How To Clean & Reuse Old Candle Jars (The Easy Way!)

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How many candles do you own at any given time? If you’re reading this, chances are you may own quite a few. 🙂 I have to admit, candles are one of my favorite things. I’m guilty of owning multiple scents and rotating them depending on my mood. I just love how quickly and easily cozy scents can make your home more inviting; For me they’re also the perfect recipe for unwinding at the end of the day.

While I love the glass jar candles from Bath & Body Works the most, it’s always the same decision that I’m faced with when they reach their end; What do I do with the jar? Should I just throw it away? But it’s a perfectly good (and pricey) jar!  So after going through this sad ending for quite some time now (and saving my jars) I finally decided that it was time to clean them out and reuse them. I searched around a bit on the internet and found different ways to clean out old candle jars, but I played around with the techniques, and what worked best for me is so simple.

Below I outline steps on how to remove the wax and get a perfectly clean and reusable jar!

For this process, you only need these 4 items –

  • Hot water
  • Paper Towels
  • Bar Keeper’s Friend (or similar scrub cleaner)
  • Sponge or steel wool

To start, heat up enough water to fill each candle jar to a point that is higher than the wax residue on the sides of the jar. This can be done with a kettle or on the stove. The key is to get the water as hot is possible.

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Pour the hot water into each candle and let it do it’s thing. The process time will vary depending on how hot your water is and how much wax is in the jar, but give it 15-20 minutes and check it.

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After some time has passed, you’ll notice that the wax has risen to the top and formed a thick layer.

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Once this layer has cooled and is hard enough for you to pick up, gently lift it out of the water.

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Your candle may have metal wick holders that you need to remove from the bottom of the jar. This was really easy for me, I just used my fingers as shown.

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Next, take a paper towel and clean out as much of the wax as you can. It should still be soft at this point, so you can get a pretty good amount off just by rubbing with the paper towel. After you’ve removed most of the wax, use the Bar Keeper’s Friend or similar mildly abrasive cleaner and scrub with a sponge or steel wool to remove any remaining wax residue.

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And voila; That’s really all there is to it! I decided to use some of my jars for holiday decor and others for holding cosmetics and cotton balls. There are endless possibilities for reusing the jars – So no need to throw them away anymore!

Wondering what to do with the old wax that you remove? An easy idea is to buy some wicks at a local crafts store and layer the various scents in one of your empty jars, creating a brand new layered candle. 🙂

So there you have it – A quick and easy way to clean out and reuse old candle jars!

Until next time!

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