How to clean out candle jars and reuse them

This photo got a lot of attention when I posted it in this post on Monday. I had people messaging me asking me where I got these cute little jars from so I knew I had to talk about this. They are old candles! I actually use this trick more than I’d like to admit. Every q-tip/cotton ball holder I have in my house is an old candle jar. I even use them for storage for other things. Target always has a good selection (which is where these are from) and I love when Bath & Body Works puts out their candles with the cute sayings on them.

Cleaning out your old candle jars to reuse them is a lot easier than you would think so I did a super quick tutorial on it for you guys.



Old candle

Butter knife

Paper towel


Here’s a perfect example of a jar I wanted to keep because of the saying on it. It wouldn’t burn anymore but there is still a little bit of wax at the bottom so I threw it in the freezer. It usually takes about 4 hours but sometimes I’ve left them in there for months until I have a few to do at one time. It doesn’t hurt to leave them in there.

You can see now that I’ve taken it out of the freezer (this is about 6 hours later) the wax is separated from the edge of the container. This is what you want it to look like.

Next step is take your butter knife and press it into the wax. It doesn’t matter where you do this. The whole point is you want the wax to crack like this.

Continue to do this until all the wax is out of the jar. Pro tip: save the excess wax from the candle and use it in a wax burner if you have one. That way, you get all of your money’s worth out of the candle and you don’t have to spend money on the store bought wax.

I was lucky enough with this one that the little metal pieces on the bottom came off along with the wax but sometimes you don’t get so lucky. The only thing that holds this onto the jar is more wax/glue so what I do at this point is take the jar and run it under really warm water. Sometimes I’ll even let soapy water sit in the jar at this point and try to wipe it out with a sponge (which is what I did here). Now is also when you want to take any stickers off of the jar.

There will still be a little bit of a waxy residue so this is when I take a little bit of vinegar and pour it in the jar. I don’t use a specific amount because it all depends on the size of the jar. Just make sure the bottom of the jar is covered. Take a paper towel and wipe the waxy residue away along with any soot that remains on the jar. The vinegar will take both of these right off.

Now you have a clean, empty jar that you can use for anything you’d like. I put this one on a pedestal in my office and I’m going to fill it with my large metal binder clips that won’t fit in my office organizer.

I linked some of my faves in the widget below (most of which I actually have) that have super pretty jars.



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