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The days are getting longer, temperatures are getting higher, and inseams are getting shorter, which means summer’s in full swing. After being cooped up inside, everyone is ready to get back to hiking, biking, and barbecuing in the backyard or at the park. But with warmer weather comes the reemergence of pesky insects, which can make spending time outdoors bothersome when it should be enjoyable. Consider citronella oil which, when used in candles or sprays, can be helpful in keeping your immediate surrounding area bug-free.
What is Citronella?
Citronella is an essential oil that is derived from several different types of lemongrass plants. It has a singular, pleasing scent that can help set the mood on a patio or deck, but is highly coveted for its ability to naturally repel insects. Though many people use them to specifically keep away mosquitos, there is a debate over just how effective they are at warding off those annoying bloodsuckers; some will tell you it won’t keep any away, while others swear by them.
What we do know for sure, however, is that citronella is incredibly effective at repelling other annoying bugs, such as flies and gnats. If you’re someone who likes to host get-togethers or eat meals outside, you know the last thing anyone wants to see is a bug flying straight onto their food. Keeping a citronella candle on the table could help keep them at bay. If you’re concerned about mosquitos, we recommend using a DEET or picaridin repellant.
Citronella Candle Buying Guide
Appearance: Are you looking for style, or practicality? Some citronella candles are designed to help establish a certain ambiance, while others are quite literally sold in buckets. This will ultimately depend on your own personal preference, but also where you plan on keeping your candles and how exactly you plan on using them.
Burn Time: If you’re looking to get the most bang for your buck, get a candle that can be used for longer periods time. The bucket-style options may not be the prettiest, but they sure will last awhile.
Scent: If you lean more towards the side of the spectrum that puts style first, you may want a citronella candle that is infused with other scents.
The Best Citronella Candles
We picked the best citronella candles to try this season, from the backyard to the patio.
1. Mainstays 30-Ounce 3-Wick Citronella Candle
These large, and long-lasting, citronella candles are perfect for a backyard patio or deck, with three simple, but stylish, color options; we are particularly fond of the ivory. With three wicks and 30-ounces, this candle promises to burn for up to 50 hours, whether you routinely host barbecues or just happen to spend a lot of time in your backyard.
2. Cutter HG-65983 Citro Guard Candle
This candle by Cutter is a no-frills option for those looking to take the bug-repelling effects of a citronella candle on the go. It’s a good fit for campsites, promising up to 30 hours of burn time thanks to its larger size, and contains a higher amount of citronella oil compared to the average citronella candle. Many reviewers on Amazon found it particularly effective at repelling mosquitos, especially when paired with a repellant spray.
3. Coleman Outdoor Citronella Candle Lantern
This candle’s versatile lantern design makes it the perfect bug-repelling accessory, whether you’re camping or hosting a backyard bash. It’s compact and lightweight enough to keep on a table or near your tent. Don’t be fooled by this candle’s small size: It can burn for up to 70 hours. There’s also a protective cap that keeps rain and wind from snuffing out the flame.
4. Iwaxlife Citronella 3-Wick Candle
These citronella candles boast a gorgeously ornate design that are bound to stand out on any tabletop. Made with a naturally biodegradable and eco-friendly soy wax, this candle is also smokeless, so you can enjoy its calming, pleasurable scent indoors as well as outdoors when you’re warding off pesky bugs. Best of all, this candle promises to burn for up to 75 hours. Available in a variety of designs, sizes, and scent options, including peach, mango, and grapefruit infusions.
5. Emohome Succulent Shaped Citronella Candle
Appearances can be deceiving, so you’d be forgiven if you had to do a double-take and make sure you were still reading about the best citronella candles. Made with 100 percent pure citronella oil and a lead-free cotton wick, this candle’s design allows it to pull double-duty as an insect repellant and a chic addition to an outdoor patio or deck. You get all the perks of having a succulent without actually having to care for one. Available in two design styles: floral and fresh.