How to clean + reuse empty candle jars

by Savanna Mehrad
4 ways to clean and reuse old glass candle jars for storage and home decor

Did you know that you can clean and reuse the candle jars that Pretty by Her candles are made in? Reusing your empty candle jars once you've finished burning your candle is a great way to reduce your environmental impact while diverting more items out of landfills. It also helps keep money in your pockets since you didn't need to buy yourself a new container for storage or decor. Win-Win!

Our candle jars make great vessels for all sorts of things, including home organization, storage and decor. Have a stock of empty PBH candle jars that you want to reuse for yourself? Keep reading to learn about 4 easy ways to clean your glass candle jar once you've finished burning your Pretty by Her candle.

1. Melt Candle Wax with Boiling Water Method

This method is great if you want to leave the sticker or label on the exterior of your empty candle jar.

Place your spent candle jar on a heat protected surface such as a pot trivet or a heat-resistant towel/pad. Using a kettle, bring enough water to boil so that you can fill your empty candle jar. Once boiled, carefully add water to the empty candle jar, filling it to just below where the lip of the lid section begins. You will notice that the hot water will melt any remaining candle wax relatively quickly and it will float to the surface of the water. Allow the water to remain in the candle jar until it has cooled. 

Using a strainer, we recommend pouring the cooled water and wax into a large bowl. The strainer will allow you to collect the melted wax chunks and pieces. Discard these wax pieces into your trash and dispose of the water (we suggest dumping it outside so there's no chance of wax build up in your drainage pipes. If you must pour the water down the drain, take extra care to ensure it is free of ALL traces of wax.)

2. Melt Candle Wax with Water Bath Method

This method is similar to the boiling water method above but uses your kitchen sink to hold the empty candle jars. This water bath method works particularly well when you want to clean more than one candle jar at once. It's also more efficient if you are wanting to remove the labels from your candle jars.

Placing the drain stopper in your sink, fill your sink with enough hot water so that it comes to about 1" below the top of the candle jar. Place the empty candle jars into the water bath in your sink and allow them to sit for about 30 minutes, or until the wax has melted enough to release from the bottom and sides of the empty candle jar. Once melted, pour the remaining wax and any debris pieces into the trash.

3. Freeze the Candle Wax in Your Freezer Method

Did you know you can freeze your candle wax to remove it from the jar? How cool, right?! Remove the lid from your empty candle jar and pop it into your freezer. Leave it for anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours. Once the jar and wax are frozen, use a butter knife or spoon to gently pop the wax out of the jar.

How does this work? It must be magic, right?! Actually, the wax shrinks in the freezer, allowing it to pop right out of the candle jar. The best!

4. Melt the Candle Wax In Your Oven Method

One last way of removing wax from your empty candle jars is by heating them up in your oven. CAUTION: Make sure you remove all labels and stickers from your candle jar before using this method.

Using the oven to clean your empty candle jars is fast and efficient for when you have multiple glass candle jars to clean. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees F. Using a large cookie sheet, line the sheet in aluminum foil and place your empty candle jars upside down onto the aluminum foil. MAKE SURE TO REMOVE ALL STICKERS AND LABELS PRIOR TO PLACING IN THE OVEN. This method works fast so keep a close eye on your candle jars.

After about 10-15 minutes, you will notice the wax melting down from the empty candle jars and onto the aluminum foil lining. Once all the wax is melted, carefully remove the cookie sheet from the oven and place it onto a heat safe surface. Allow jars to cool for a few moments before using oven mitts to remove the hot, empty candle jars from the cookie sheet. 

Cleaning Your Empty Candle Jars

Once you've removed the leftover wax from your candle jar using any of the above methods, use a butter knife or spoon to loosen the wick from the jar. Give the jar one last wipe with a cloth or paper towel to catch any remaining wax from inside the jar. Warm water and dish soap should work great to clean out the insides of your glass candle jars. If you need to, you can clean any stubborn wax spots with a bit of Goo-Gone. Soot marks? A Mr. Clean eraser works really well for that! 

Reuse Your Empty Candle Jars

Now that you have an empty + clean candle jar, let's reuse it! Candle jars make great storage for items such as:

  • kids toys
  • sewing supplies
  • craft + art supplies
  • bathroom hygiene items
  • dry goods + spices

Have you reused your candle jars before? What did you store in them and where did you store them? Tell us in the comments so we can share all of the wonderful ways to reuse our empty candle jars. 


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how to clean and reuse old glass candle jars for storage and home decor

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