How To Repurpose Candle Jars
We did it! Blog post #2! I was so worried I was going to be like 9th-grade-Kyndra who started a blog, wrote one post, and never went back to it.
Choosing what to write about for this blog was easy; I just launched candles in the shop, so naturally, I need to write a blog about how to reuse the jars once they've been burned through. That's the beauty of buying good quality candles: even when they've been burned through, they can be reused over and over again in their own unique way. Let's get into it.
Things you'll need:
- Burned-through candle
- Butter knife
- Fork (optional)
- Paper towels
- Sink full of warm, soapy water
1. Burn through a candle.
This is the easiest part, but also the saddest. You'll want to burn your candle until about 1/2 inch of wax remains at the bottom.
2. Freeze your candle.
Actually, this might be the easiest step. Place your candle in the freezer until the wax is frozen solid – at least 12 hours. The harder the wax is, the easier the next step is.
3. Make some DIY wax melts!
This might be my favorite part about reusing candle jars. I used to think the last 1/2 inch of candle wax was useless and would never get to be burned. But that's a lie!
Grab your butter knife, turn it completely vertical over your wax, and gently apply pressure 'til your knife breaks through the wax. Since the wax is frozen, this will cause it to crack into smaller pieces and break loose from the glass jar.
Tip: The further apart you break up the wax, the bigger the wax pieces you'll have, and the fewer unusable pieces you'll end up with. Try starting by breaking it into four quarters, and then do more if there is still some wax that hasn't come loose from the jar.
Once all your wax has been broken apart, dump your wax out onto a paper plate or paper towel. You'll end up with a few small wax pieces that can't even be used in a wax warmer. Those can just be thrown away.
Here's a picture of my wax after it was broken apart. If you look closely, you'll see those smaller pieces I just mentioned.
4. Remove the wick (optional).
This step is by far the hardest one, and is really only necessary if you're storing food in it. Let your jar come back to room temperature, dry off your jar, and grab your fork.
Very carefully, pry up your wick. The easiest way to do this is to rotate your fork around it until you find a weak spot in the adhesive, then pry it up by starting in that spot. Once it's out, the wick can also be thrown away. It's the star of the show when you burn the candle, but it's not of any use anymore.
Quick note: depending on the quality of your candle jar, you may want to skip this step. I once tried this with a $5 candle from Target and ended up cracking the jar.
5. Clean your jar.
So now you have some new wax melts. You can store them in this jar once you're finished, or put them straight into your wax warmer. Once you've discarded all the unusable pieces, you'll want to clean up your jar.
Fill up your sink with warm soapy water and clean out any remaining wax and soot that may be on the edges of your jar. If you're planning on storing food in your repurposed jar, you'll want to be very thorough in this step.
6. Decide whether or not you want to remove your candle label.
I like to buy candles that have fun labels because they make for fun decorations. Example: here's a repurposed jar from a candle I originally got from The Grayter Good. I use it to hold uncooked pasta (which doubles as a stir stick!) at my coffee bar. At the time, I didn't know removing the wick was possible, so I lined it with parchment paper.
7. Remove your candle's label (optional).
If you decide you want to remove your candle's label, it's super easy! Once you're done cleaning up your jar, let it soak for 30 minutes or more (the longer you let it soak, the easier this step becomes).
Then, simply peel it off. Depending on the label quality, it may come off in one piece, like mine did, or it may break apart as your try to peel it. Either way, the adhesive should be worn down so the label can be removed pretty quick.
Side note: If you end up with any adhesive left behind, you can use rubbing alcohol to get it off.
8. Rinse out your jar, dry it off, and store stuff!
Spoiler alert: your jar will clean up quite nicely, and you'll be able to use it for so many things. Some ideas: wax melts from other repurposed candles, pens/pencils, flowers, candy, etc, etc.
I used this specific jar for storing a hole puncher and the tags that go onto mugs that I sell. It's the perfect size.
9. Find another candle to burn through so you can do it all over again!
Seriously – this is life changing.