How To Clean And Reuse Candles And Wax

I’ll be honest: part of the reason I buy candles is because of the pretty containers. In fact, I bought my first Voluspa candle online without even smelling it first because I thought the container design was so elegant!

Because of that, it’s important to me that my candle containers are still usable even after the candles are long gone. Plus, there’s often a little wax at the bottom that I can turn into a tiny candle with a little DIY. I mean, most of my candles cost $15 or more; I might as well get my money’s worth!

Here is how I clean out my jar candles to be repurposed as containers—without losing any of the wax.

I begin with a used up candle, in this case, a Yankee Candle in Tahitian Tiare Flower—a delicate, beachy scent. The first thing I want to do is remove that sticker in front and the sticker on the bottom of the jar. I find the bottom stickers are harder to remove, so I dampen it with a wet paper towel and tear it off in strips.

candle-before

Next, I pour boiling hot water straight from the kettle to my candle (which is sitting on a coaster or kitchen towel to protect my surfaces). I got this technique from Dwell Beautiful and it works great for me, but when you’re dealing with glass and hot water there’s always a chance that the glass could crack, so always be very careful at this step.

candle-hot-water

Almost immediately after I pour hot water into the container, the wax stuck to the bottom starts bubbling up to the surface in a kind of film.

Then, I leave the container alone for a couple of hours. I left this one alone for two hours, and when I came back, it looked like this. Notice how the water is clear in the middle.

candle-wax-solid

After confirming that the container was cool to the touch, I popped out the wax circle on top. It smells just as good as it did when it was in my candle, and now I can reuse it for candle making projects!

candle-wax-out

This candle had a lot of wax in it, so I repeated this step a second time, pouring boiling water in and waiting once more for a second wax disc. After that, all that was left was to pop out the metal wick base and clean off the jar with dish soap and water. I used a paper towel instead of a kitchen sponge because I had a lot of smoke smudges on the inside.

Finally, my jar was ready to use. I’m a knitter, so I put some extra sock yarn in it, but the possibilities are endless. You could store craft supplies, office supplies, beauty supplies, or anything that would benefit from being in a see-through jar in your line of sight. Here are some more ideas if you need them!

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