Candles add warmth and ambiance to our homes, but what do we do with the empty glass candle jars once the wax has burned down? Clean and repurpose them! In this blog post, I’ll share how to clean and repurpose candle jars, offering you loads of ideas to transform them into functional and decorative items for your home.
So gather your empty candle jars, and let’s dive into the world of cleaning and reusing!
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For the Love of Candles
Are you a candle addict?
Do you linger in the candle aisle at Home Goods?
Does a brand new candle glass jar make your heart race?
For myself…yes, yes, yes!
I used to buy candles and display them proudly…but rarely burned them.
Some nonsense in my head about saving them for a special occasion.
Then I made the conscious decision to burn the candles…Game changer!
Some might dispute this, but I honestly think I get more done and am more relaxed when there is a nose-thrilling scent and a warm glow in the nearby area.
But what to do with old candle jars whose wax has served its time? Don’t throw them away just yet!
Those beautiful glass containers can be easily cleaned and repurposed, giving them a new life and saving you money on new storage solutions.
Gather close, my friend, near the glowing candle on my desk, and let me share how to clean candle jars and how to repurpose them in your home!
Do you love to repurpose things? I love to find a new purpose for something that has (seemingly) served its time! How about turning an Ikea utility cart into a bar cart? Or, giving an old file cabinet a makeover with house numbers? Click HERE to see all sorts of craft and DIY projects!
How Do You Clean the Inside of a Candle Jar?
There are several ways to remove the wax from inside a candle jar to clean it for future use. My foolproof “works 99% of the time” is the freezer method. However, for hard-to-remove wax, I’m including other methods you can try.
Chill Out and Clean: The Freezer Method for Wax Removal
First, burn your candle until the wax has melted across the surface. Once you’ve enjoyed that delightful aroma, let the jar and leftover wax cool for a bit to room temperature.
Next, pop it into the freezer for a few hours. As the wax chills, the frozen wax will shrink and pull away from the jar’s sides, making it a breeze to remove.
It’s always fun to see your candle jar nestled among frozen green beans and bacon!
Just grab a butter knife or a spoon to gently pry the wax out of the jar. Be careful not to scratch the glass. The wax will lift right out. Sometimes in wax pieces but it comes out!
Voila! Your jar is now wax-free and ready for a new life. Clean, simple, and no fuss – just the way we like it!
Soapy Solutions: Melting Away Wax in a Snap!
I had another candle jar just like the first and the freezer method only worked for the large pieces of was. On to method #2!
For candle jars with stubborn wax residue, try the hot water and soap method.
Start by warming up some water, in a tea kettle, but don’t let it boil.
Pour the warm water into the jar, ensuring it covers the remaining wax. Let it sit for a few minutes, allowing the heat to work its wonders. The softened wax should now be easy to scoop out with a knife, spoon, or spatula.
For the finishing touch, a dash of dish soap helps remove any residual wax. Give it a good rinse, and ta-da – your candle jar is now a blank canvas ready for its next adventure. Easy, right?
You can also fill a sink or a basin with hot soapy water. Submerge the candle jars in the soapy water and let them sit for about 15-20 minutes. The heat and soap will help loosen the wax, making it easier to remove.
After soaking, use a sponge or a soft cloth to scrub the inside and outside of the jars, paying special attention to the rims and corners. Rinse the jars with clean water to remove any soap residue.
Boil and Banish: Wax Be Gone!
If you’re dealing with particularly stubborn wax or adhesive residue, boiling water can be your secret weapon.
Fill a pot with water and bring it to a boil. The easiest way is to use a double boiler but I have never had issues with using a regular pot sitting in a few inches of hot water.
Carefully place the candle jar in the pot, ensuring that the bottom of the jar is fully submerged. Let it simmer for a few minutes, allowing the boiling water to melt the remaining wax. Use tongs and an oven mitt or dish towel to remove the jar from the pot. Be cautious as the jar will be hot.
Once removed, use a paper towel or a cloth to wipe away the melted wax from the empty jar.
Another Tip! The boiling water method can also help with removing stubborn sticky labels or adhesive residue from the side or bottom of the jar. Simply soak the jar in the boiling water, and the heat will loosen the glue, making it easier to peel off!
How do You Get Melted Wax Off Glass?
Sometimes, once you get the big pieces of old wax out of the jar, there is a leftover residue on the inside glass, Here are some easy ways to remove the excess wax and enjoy clear glass!
Citrus Oil or Vinegar: Soak a cotton ball or a cloth in citrus oil or white vinegar and rub it along the inside of the jar. Let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing it with water.
The citrus oil or vinegar will help neutralize any remaining scent, leaving your candle jar fresh and ready for its new purpose.
Baking Soda Paste: Mix baking soda with a small amount of water to create a paste-like consistency. Apply the paste to the stained areas of the jar and let it sit for a few minutes.
Use a sponge or a soft cloth to scrub the paste in circular motions, focusing on the problem areas. Rinse the jar with water to remove the baking soda residue.
Commercial Products: Apply a small amount of a commercial cleaning product to the interior of the jar and gently rub it in. Then, rinse the jar with warm water.
Within no time, you’ll have a sparkling clean candle jar, completely free from any lingering wax residue.
What to Do with Empty Candle Jars
Now that you know how to clean candle jars effectively, it’s time to explore their countless possibilities for reuse. From functional storage of everyday items to charming decorative accents, the options for a used candle jar are endless.
So let’s jazz up those cleaned candle jars! Once your jars are wax-free and gleaming, the decorating possibilities are endless!
Elegant Bath Salts Storage
I love to incorporate simple budget-friendly spa bath decorating ideas into our primary bathroom. Elevate your bathroom decor by using candle jars as stylish storage for bathroom essentials. Fill them with bath salts, bath bombs, or even small toiletries. Arrange them on a tray or shelf for a spa-like feel in your own home.
I loved the apothecary style label so much on this jar that I left it on!
Candle Jars as Makeup Brush Containers
Candle jars with a narrow neck are perfect for corraling smaller items. Once you have burned the candle, clean out the wax and put it to good use.
Keep your vanity organized by using candle jars to hold your makeup brushes. Place them on your dressing table and fill them with beads, rice, or sand to keep the brushes anchored in the jar.
Not only will this keep your brushes easily accessible, but it will also add a touch of elegance to your beauty routine.
Candle Jars as Planters
Upcycle your empty candle jars into charming planters for your indoor plants!
Fill them with a layer of gravel or small stones for drainage, and plant your favorite succulents.
Sometimes I don’t even bother to remove the plant from the grow pot that it came in!
Transform your empty candle jars into charming mini vases for fresh or faux flowers.
Jar candles are watertight so fresh flowers will thrive and faux flowers…well, just pop them in!
This is also a great tip for repurposing candle diffuser jars. You can create a charming and inexpensive flower display using multiple jars and simple faux flower stems.
Storage for All Things Small
Empty candle jars make great storage for those small things that just need a tidy little home.
For example, a great idea is to store dishwasher tabs in a taller candle jar.
The same idea is true for simple glass containers. I did an entire post on What to Put in Decorative Glass Containers in the Kitchen. Check it out!
Candle Jar Lid DIY
Give the lid of a clean candle jar a quick makeover. This Christmas candle was a beautiful white jar that had a slightly humorous wood candle lid. (It seemed much funnier in the store!)
I spray-painted the lid in a dark navy color and hot glued a used wine cork to the top for an instant tea caddy!
Tea time! (This would be great for holding office supplies as well!)
Candle Jar as a Tea Light Candle Holder
This jar held a candle at one point. Why not let it hold one again?
Simply place tea lights or battery-operated candles inside the jars. The glass will diffuse the light, creating a warm and inviting glow.
Matchstick Striker Jar
I used another of the same jar to create a matchstick striker jar.
Place a match striker paper patch on the bottom of the candle jar and fill the jar with colored safety matches. There are so many fun match colors available, your new matchstick jar has both form and function!
I always have a candle burning when I am in the kitchen and love having the matches nearby!
Your candle jars have undergone a fantastic transformation from wax remnants to versatile decor pieces!
With these simple yet creative ideas, you can give your empty candle jars a new purpose and reduce waste at the same time.
Here’s to the beauty of recycling and adding a personal touch to your space – may your cleaned candle jars bring joy and warmth to every corner of your home!
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