Updated at: 09-09-2022 - By: Helen Skeates

My candle aficionados, where are you? A relaxing way to unwind is to light a vanilla candle and breathe in the aroma. You’ve probably accumulated a smattering of empty candle jars by this point.

Cleaning candle jars is a common question. It’s really not that difficult.

The good news is that you may use household items to remove candle wax. Continue reading to learn how to get rid of wax and what to do with it in five different ways.

Quick Tips to Clean Candle Jars

What is the best time to get rid of your wax jars? When there is less than half an inch of wax remaining, it is time to empty the jar out. At this time, the candle may be dangerous to light.

The metal wick holder may still be attached to the bottom of the jar after you’ve removed the wax. Use chopsticks or the back of a spoon to push it out of the container and remove it.

Be cautious before you begin cleaning your jars. Because you’re utilizing heat in some of these procedures, be aware that they may shatter glass jars. You can potentially injure yourself, therefore it’s important to be aware of your surroundings.

1. Freeze the Candle Wax

Because cold wax is so easily broken, this method of removing candle wax is incredibly simple. At least 30 minutes in the freezer, or until it’s completely frozen, is all you need to do to remove the wax.

Then remove it and turn it over on its side. It should be easy to remove the wax. A butter knife can be used to split up the wax into bits if that doesn’t work. Because of this, the wax will readily disintegrate.

Use an eco-friendly, non-toxic soap to thoroughly clean the candle jar before using it again.

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2. Use Boiling Water

Just like the cold, heat can also help you remove wax. Wide-mouth lids are ideal for this technique.

To begin, bring a pot of water to a boil. Make sure to allow some room at the top of your candle jar before pouring in the water. The boiling water will cause the wax to melt and rise to the surface.

When this happens, remove the wax with care and place it in a dish. Pour the water through a strainer to remove any stray flakes of wax before putting it in the sink. The wax can clog your drain if it goes down the drain, so be sure you remove all of it before flushing.

Use an eco-friendly, non-toxic soap to thoroughly clean the candle jar before using it again.

3. Create a double boiler

Double boilers are simple to make. Pour some water into a pot and heat it over low heat. Place the candle jar in the centre of the saucepan, and wait for the jar to heat up before proceeding. Use a butter knife to release the wax after the wax has cooled down a bit. Remove the wax, place it in a bowl, and then wash the candle in warm soapy water to remove any remaining residue.

Make careful to use a non-toxic soap that is safe for the environment while cleaning the candle jar.

4. Use the oven

This is the easiest way to clean numerous candle jars at once. It will be able to clean them all at once, and it will be done swiftly.

Your oven should be at least 200 degrees Fahrenheit to get the ball rolling. Aluminum foil should be placed on a baking sheet, and all of your candles should be placed on top of that. For 15 minutes, place the baking sheet in the oven. Waxed aluminum foil should be on top when it’s removed. If not, return the baking sheet to the oven for another 5 minutes.

With soap and water, wash the jars well. The wax is yours to keep or discard. Wrap aluminum foil around the wax and throw it away after it solidifies.

Use an eco-friendly, non-toxic soap to thoroughly clean the candle jar before using it again.

5. Use a hair dryer

You can use a hair dryer to heat the jar’s sides. The wax on the sides will be melted by this. Holding the candle jar upside down while the wax melts makes it easy to remove the wax. Take a basin and pour the wax into it, then wash the jar with soap and water.

Use an eco-friendly, non-toxic soap to thoroughly clean the candle jar before using it again.

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. Most transparent soda-lime glass jars can be recycled, however many candles use other forms of glass to strengthen their heat resistance, or they add dyes to give the glass a beautiful appearance. These other types of glass jars cannot be recycled.

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.

How to Get Candle Wax Out of Jar

  • A half-hour or so in the freezer should help harden the wax and make it easier to remove.
  • Turn the jars upside down on a parchment-lined baking sheet and heat them at a low temperature (less than 200 F) until the wax drops out.
  • It is also possible to remove the wax by slowly heating the jars in a double boiler on the stove.
  • To remove the labels, use a steel wool pad to scrape a mixture of oil and baking soda onto the jar.

1. Prep and Store Food

Glass candle jars can be used for meal prepping, such as salads and overnight oats. The bottom layer of the jar should contain any liquid, such as salad dressings, in order to prevent sogginess of the remaining components of your meal.

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.

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3. Make a Window Garden

Candle jars with no lids can be used to grow little plants in windowsills. 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 possibilities. A kombucha scoby can be stored in a cheesecloth-lined jar if it is larger.

5. Freeze Stocks, Soups, and Smoothies

The most important thing to keep in mind when freezing food in glass jars is to leave room at the top for the contents to expand as they freeze. The possibilities with wide-mouth jars are virtually limitless.

6. Make Homemade Balm or Lip Gloss

Candle tins are perfect for handmade balms prepared with beeswax, shea butter, and/or other oils and butters. Bath salts and dried herbs for soaking in the tub, as well as other handmade beauty treatments, stay nicely in recycled candle containers.

7. Create a New Candle

A simple technique to reuse all of the wax in your candles and the jars is to blend the leftover wax into new candles. If the aromas don’t conflict too much. A simple approach to do this is to gather the wax that has accumulated on the baking tray after you have baked the jars of candles to clean them.

8. Keep Catnip Treats on Hand

Toys covered in catnip are a big hit with cats. Catnip can be contained in a sealed jar with a few little cloth cat toys (mice work nicely). Serve your cat a generous portion of the mixture.

9. Decorate the Table

Dining room tables, bookcases, and even side tables can be beautified with decorative glass jars. Nature-inspired scents can be added to your home with the addition of pine cones, pine needles or dried flowers.

10. Turn Jars Into Painted Votives

Clean candle jars can be repurposed as votive holders by artists. Use only paint that can withstand high temperatures.

11. Make a Cake Jar

Layering desserts in individual serving jars can make desserts that don’t ordinarily stand out in a fine dining setting glow. Trifle or banana pudding dishes, for example, can benefit from this.

12. Organize the Bathroom

Old jars can also be used to store bathroom essentials like Q-tips, cotton balls, and hair ties. An additional tip for better organizing is to group like goods together into one large container.

13. Store Tinctures and Herbs

If you are looking to improve your health, tinctures are an excellent option. 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 a doctor before giving or using any tincture for medical 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, brine will protect them from deterioration over the course of a month or more. Salad dressings and seafood dishes will benefit from the salty-citrus flavor this herb imparts. When citrus is in season, this is a fantastic way to use it up.

15. Extend the Shelf Life of Loose Teas and Spices

Glass jars with tight-sealing lids can extend the shelf life of teas, dried herbs, and spices purchased in bulk or in plastic packaging. When kept in a clear glass container, whole-leaf teas are a beautiful addition to any kitchen.

16. Collect a Set of Eclectic Drinkware

When it comes to drinking on the go, those who care about the environment are increasingly turning to upcycled glass jars instead of plastic bottles. In order to bring cold tea or coffee to the office, you may simply use an old candle container that has a lid and keep it in the fridge at all times.

17. Make Your Own Bitters

With a particular peppery kick, they’ve been used in cocktails (and mocktails) for generations. 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

Starter plants can be housed in small jars until their roots have grown to a size that necessitates their transplantation. It is best not to keep your plants in jars longer than necessary, as the lack of drainage might lead to the plant’s roots rotting.

19. Organize Your Desk

From pens and pencils to staples, paper clips and miniature post-its, jars hold a wide variety of office supplies.

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

Cooking bacon and other fatty foods necessitates a jar of rendered fat. 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 things like batteries, nails, screws, and money, old glass candle jars are ideal. In addition, clear jars make it easier to see what you’re storing.

23. Make Jams and Curds

You can use the leftover jars to store your own preserves and curds. Because re-used jars cannot be hermetically sealed, these items should be kept in the refrigerator (unless its a Mason-style jar and you purchase a new ring and flat lid).

24. Build a Terrarium

There are many different types of closed terrariums that may be made out of old candle jars that have lids. Keep an eye out for any pests that may be lurking in your moss, and remove them as soon as they are discovered.

25. Steam Eggs

What if you don’t have any Korean earthenware pots in your kitchen? It is possible to steam eggs by immersing them in simmering water in a sealed glass jar.

Here's What to Do With Old Candle Jars, Once All the Wax Has Melted


Can you recycle old candle jars?

Even though candle wax isn’t recyclable, the containers it comes in are. To get rid of the wick and any residual wax, simply remove them. You can use a spoon to remove wax, or you can melt or freeze it to make it simpler to remove.

What can I do with leftover Yankee Candle jars?

In order to recycle your empty glass jars after you’ve removed all of their contents, you’ll need to use TerraCycle® to recycle the jar lids, which are not accepted by local recycling programs.

Can you reuse candle jars for new candles?

Unless there are char chunks (as in this photo), save the wax you can recycle into a smaller candle. Make votives or tea lights out of it by melting it down. Disinfect your jars by hand-washing and air-drying them like any other dish.

How do you get wax out of candle jar TikTok?

As a precaution, you can boil water on the stove or in the microwave and pour it on top of the candle to prevent it from exploding. You can also freeze the candle overnight and lightly tap it to get the wax out, according to other TikTok users.

Can I paint my candle jar?

For glass painting, I normally use spray paint, but DecoArt Glass Paint is the best. DecoArt’s glass paint, on the other hand, provides a long-lasting, scratch-resistant finish that won’t leave you suffocating in your craft area.

Conclusion on What to Do With Leftover Candle Jars

Your candle jars don’t have to go to waste after you’ve used up all of your wax. With so many uses for candle jars, it might be difficult to decide what to do with them. Don’t be afraid to experiment with these candle jar reuse options! Check out our other posts on the site if you’d want to learn more about candles.