How to Clean Out a Candle Jar
You don’t have to be thrifty or eclectic to hold on to your candle jars. Throwing away candle jars once you’ve finished with them is a huge waste, and it’s actually easier to clean out a candle jar than you might think.
By cleaning out your candle jars, you can reuse them to make your own candles, you can use them for plant holders around the house, or you can simply use them for storage and nice décor.
When Is a Candle Finished?
It’s time to retire a candle when there’s about half an inch of wax remaining on the bottom of the jar. If you continue burning the candle beyond this point, you’ll risk damaging the jar and possibly even leaving scorch marks on the surface the jar is on.
With such little wax left, it’s really not worth burning. The fragrance is mostly used up at this point and it’s better to clean out the jar and use it for something else.
How Do You Clean a Candle Jar?
To clean a candle jar, you only need a handful of household items. There are four main ways to do it. Each of them is easy and fast.
Use Hot Water
Hot water is the quickest and easiest way to get the wax out of a candle jar. It’s a method best for candle jars with wide mouths. Put the candle jar on a dish towel or potholder, then boil enough water to fill the entire jar. Pour the boiling water into the jar, but leave a small sliver of space at the top.
The boiling water will quickly dissolve the wax. The remaining wax will then float up to the top of the water. Allow the boiling water to cool down before scooping the wax out. Using a strainer is the best. Be sure not to accidentally dump the wax into the drain. It could clog the drain and cause problems.
There’s another great way to get rid of the wax using hot water. You can fill the sink with hot water and then let the whole candle jar soak. Be sure to put a stopper in the sink to stop the wax from flowing down the drain. It usually takes about 30 minutes for the water to fully break apart the wax.
With the wax dissolved, it will float to the top of the sink, where you can easily scoop it out. This is also a quick and clean way to remove the label from the jar. If you don’t want to damage the label, don’t submerge the jar in the sink.
Use the Freezer
If you don’t want to get messy with boiling water, trying freezing the candle jar to remove the wax. Freezing the candle jar with shrink the remaining wax. This is as easy as placing the retired candle in the freezer and leaving it overnight. In the morning, take the jar from the freezer and turn it upside-down.
The clump of wax will pop out of the jar without any fight. There might still be a few fragments stuck to the glass, but these will easily rinse out. Alternatively, try a butter knife or a spoon to fish the chunk of wax out if it doesn’t slide out easily.
Use the Oven
There’s another method to remove wax from candle jars, and it works especially well if you have a lot of jars to clean out at once. You can use the oven. This method requires a bit of attention, but it’s highly effective.
The first step is to preheat the oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Place aluminum foil on a baking sheet and then put your candles on the foil upside-down. Once the oven is heated, place the candles and the baking sheet inside on the middle rack.
After about 15 minutes, the wax should have melted and then pooled on the tinfoil. This shouldn’t leave any sticky residue inside the candle jars because the heat literally melts every last bit of wax.
Remove the baking sheet and place on a heat-safe surface. Now remove the jars with an oven mitt and allow each candle jar to cool before touching with your bare hands. After a few minutes, the wax will be dried on the baking sheet and you can either throw it away or reuse it to make your own candles.
Use the Hair Dryer
If you’re feeling creative, you can actually remove the last bit of wax in any candle jar by using your hair dryer. Hold the candle jar with an oven mitt and heat it with the hair dryer from all angles until the wax has become soft and wet. At that point, you can easily scoop the melting wax out with a spoon or butter knife.
A hairdryer can be a great gift for a candle lover in your life. Usually, candle lovers are pretty good at reusing their candle jars for either new candles or other things like flowers etc.
It’s recommended that no matter which method you use for removing extra wax from your candle jars, you wash the jars after. There will usually be some sort of residue on the inside, even if all the wax has been removed. Use normal soap and water to get rid of the stubborn slime before reusing the jar.
What to Do with Extra Candle Wax?
If you’ve emptied out a lot of candle jars, you can save the wax and then craft your very own candles. This is easier to do than you might think. Simply take the leftover wax from your empty jars and then combine the different pieces in a microwave-safe dish. Heat the wax in increments of 60 seconds until all the wax has melted into a liquid.
You can also use a hot plate, and use it only for candles.
Next, take a fresh wick and put it in an empty candle jar. Pour the melted wax into the jar while holding the tip of the wick straight. Allow the melted wax to cool at room temperature, then place in the fridge for at least ten minutes.
Now you have a brand-new candle made from all the scrap pieces of your old candles!