Want to know how to reuse candle jars the easy way? Of course you do! Some candle containers are just too pretty to throw out – we get it.
If you have more empty candle jars than you know what to do with, we’re here to help.
Repurposing your candle jars is a good idea for many reasons. First of all, it creates less waste and is kinder on the environment. And then, of course, there's something in it for you, too.
But what's the best way to get the wax out of candle jars? How do you clean them? And what can you reuse them for?
Here's how to give your empty, old candle jars a whole new lease on life.
How to Clean Out Your Candle Jars
Before we go any further, please remember this rule of candle care and safety:
Stop burning the candle when there is ¼ inch of wax left in the vessel.
Lighting a candle wick without any wax left to carry the flame is a MAJOR no-no – and downright dangerous. That's why it's important to leave a small amount of wax behind at the bottom of the container.
Now, you might be thinking:
"But that's so wasteful!"
"But I want the entire candle used up!"
Fear not, your candle's life is far from over! Keep reading to find out what you can do with the remaining wax.
If you want to repurpose your candle's "vessel" – meaning the jar or container it came in – the first thing you need to do is remove the leftover wax.
Here's how to get wax out of candle jar to reuse:
THE BOILING WATER METHOD
Best For: Soy wax candles, coconut wax candles, or blends
The "boiling water" method works best for candles made from soy or coconut waxes, as they tend to have a lower melting point.
- Step 1: Extinguish your candle and wait until the wax has completely cooled.
- Step 2: Carefully pour boiling water into the candle jar up to the brim.
- Step 3: Wait until the remaining wax softens. You may notice bits and pieces of wax floating up to the top.
- Step 4: Use a spoon to scoop the wax out of the warm water. It should come out easily, either as a neat "disc" or in a few smaller pieces.
From here, we recommend keeping this leftover wax and reusing it in a wax melter. That way, you get to prolong the life of your candle and keep enjoying the scent!
If you're unable to reuse the old wax as new wax melts, you can instead dispose of it in the trash.
Just be mindful not to pour the water and wax combination down your drain – the wax will harden again and may cause blockage.
THE FREEZER METHOD
Best For: Paraffin wax candles, beeswax candles
Paraffin wax and beeswax become brittle when frozen, making the "freezer" method best for these types of candles.
- Step 1: Extinguish your candle and wait until the wax has completely cools.
- Step 2: Place the candle jar into the freezer and leave it for at least two hours.
- Step 3: Use a knife to carefully remove the wax. Candles made from paraffin or beeswax should be easy to pry from their containers.
You can also wipe the insides with a damp paper towel to remove any remaining traces of wax.
MORE TIPS TO KEEP IN MIND
Hold on a sec, is it safe to reuse candle jars?
The answer is YES. You just need to be careful when handling glass. If your candle jar looks or feels too fragile to handle extreme hot or cold temperatures, skip the above methods entirely.
Instead, you can soak your candle jar in soapy water and scrub it clean. This can take a bit longer, but it does work.
DO NOT use a microwave to melt the wax.
Candle wicks are kept in place using a small, metal wick holder – putting metal through a microwave is a bad idea, to say the least.
If you want to remove the label from your candle jar, carefully peel it off with some assistance from a mild dish soap. Then, wipe the entire jar with a clean, dry cloth.
Once you’re done cleaning the candle jar, it’s ready to be repurposed in various ways.
How to Reuse Candle Jars: Creative Repurposing Ideas
Now that you have a clean, empty candle jar, what's next?
Well, you're not going to let it go to waste!
Here are a few of our favorite ways to upcycle all kinds of candle jars:
1. Organize Your Bathroom
Our signature scented candles come in straight-sided, amber glass jars – a chic addition to any bathroom.
These candle jars are also the perfect size for organizing your shelves, cupboards, and countertops.
Use them to collect and store bathroom essentials you want to keep handy, like:
- Bobby pins
- Hair ties
- Cotton pads
- Epsom salt for the bath
- Homemade body scrubs
2. Display Beauty Products
Even for holding bigger items, you can still reuse candle jars.
Simply ditch the lid and pop in your makeup brushes, your toothbrush and tooth paste, a hair brush, and so on.
Stick to one style of candle jar to create a cohesive, clean aesthetic – or mix it up by reusing different candle vessels for a more eclectic design.
3. Use as a Flower Vase
One of the easiest ways to reuse candle jars — especially those tall, slim container candles — is to turn them into elegant vases.
Simply fill the jar with water and cut the flower stem to fit. This will keep your flowers fresh and maintain a pop of color for much longer.
4. Make a Planter
If you have a green thumb, reuse candle jars for plants! Even the smallest candle jar can be a lovely home for houseplants like spring bulbs and succulents.
Place a layer of small stones at the bottom of the jar for drainage. Then, add a bit of soil and plant the seeds.
Beautiful candle jars and blooming plants pair wonderfully together. They look great on your window sill bookshelf, or even your desk – perfect for adding a splash of greenery to your interiors.
5. Keep Candy Handy
If you have a sweet tooth, this might just be the best way to repurpose a beautiful candle jar!
Glass jars are perfect for storing and displaying your favorite candy.
Our favorite place to have a candy jar is in the entryway, as it creates a sweet welcome for guests. You could also keep some candy handy in the kitchen or even on your coffee table – its up to you.
6. Store Dry Foods and Spices
Can you reuse candle jars for food? Yes, you can repurpose candle jars with lids and seals, turning them into quick and easy food storage.
Just make sure it's been thoroughly washed and cleaned first.
Repurposed glass jars are perfect for the dry pantry items you use in many recipes, such as:
- Coffee beans (or coffee grounds)
- Loose-leaf tea
- Pet treats
7. Use as Glassware
After cleaning your candle jars, all that’s left is a beautiful vessel you can use for just about anything.
How about expanding your collection of liquor glasses?
Gorgeous, amber candle jars or even simple, transparent ones can become an eclectic set of liquor glasses that you can show off the next time you host a dinner party at home.
8. Tidy Up Your Desk
Are you tired of seeing pens, highlighters, paperclips, and other supplies scattered all over your desk as you work or study from home?
Your empty candle jars are ideal for desk organization.
First, sort your desk accessories according to size. Smaller items such as erasers and paper clips can be placed in small glass candle jars, while taller objects such as pens, pencils, and scissors can be kept in larger containers.
9. Hold a New Candle
Can you reuse candle jars for new candles? Actually, yes.
Your old candle jar could be the perfect vessel for a melted down candlestick, for example.
Otherwise, use the glass jar to hold your favorite votive or tea lights. (Our amber glass jars are perfect for this as they cast a warm, soothing glow.)
A little bit of creativity goes a long way!
Even though you've said goodbye to your favorite candle, when you reuse old candle jars you get to enjoy it in a whole new way.
(And of course, you can feel good about shopping for a new candle in the meantime.)
What are some of your favorite ways to repurpose candle jars? Stay tuned for more tips and ideas.