Posted in Zero Waste

How to clean, reuse and recycle your old candle jars

If you love burning candles you know how quickly all those jars stack up. Throwing out all the pretty containers seem like such a waste, even if they go into the recycling bin. Repurposing the jars around the home is easier then you might think and have an array of uses.  I will show you just a few examples but the possibilities are endless.

Cleaning the containers

Before you can reuse the jars, the remaining wax has to be removed. There are many methods for this but I find the freezer option the easiest. Just place your candle in the freezer for a few hours, you should be able to see the wax pulling away of the container. I use a butter knife to break up the wax, then the rest usually falls out in big pieces. If you are doing this with a glass jar make sure to be careful as to not break the glass!

Freezing, removing and washing the containers.

When the wax have been removed wash the the jar with warm soapy water to remove residue, depending on the wax you might want to use hot water. Soy wax and other plant waxes can usually be melted with warm water from the tap and wiped away. If you are lazy, a trip in the dishwasher on the hot setting is also an option, I only recommend this with plant waxes though.

If you want to removed the labels this can also be done with water, assuming you are not able to pull it off in one piece. Stubbon sticker can be placed in warm water for some minutes to some hours, until the paper gets soft. If you are left with some sticky residue, I have found that citrus essential oil really works miracles. Add a few drop unto a cloth or directly in the sticky area and rub till it comes off (be carful not to get it on your skin) then wash it off with soap.

We know the frustration of dealing with stubborn labels that refuse to come off cleanly.

That’s why we made the switch to easy-peel labels last year. 


Bathroom and toiletries container

Bigger candle jars are usually the perfect size for storing your everyday toiletries, like your toothbrush, cotton buds and (reusable) facial pads. Along the same lines the jars are also perfect for storing make up brushes or long make up items. If you don’t have enough brushes to fill out the container beads, sand or even small  rounded rocks can be used to stabilize the brushes and keep them up right.

Storing cotton buds, reusable facial rounds and make up brushes in old candle containers.


Plants, plants & plants!

If you are a plant lover like me, reusing your candle jars as small planter pots, is just the best option. Firstly are cute as hell and the plant options are endless. Depending the size, shape and material of the container you can get very different looks and even start your own herb garden. I have planted 3 mini succulents in our metal containers and they are the perfect little trio for our window sill. As long are you research the plants needs and make sure all the wax is removed, is a great way to justify buying some more plants.

Using candle containers as planter pots



Like with the make up brushes candle jars are great for storing long items. Pretty self explanatory, just add your pens, pencils, markers, brushes or what ever you need to the jars. For smaller containers they could be great for storing small stuff like paper clips, rubber bands or twine.


Make a new candle / Use it as a tealight holder

If you want to try out the craft yourself old candle jars are the perfect option for making your own container candle. You already know they are safe to use for candle making, and if you already got it it’s free. All you need is some candle wax, eg. soy wax, paraffine wax, beeswax and so on, a wick and some fragrance oil if you want it. There are many videos online to help new candle makers out. It’s great as a gift for a loved one (yourself included) and fun to try out.

Reusing an old candle jar to make a new candle.

If you are less crafty but still like the idea of reusing the jar as a candle. Simply add a tea light to your clean jar and you got yourself a new tealight candle holder. If the jar isn’t see-through you can use some sand or gravel (needs to be heat safe) to lift the tea light up higher if you want to see the flame.

Using an old candle jar as a tealight holder


These are just some of the many ideas out there, your imagination if really the only limit. For more ideas follow our Pinterest board

If you got any ideas share it down in the comments!

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