies at cooler temperatures, which means you may not need as much beeswax if you live in a cooler climate or when the weather is cold.
 
Also, as this moisturizing cream is made from all natural ingredients, keep in mind that it will have an expiry date. You won't be eating it, but the oils could turn rancid. I generally consider the expiration date for the finished product to be the same as the ingredient with the earliest expiry date. Deduct another month if you want to be extra cautious.
 
This is an incredibly easy and cheap way to create your own natural moisturizing cream, and I find it works so much better than store-bought moisturizing creams, which are filled with a lot of unnecessary chemicals. Feel free to mix different kinds of oils in your batch and experiment with ratios. Have fun!