Food

The Last Thing to Do with a Melted Down Candle Jar Before You Recycle It

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If you have an ever-growing collection of candles accumulating in your home, you’re not alone. With so many scents for different seasons, occasions, and moods, there’s always some extra temptation to add another one to your collection when you get a whiff of a new smell. Not to mention, there’s something so cozy about candlelight illuminating your space. 

But when all the wax has melted and the candle has reached the end of the wick, removing that extra wax can be a challenge — especially because you can’t throw glass in the recycling bin with residue on it. Plus, there are so many smart ways to upcycle glass jars in order to avoid any waste. So I spoke to Katie Berry, the cleaning expert behind Housewife How-Tos, to learn the best way to clean out a candle jar. Here’s what she had to say.

How to Remove Wax from a Candle Jar Using the Freezer

The first method requires you to freeze your candle for an hour at minimum, but you can also leave it in there overnight. “The freezer method is great for softer waxes like soy and for wide-mouthed jar candles,” explains Berry. According to the pro, here’s what you need to do.

3. Pull out the remaining wax. The wax should easily pop out without much effort at all, although you may need to use a butter knife to get it started.

4. Use a paper towel and rubbing alcohol to remove any stubborn wax bits.

5. Wash in hot, soapy water or run it through the dishwasher. 

6. What’s left of the wick should come off easily.

7. Reuse your jar however you please!

For paraffin candles or jars with more narrow openings, Berry suggests using another strategy: the boiling water method. If you’re opting for this method, Berry suggests taking the following steps:

How to Remove Wax from a Candle Jar Using Hot Water

2. Place the jar on an oven pad or folded towel.

3. Slowly add boiling water to the jar.

4. Use a slotted spoon or fork to scoop off the wax rising to the top. 

5. Pour the remaining water in the jar through a fine mesh sieve or coffee filter to remove tiny wax bits.

6. When the jar’s cool enough to handle, wipe the inside with a soapy rag to remove any remaining wax.

7. Run it through the dishwasher or wash in hot, soapy water before use. Then, follow the last two steps of the first method.

Once your candle jar is spotless, there are endless ways you can upcycle the vessel. Depending on its size, you can fill the jar with water to use as a makeshift flower vase, or fill with faux greenery for a DIY centerpiece. You can also use them to store kitchen essentials like utensils, small cooking tools, or pencils for jotting down your grocery list.

However, if you’re looking to use your cleaned out candle jars for food, whether that’s concocting overnight oats, storing homemade salad dressings, or using as a glass for drinking water, make sure the jar is made of food-safe glass. 

“If you want to reuse one with a lid for food storage, wash the lid thoroughly then make sure it still fits on the jar tightly,” says Berry. “Fill it with water, add the lid, and check for leaks, but if it’s stained or still has a scent after washing, I wouldn’t use it for that. They’re great for holding toiletries, hair ties, or to stash your makeup brushes in, though.”

The upcycling possibilities are truly endless. And while you’re not only giving yourself the extra storage (without any extra cost), you’re also helping the planet by keeping unnecessary waste out of landfills.

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