How To Empty Candle Jars? Complete Step-by-Step Guide

Helen Skeates
Helen Skeates
33 min read

When it comes to cleaning out candle jars, it might be difficult to get started. Here is a step-by-step instruction to help you learn how to repurpose outdated candles!

In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to do the following:

  1. Empty the container of wax by scraping it out.
  2. Get rid of the labels and stickers.
  3. The candle jar can be reused.
  4. Put old wax to good use instead of tossing it in the trash


5 easy ways to remove wax from the jar

It’s much more difficult to remove the final 1/4″ of wax from the bottom of a container candle since the wax is designed to adhere to the jar. These methods require little more than a hairdryer, an oven, or some water to get the job done.

How to Get Wax Out of Candle Jars: 4 Easy Methods | Better Homes & Gardens

Wax has a wide range of melting points, therefore certain procedures may be more effective than others depending on the composition of your candle.

Beeswax and palm wax are harder to melt than soy. Most commercial candles use paraffin wax, which varies widely but is usually higher than soy wax.

Instead of tossing your jars and wax, keep reading for cute and inventive ways to recycle them once the wax has been removed. Wax does not dissolve in water, and it can soon clog your drain or septic system if you pour it down the drain!

Here are five simple methods for removing wax from a container.

1. Place candle in hot water

The wax is melted into a liquid by “twice boiling” the candle in a pot of boiling water.


  • 5-15 minutes, depending on your speed and efficiency.
  • Beeswax and palm wax, on the other hand, will take longer to melt.


  • The top of the stove
  • the dishpan (pot)


  1. Bring a pot of water to a simmer on the stovetop.
  2. A saucepan should be used to heat the candle containers.
  3. The melted wax can be disposed of in the trash or poured into a new container for reuse.
  4. Remove the wick tab from the bottom with a utensil once the wax has been removed.
  5. You can get rid of any adhesive or sticker residue on the bottom of the candle by either soaking it in white vinegar or scraping it off with a tool.
  6. Use hot water and dish soap to thoroughly clean the candle’s interior.

2. Fill candle with boiling water

Waxes are melted in large quantities using this technique, then allowed to cool and solidify into a disk at the very top. It’s possible you’ve seen something on social media before.


  • 20 minutes up to 2 hours
  • It’s simple, but it may take a few tries to get it right.


  • Measurement with a teapot or cup


  1. Obtain boiling water. A rolling (very hot) boil is the ideal condition.
  2. Take a pot and fill it with boiling water.
  3. Much of the wax will be melted by the water, which will cause it to rise to the surface.
  4. Allow the raised wax to set into a puck above the water for a few minutes before using (wax is less dense than water and will float when mixed)
  5. Drain the water from the wax puck and discard it.
  6. If there is still a significant amount of wax remaining, repeat the procedure. You can scrape away little quantities with a spoon or use a paper towel and rubbing alcohol.
  7. You can get rid of any adhesive or sticker residue on the bottom of the candle by either soaking it in white vinegar or scraping it off with a tool.
  8. Use hot water and dish soap to thoroughly clean the candle’s interior.

3. Put the candle in the freezer

The wax shrinks when it’s cold and expands when it’s heated, so this method takes use of it.


  • Time to complete: 2 to 4 hours
  • It’s possible to do this all night.


  • Freezer
  • a piece of metal (knife, fork, or spoon to remove wick tab)


  1. A few hours or even overnight in the freezer is plenty.
  2. Pry the wax from the container as soon as it’s been removed from the freezer. It should be fairly easy to remove and still be a little brittle when it is done.
  3. The melted wax can be disposed of in the trash or poured into a new container for reuse.
  4. Remove the wick tab from the bottom with a utensil once the wax has been removed.
  5. You can get rid of any adhesive or sticker residue on the bottom of the candle by either soaking it in white vinegar or scraping it off with a tool.
  6. Use hot water and dish soap to thoroughly clean the candle’s interior.

4. Liquefy wax with a hair dryer or heat gun

This process uses heated air to break down the wax into a liquid state. It’s possible to use a hair dryer, but a heat gun is preferable.


  • 5-15 minutes, depending on your speed and efficiency.
  • Usage with caution as the jar is extremely hot after use.


  • Heat gun or hair dryer


  1. In order to remove the wax’s adherence to its container, you do not need to completely melt the wax.
  2. Using a knife or fork, remove the solid wax (it should no longer be clinging to the jar). Caution: the jar’s temperature may be quite high.
  3. Use rubbing alcohol and a paper towel to clean out the jar’s interior.
  4. Remove the bottom wick tab with a tool.
  5. You can get rid of any adhesive or sticker residue on the bottom of the candle by either soaking it in white vinegar or scraping it off with a tool.
  6. Use hot water and dish soap to thoroughly clean the candle’s interior.

5. Melt wax in the oven

The wax in the jars is melted and drained into a pan using this process.


  • About 10 to 25 minutes.
  • It’s a pain to clean up, but you can remove wax from a large number of jars all at once if you hurry.


  • Oven
  • Tin foil-lined baking sheet


  1. Set the oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit or low.
  2. Bake the candles, upside down, on a baking sheet coated with tin foil.
  3. Remove the baking sheet from the oven after 20 minutes, or when the wax has poured out of the jars.
  4. Put your hands in the containers to remove any large lumps of solid wax. Paper towels and rubbing alcohol can be used to remove the wax from the jars. To be safe, let heated containers cool for a few minutes before handling them again.
  5. Remove the bottom wick tab with a tool.
  6. You can get rid of any adhesive or sticker residue on the bottom of the candle by either soaking it in white vinegar or scraping it off with a tool.
  7. Use hot water and dish soap to thoroughly clean the candle’s interior.

Remove the labels & stickers

The label on the side and the safety sticker on its bottom should be removed unless the candle has a beautiful design.

If this two-step technique doesn’t work for you, check out these other methods for removing sticky labels from reusable products.

1. Soak them in water

Fill a basin or bowl with water and soak your container for as long as it takes for the label to come off. This usually takes between 20 and 30 minutes to complete.

If you need to remove the labels quickly, heat the jars in a skillet with water, baking soda, and dish soap on the stove. The heat will deactivate the adhesive more quickly.

2. Remove the rest of the adhesives with rubbing alcohol after peeling as much as you can off with your fingers

Labels and stickers’ amazing adhesives are no match for the abrasive power of rubbing alcohol.

Rinse the container with rubbing alcohol-soaked paper towels to remove any leftover adhesive. At this stage, you should just have the dirty sticky component of the labels and stickers left.

Recycle the candle jar

You’d be wasting your time cleaning the jars if you didn’t have a creative plan for what you’d do with them afterward.

It is not suggested that you use candles for food or drink because of the presence of aroma oils and wax additives. The following are a few DIY ideas for your old container.

How to Get Wax Out of Candle Jars: 4 Easy Methods | Better Homes & Gardens

1. Planter

When it comes to keeping succulents or other indoor plants, an old candle jar works just fine.

As a general rule of thumb, don’t water your plant as much as you normally would because your container or jar does not have a drainage hole in the bottom.

This is a great idea for fake plants as well.

2. Bathroom supply holder

It’s great to use old candle jars to store tiny amounts of cosmetics or hygiene products.

Using a jar as a display means you don’t have to store things in their original packaging. Consider some of the following:

  • Q-tips and cotton swabs
  • A pair of tweezers or a pair of scissors is required.
  • Toothbrushes
  • Pins on BOBBY

Prior to putting any health products in the container, make sure it has been well cleaned with hot water and soap.

3. Markers and pens

Having a convenient spot to keep markers and pens is essential for everyone. However, get rid of the pens and markers that are no longer functional!

Reuse the old wax instead of throwing it away

To be on the safe side, wait to extinguish a candle until the wick is completely blackened. Most of the time, the jars grow too hot, and the wick tab prevents you from going any farther.

However, no one enjoys throwing away good wax.

You COULD dispose of the wax that has accumulated as a result of your cleaning antics, OR… you COULD find a way to recycle it.

In that case, you might as well toss the candle because you don’t think there’s enough wax in there to make a difference at all.

Is this what really happened?

If you don’t have a lot of old wax lying around, there are a number of creative methods to repurpose it. Try one of the following three suggestions:

1. New candles

Creating a fresh candle is the finest alternative use for old candle wax.

Use a large 4-cup measuring glass that you don’t mind “dedicating” to candle production instead of throwing out used wax bits and liquid.

A candle wick, which you can usually find at a hobby store, is also required. Those with the metal wick tab on the bottom are easier to find in bulk orders of 10 or more.

Creating recycled candles from used wax has a few distinct rules than manufacturing regular candles:

  • When it comes to wax, you don’t always know what you’re dealing with.
  • In the absence of an array of wick sizes and varieties, making a decision on the best wick will be more difficult.
  • After you’ve poured the wax into the container, you should cure it for 5-14 days before burning the candle.

Make a new candle by gathering your scraps in a measuring glass, providing yourself with the wick, and cleaning out the old container.

When making your first candle, we suggest using the double boiler method.

2. Wax melts

To melt wax melts, you lay them on wax warming plates and allow them to melt and fill the air.

If you don’t have a wax warmer, you can only utilize wax melts as samples for your full-sized candles. Your old candles’ melted wax can be turned into melts with the help of either a wax warmer or a friend who has one. Follow these simple steps to get started:

  1. Make use of a small, non-stick silicone or plastic clamshell mold. For this purpose, some individuals choose to use a silicone ice tray (however, if you do this, you should no longer use the ice tray for actual ice).
  2. Pour the mixture into the mold and let it set if you’re taking the wax from a candle while it’s still liquid.
  3. Remove the wax melt from the mold and you’ve got yourself a new one!

To begin melting wax, you only need to take the solidified wax from the container. To get started, all you need to do is lay the wax in a warmer.

Using a plastic sandwich bag, you can keep your wax melts and recycled wax fragments safe.

3. Wax monster

The third method for repurposing old wax is only suitable for usage in open air.

Get a metal or ceramic bowl and place all the wax fragments and liquid wax in it. This dish will never be used for anything else.

Recycling wax does not have to be uniform or even if the bits are irregular, this procedure still makes an enormous ball of fuel.

  1. With a toothpick or skewer, pierce the wax monster’s skin.
  2. Put a wick in the opening.
  3. Put the wax monster outside in a place where it can get hot without causing harm.
  4. Enjoy the ambiance by lighting a few wicks.

It’s important to keep in mind that wax monsters aren’t for the faint of heart. When burning, be extra careful to keep the flames under control.

How to reuse candle jars

For any of these creative repurposing ideas, all you need is a freshly cleaned out candle jar.

1. Repot your succulents

Finding the proper pot can be tricky, but you’ve already approved of your candles, so why not utilize those jars as receptacles for succulents? A single candle will appear elegant, and multiples of the same candle will be a perfect complement.

2. Organize office supplies

Take a 10-minute vacation from organizing your desk if it looks like something out of a “I Spy” book picture shoot. Use used candle jars to keep pens, paper clips, staples, and other objects that make your workstation efficient.

3. Turn them into pinch pots

Ceramic bowls, the kind you see in celebrity chef kitchens, don’t have to be hard to come by. Keep your salt and pepper in a shallow or small candle jar, or use it to separate out components when cooking.

4. Give it a second life as a catch-all

Make a place for your jewelry, hair accessories, and lipsticks by placing an empty glass atop your vanity or in your bathroom. You won’t have to worry about losing your earrings anymore.

5. Make a mini herb garden

You don’t even have to leave the house to find the ideal pots for your herb garden. It’s as simple as adding some soil and seeds, and you’ll soon see the fruits of your labor. In addition to being more fashionable, these terracotta pots are also considerably more environmentally responsible.

6. Up the ambiance of your home

In your living room, add some coiled fairy lights to a couple of empty candle jars. For a romantic candlelit meal for two or a fun family movie night, this is the perfect solution.

7. Regift them

With the lids off, clear glass containers (especially those with elegant designs) are ideal for gift boxes. Finish the gift with a metallic bow and a stack of chocolates and other treats. It will be a conversation starter between loved ones.

8. Let the big glasses to do the heavy lifting

Upcycling giant candle jars or hurricane glasses is a great way to get creative. Use them as vases for unexpected blooms, a collection of kitchen utensils, or a table centerpiece with seashells or stones.

What to Do With Old Candle Jars? 25 Ideas

What to deal with the old candle jars that have burned out is a common question among candle lovers. It’s possible to recycle the transparent soda-lime jars that are the most prevalent, but many candles utilize different types of glass that are more heat resistant, or that have colours added for a more beautiful look.

Used candle jars may (and should!) be repurposed around the house before they are thrown away or recycled. Candle jars can be used in a variety of ways to save landfill space and reduce plastic use for storage and gift-giving.

1. Prep and Store Food

Salads and overnight oats can be prepared the night before and stored in glass candle jars. Keeping the liquid in the bottom of the jar, such as a salad dressing, ensures that other items won’t become soggy as you eat.

2. Reduce Plastic Use When You Shop

A plastic bag is the most common method of transporting bulk goods from the supermarket to the customer’s home. Dry products can be stored in a jar, as well as meat and cheese, if you bring one to the grocery shop.

3. Make a Window Garden

Small window gardens benefit greatly from the use of candle jars without lids. Placement of food scraps in a jar with water will allow plants like green onion, celery, leafy vegetables, bean sprouts, and other food waste to be regrown.

4. Ferment Whatever Your Heart Desires

Fermentation works best in glass jars with lids like the ones seen above, assuming the glass is food-safe. A wide variety of kimchis, sauerkrauts, and fire ciders are all excellent choices. A kombucha scoby can be stored in a big jar without a lid if cheesecloth is used to cover it.

5. Freeze Stocks, Soups, and Smoothies

Most importantly, when freezing glass jars, make sure there is enough room at the top for the contents to expand as they freeze. To get the most out of this, wide-mouthed jars are recommended.

6. Make Homemade Balm or Lip Gloss

Candle tins are great for homemade balms, typically some mixture of beeswax and/or shea butter along with essential oils. Other homemade beauty products like bath salts or dried herbs for soaking in the bath also keep well in upcycled candle containers.

7. Create a New Candle

Tins of beeswax and/or shea butter can be used to make handmade balms with essential oils, such as lavender or geranium. Bath salts and dried herbs for soaking in the bath can also be stored in recycled candle jars.

8. Keep Catnip Treats on Hand

Toys covered in catnip are a huge hit with cats. Catnip can be contained in a sealed jar with a few little cloth cat toys (mice work nicely). Serve to your kitty after a good shake.

9. Decorate the Table

Dining room tables, bookcases, and other furniture can all benefit from the addition of decorative glass jars. Dried flowers, pine cones, and pine needles are all natural ways to give a lovely smell to your space.

10. Turn Jars Into Painted Votives

Decorated votives can be made from cleaned candle jars and painted by creative people. Use paint that can withstand high temperatures.

11. Make a Cake Jar

Layering desserts in individual serving jars can bring out the best in sweets that don’t ordinarily shine when served separately. Recipes such as trifle or banana pudding work well with this technique.

12. Organize the Bathroom

Old jars can be used to store bathroom necessities like Q-tips, cotton balls and hair ties. Additionally, grouping related goods in jars will make it easier to stay organized.

13. Store Tinctures and Herbs

Various health benefits can be derived from using tinctures. Chamomile, for example, has been reported to reduce the discomfort and burning feeling associated with ulcers in one study published in the Journal of Dental Research. 1 Consult your doctor before giving or using any tincture for medicinal reasons.

14. Preserve Lemons

Lemons can be preserved in a glass jar with salt and water. If you keep the liquid level above the lemons, the brine will keep them fresh for a month or so, as the lemons decompose. Add a saline, citrusy zest to salad dressing or seafood by sprinkling it on top. When citrus is in season, this is a fantastic way to use up any leftovers.

15. Extend the Shelf Life of Loose Teas and Spices

Store dried herbs and spices in a glass jar with a tight-sealing cover to extend the shelf life of the products you buy from bulk or in plastic packaging. When placed in clear glass, whole-leaf teas can enhance the look of any kitchen.

16. Collect a Set of Eclectic Drinkware

Increasingly, people who care about the environment are shunning plastic and using recycled glass jars, especially for taking drinks on the move. Cold brew or iced tea can be transported to work in an old candle jar with a lid and stored in the refrigerator in the same container.

17. Make Your Own Bitters

For generations, bitters have been used in cocktails and mocktails to enhance flavor and give them a distinct peppery kick. It’s a good idea to have a dropper to add them to drinks because they’re used so rarely.

18. Grow Plants From Seed

Small jars are ideal for starting plants before their roots get too big and they need to be relocated. Plant roots can rot if you leave them grow in jars for an extended period of time, unless your plants prefer damp feet.

19. Organize Your Desk

Many office items, including pens and pencils as well as staples, paperclips, and little post-it notes, can be kept in jars.

20. Sustainably Give Homemade Gifts

Reusing old jars for homemade presents like cookies, granola, and spiced nuts is a more environmentally friendly option than purchasing new containers. Personal labels and ribbon or string placed around the jar’s lid offer a personal touch.

21. Keep Leftover Grease

Every country cook worth their salt keeps a jar of bacon grease in their kitchen at all times. Even if cooking with bacon fat isn’t the healthiest option, making a warm bacon vinaigrette every now and then is worth the extra fat.

22. Declutter Your Junk Drawer

For stuff like batteries, nails, screws, and coins, old glass candle jars are a terrific way to organize and keep them safe. In addition, clear jars allow you to see what you’re storing.

23. Make Jams and Curds

You can use the leftover jars to store your own preserves and curds. It is best to keep these items in the refrigerator because jars that have been used multiple times are not hermetically sealed (unless its a Mason-style jar and you purchase a new ring and flat lid).

24. Build a Terrarium

Closing up the terrarium and placing it in an old candle jar with a cover is a popular way to create a closed terrarium. Make sure to gather your moss in a sustainable manner and to clean off any bugs that arise.

25. Steam Eggs

What if you don’t have any Korean earthenware pots in your kitchen? Instead of using a microwave, you can use a stovetop steamer to cook eggs in sealed glass jars.

How to Get Wax Out of Candle Jars: 4 Easy Methods | Better Homes & Gardens


How do I remove chemical cleaner from my oven?

Oven cleaner’s residual odor is successfully combated by water. Place a large pot of water on the bottom rack of your oven and set the temperature to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s best to let the water boil for at least an hour to get rid of the strong smell.

What chemicals are used to clean ovens?

One of the most powerful cleaning bases, sodium hydroxide (also known as caustic soda or lye) is a white solid. Most drain and oven cleaners contain this chemical as an active ingredient.

Is it OK to cook in oven after cleaning?

Takeaways. After cleaning your oven using eco-friendly products, you may immediately begin cooking. After using industrial cleaning chemicals, your oven needs to be preheated for 15 to 30 minutes. Commercial products should never be used to clean a self-cleaning oven.

Can oven cleaner damage lungs?

Symptoms of inhaling oven cleaners include coughing, chest pain, and shortness of breath, which can be caused by inhaling the cleaners. Oven cleaners can cause eye tissue corrosion and ulceration if they come into contact with the eyes. When a product comes into touch with tissues, it can have an impact on how much damage is done to those tissues.

What happens if you spray oven cleaner on the heating element?

If you apply oven cleaning chemicals directly on the heating element or the fan, you risk damaging them. Don’t rely solely on the self-cleaning option. The self-cleaning cycle uses a temperature of roughly 500°C to burn off all the grease and grime in the oven.

Final thoughts

There are a few simple considerations to bear in mind while recycling candles to ensure their safety and responsibility:

  • Candles with METAL wick tabs should never be heated in a microwave.
  • Aluminum tins should never be heated in a microwave.
  • In theory, microwaves can work, but using one without proper protection puts you at danger for burns due to the unpredictable way heat is distributed within the container.
  • Microwaves should be avoided at all costs.
  • When using metal instruments to remove wax or wick tabs, be aware that they may scratch the surface of the item.

The sustainable habit of reusing your candles Even though it takes some time and effort, the final result is that you are reusing resources that might otherwise wind up polluting our planet. And you get to give your candles a new lease on life!

Helen Skeates

Helen Skeates

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