How To Clean Candle Jars & Repurpose Them

Is your favorite scented candle on it’s last burn? While our candles last for 50+ hours, sadly all good things must come to an end. 

Even when your candle is at its wicks end, you can have some fun with repurposing your candle to find a new spark with your old flame. You might be wondering how you could get all the leftover wax out of a candle jar — and what you’d do with the jar afterward. We’ve got the answers for you.

The process of repurposing your candle jars isn’t all that hard, and there are plenty of crafty and fun ideas to breathe new life into your old favorite candle. Even if you’re not a DIY guru, you’ll be able to find a new purpose for your favorite candle vessel. Follow these easy step-by-step instructions to get a clean, fresh new jar.

First Things First: Get the Wax Out

The trick here is to change that leftover wax into a liquid or hard solid that can easily be removed. For this step, you can try hot water, freezing the jar, baking it, or using a hair dryer.

The Hot Water Method

You’ll want to use this method if your candle jar has a wide mouth, meaning the top is as wide if not wider than the base.

First, make sure to avoid burning yourself — the candle jar will get hot when you pour in burning water, so you’ll want to avoid touching the glass (or the water and wax inside). Set the candle jar on something like a placemat, pot holder, or folded towel to stay safe. Then, you’ll want to boil enough water to fill the jar. Once the water is boiling, safely pour the water into the jar until about an inch of space is left at the top. 

As the boiling water meets the wax, it will detach from the bottom and rise to the surface. Let everything cool off, and then remove the wax remnants. You can either discard the excess wax if you please orget creative and hang on to it to make a new candle with the tips mentioned later in this article! 

You may need to repeat this step a couple times until your jar is full wax-free. When it is, be sure to wash it out with soap and water, and then you’ll have a clean jar safe for repurposing! 

Freezing the Jar

On the opposite end of the hot water method, you can also remove the wax from your jar by freezing. The freezing method essentially shrinks your candle’s wax so that it falls off the jar for easy removal. 

You’ll want to start by putting the candle jar in the freezer overnight. 

In the morning, or after about eight hours of freezing, take your jar out of the freezer and place it upside down on a sturdy surface. The wax should pop out on its own. If not, a few gentle taps should do the trick. 

If the wax is still sticking to the jar, grab a spoon or utensil and carefully lift the edge of the wax. This extra assist should help the wax come right off.

Baking the Candle Jar

This next method is perfect for removing wax from multiple candle jars at once. 

Start by preheating your oven to 200°F. Then, line a baking sheet with tin foil or parchment paper for an easier clean-up. As a heads-up, you will have wax falling onto the surface of the baking sheet so take any extra steps you’d like to ensure your sheet is protected. Next, place your used candles upside-down. 

Pop your candle-filled baking sheet in the oven. You’ll want to check your candles relatively often, as the timing of this method varies. After about 15 minutes or so, the wax should begin to melt and pool onto the lined baking sheet. 

Once you see this happen, remove the baking sheet from the oven, place the sheet on a heat-safe surface, and remove the jars with an oven mitt. Let everything cool before touching the jars again. 

Once they’ve cooled, give your jars a good wash with soap and water. When the wax on your baking sheet has also cooled down, feel free to discard it or keep it for any future DIY projects.

The Hair Dryer Method

If you have a hair dryer at home, you can repurpose it to get residual wax out of your candle jars. Here’s how:

Turn your hair dryer to warm and blow it around the edges, bottoms, and sides of the jar where there is still wax attached. You should be able to see the wax getting softer as you go — once you see that change, just use a utensil of your choice to remove the wax from the jar. 

Scrape out any wax remnants as needed, and you’re all set! 

What If There’s Still More Wax?

If you still have wax residue or soot left inside your jar, there’s a pretty easy fix.

For wax, give it a scrape with a butter knife or spoon, and it should lift up on its own. For both wax and soot, a short soak and scrub with some warm water, soap, and a sponge should make these remnants liftable in no time. 

If you have a narrow candle jar, consider purchasing a bottle brush to reach the hard-to-get spots.

What Can I Do With a Candle Jar?

Once you’ve gotten all the wax out of a used candle jar and cleaned up the outside, you have some options for how to use it. Below are our favorite ways to repurpose your freshly cleaned jars.

Use It as an Organizer 

Usually, candle jars have a uniform shape that makes them perfect for storing small items.

Their clear exterior makes them easy to use as organizers on your dresser, vanity, or desk. Depending on their size, empty candle jars can hold anything from hair and makeup brushes to pens and pencils. 

If there’s a cluttered area on your desk, repurposing a candle jar to hold office supplies can be a lifesaver. It’ll also save you some money — you don’t have to buy a pre-made desk organizer, just make one yourself with what you already have! 

Re-pot Some Plants

If you have a green thumb, you can use your empty candle jar as a planter for your favorite succulents, herbs, or small plants! 

First, you will want to add a layer of rocks to the base of the jar so that the plant will have proper drainage whenever you water it. 

Next, add your soil on top of the rock layer as you would with any planter. Then add any seeds or an already grown plant, and your work is done.

This option can add a nice bit of greenery to any windowsill, dresser, or desk.

Use It as Gift Wrap

An empty jar can also make a unique and crafty gift wrapping option. 

Fill up your jar with an assortment of smaller candies or baked treats for a housewarming gift, or leave a gift card to their favorite spot in the bottom of the jar as a surprise. You can fill in any empty space with tissue paper, giving your gift a more put-together look.

Make a DIY Vase

Go for the floral aesthetic and spruce up your jar with some fresh-cut flowers. 

This is a fantastic way to reuse your jars and bring some life into your space. This idea works best with bigger jars, but really, anything goes. Fill your jar up with water, snip the stems of your flowers so that they fit, and you’ve got yourself a new and repurposed flower vase. 

Is There Anything I Can Do With This Leftover Wax?

You can make your own candles with leftover wax, a clean jar, and some cheap supplies you can find at any craft store. All you’ll need is: 

  • Your leftover wax
  • A double boiler or saucepan
  • A new candle wick
  • A wick anchor
  • Parchment paper
  • A jar
  • Scissors

Here are some step-by-step instructions on how to use your old salvaged wax to make a new candle with any scent of your choice.

1. First and foremost, make sure you love all these leftover scents — and that you’ll love them together. For help, check-out our scent-focused articles to find out which smells play well together.

2. Break your leftover wax into smaller pieces to help make the the melting process easier and quicker.

3. Put an inch or so of water in the bottom tier of a double boiler (a saucepan will work, too) and put it on low heat. Add your wax pieces to the top tier of your double boiler or another smaller, boil-safe bowl that will fit in the bottom. Then, monitor your wax as it melts.

4. Next, it’s time to “prime” your new wick. Dip your wick into the melted wax. Pull it out and let it cool on a piece of parchment paper. Be sure to keep it long, and use a wick anchor to keep it upright and centered in your jar. 

(The specifics of how to use a wick anchor will depend on which type you buy, but you’ll probably just place your anchor across the top or bottom of your jar. Then, you’ll thread the wick through a small hole in the center of the anchor to ensure it stays in place as you pour your wax.) Don’t worry, we’ll come back and trim the wick later!

5. Now, we’re going to secure the wick at the bottom of the jar. Make a small drop of wax in the bottom of your repurposed candle jar. Then use this as an adhesive for your wick anchor (if the anchor is at the bottom of the jar) and your wick itself.

6. Gently pour your mixed and melted wax into its new jar. Be careful to ensure that the wick stays as straight as possible as you go.

7. Now, let your candle sit at room temperature until the wax hardens. Once your new candle is set, trim the wick to your liking, and voila – your new candle is ready to go! Feel free to repeat this process and add a new layer of wax whenever you have extra pieces and room. 

Wrapping Up

There are so many ways you can find a new use for your old candles, from planting the perfect desk plant to layering a unique candle that’ll warm up your space

While you’re repurposing your old candle it is a perfect time to also start looking for your new one. Check-out Snif’s candle bundle to try three of our favorite, non-toxic candle scents. Or, upgrade to an XL candle for over 200 hours of burn time.



4 Clever Tricks to Get Wax Out of a Candle Jar | Better Homes & Gardens

What to Do With Leftover Candle Wax: 17 Clever Uses | LoveToKnow

6 Clever Ways to Repurpose Your Empty Candle Jars | Real Simple

← Previous How To Make a Candle Gift Basket for Any Occasion Next → Vanilla Fragrance: Why It’s a Fragrance Fan Favorite

Related Articles