Simple Ways to Repurpose Old Candle Jars

Simple Ways to Repurpose Old Candle Jars

Here in our candle studio we do our best to minimize environmental impact - it's part of being B-Corp certified. As individuals we also enjoy tips about being more sustainable at home, and reusing well-loved items is one easy and fun way to do that.

Reluctant to toss a nice candle jar into the trash or recycling bin? Us, too! As candle lovers ourselves, we can't help but be drawn to creative ideas to keep appreciating decorative containers long after the wax is finished.

There are so many great ways to reuse and repurpose candle jars in your home. Part of what makes us love ceramic candles and unique candle jars so much is knowing we will continue to use them as beautiful decor and organization containers in almost any room, whether the bathroom, living room, bedroom or kitchen.

Getting started requires just a quick cleaning of your container and a touch of creativity. To help, we're sharing how to clean candle jars and some of our favorite repurposing ideas. Here are simple answers to common questions you may have about how to reuse your candle after the wax is gone. 

How to clean old candle jars

Once you are finished with your candle, there is typically a layer of wax at the bottom. This is normal and actually a safety feature. But leftover wax can be messy to wash away since water and oil do not mix, and you never want to put wax into a drain.

Thankfully, there are two simple ways to easily remove the remaining wax from your candle jar right in your kitchen. One uses the oven and the other a freezer - both do the job wonderfully. For any glass or ceramic candle jar, you can use the oven. This is our preferred method because the heat does all work! Here are six simple steps to follow:

  1. Pre-heat your oven to the lowest setting (150F to 170F).
  2. Line a pie pan or baking sheet with tinfoil or wax paper - be sure to make it "water-tight" to contain melted wax.
  3. Place your candle upside down on the pan or sheet, and place it in the oven.
  4. After about 5-10 mins, carefully remove it from oven using oven mitts (the wax will have melted out onto the sheet).
  5. Wipe the vessel clean of any remaining wax with a towel, and remove the wick with the help of a spoon.
  6. Once all the wax is gone, wash with mild dish soap and voila! Enjoy your candle's new life.

Another way to clean old candle jars is by placing them in the freezer for a few hours or overnight. The cold temperature causes wax to shrink and separate from the glass. Then use a dull knife to gently poke and crack the wax. It should come out in several pieces. Just be careful to avoid breaking the container, too!

Once the wax is removed (in the oven or by the freezer method), pry the metal wick tab free with a spoon, remove any remaining adhesive residue, and wipe the container clean with a paper towel and a dab of olive oil. Then simply clean your empty candle container as you would any dish with a little soap and water, and your jar will look brand new for any repurposing!

What to do with empty candle jars

Once you have an empty candle jar, you can transform it into almost any new use that you can imagine. A few simple ideas are using yours as an organizer for accessories or desk supplies, or adding the glass to your kitchen collection as a drinking glass.

Anywhere you have small items lying around, such as makeup brushes, loose pens, or paper clips, you can place in your jar. Depending on the size of your candle jar, you can even use it as a small vase for fresh flowers like lavender in your dining room.

If you love nature in your home, one fun reuse idea is to turn your empty candle jar into a planter pot for flowers, herbs or succulents with a little soil and water. Many candles are even designed to be repurposed, like our Marbella Candle and Terrace Collection. Each one has a tray and drainage hole, and comes with wildflower seed paper to transform into a planter when it is finished.

Can I reuse old candle jars? 

She Inspires Candle repurposed to hold Qtips

The short answer is absolutely! Whether your empty candle jar is many years old or a new favorite, bringing new life and purpose into it is a lovely way to re-inspire your decorating.

We love seeing all the ways that candle jars can be reused, and trying new ideas in our own homes. The options are truly endless when it comes to sustainable reuse. If you have a fun or easy repurposing idea to share, let us know in the comments below! 

Tag #prosperitycandle on Instagram and we'll repost with our community to spread your inspiration!

Women artisans of Prosperity with handmade candles in our studio.

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2 Responses

Prosperity Candle
Prosperity Candle

September 21, 2020

Thank you so much for that wonderful idea Katherine! We will definitely keep it in mind.

Katherine White
Katherine White

September 20, 2020

Maybe you could sell candle refills. Candles that fit in your containers/jars. I would like to buy candles that put in jats that I could use over and over.

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