How to Clean Out Candle Jars: 3 Ways

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Winter is the best season for burning candles. Their bright flames and warming scents bring a sense of comfort during the cold months and can turn your home into a cozy sanctuary against the winter weather. They can help you focus as you work and are perfect for unwinding after a long day. 

After you completely burn down a candle, it’s easy to clean out any wax that remains so you can reuse the jar somewhere else in your home. Here are three quick, effective ways to clean out your glass candle jars. 

1. Butter Knife

The simplest way to clean out old candle jars is with a butter knife and some good old-fashioned elbow grease. Cool candle wax will come out in large, smooth chunks, and you should be able to scrape it out of the jar easily. Depending on the temperature inside your home, the wax may be fairly hard or soft and pliable. 

It’s best to use a dull knife rather than a sharp one for this method – cold wax will stick together, so you only need to crack the candle base to get it out. You can often also remove old wicks by scraping them with a spoon or simply pulling on them. 

Although most of the wax should come out with this method, there will probably be some residual wax along the bottom and sides of your jar. To completely clean your jar, you can wash it out with soap and warm water. It’s very important not to send large amounts of wax down your plumbing, as it can harden and block the pipes. 

2. Freezer Method

Putting your candles in the freezer is another simple, effective way to clean out old candle wax. When wax gets cold, it shrinks and gets hard. Placing a candle in the freezer makes it easy to get a lot of wax out at once because the cold disconnects the candle from its glass container. 

To follow this method, put your candle in the fridge for a few hours. After it’s chilled, the wax will be much easier to chip out. In some cases, it may fall out of the jar without any extra help. This method works best if there’s not much candle wax left in the jar. 

The freezer method is unlikely to leave extra residue in the jar because the wax should separate from the glass as it chills. However, if there’s any excess wax left around the sides of the jar, you can easily remove it with soap and warm water. Soot markings from burning the candle should also come off this way. 

3. Heat Method

You can also use heat to get extra wax out of old candle jars. People do this in several different ways that are all effective. However, it’s very important not to apply heat quickly to a cold glass jar – glass can shatter if exposed to quick changes in temperature. 

Some people pour hot water into the candle jar and then let it cool. As the wax inside the jar melts, it will rise to the top of the jar and form a hard disc. Then, you can snap the thin disc and remove the wax. You may have to do this several times if there’s a lot of wax left in the candle jar. 

Another option is to immerse your candle jar in a pot of hot water on the stove. The wax inside the jar will melt, and then you can tip it out onto a paper plate or into another container for reuse. This is a great way to remove any excess wax after using one of the other methods. 

You can also heat your candles in the oven, over a double-boiler, or with a hairdryer. Each of these methods uses the same principle of heat to melt the wax inside the candle jar so you can pour it out. After using heat to remove the wax, you’ll need to wash the jar with soap and warm water to remove any last waxy residue.

Trash to Treasure

After you’ve used one of these methods for how to clean candle jars, you’ll be left with a shiny glass jar and a pile of old wax. Candle jars are perfect for storing beauty products, holding writing utensils, and even keeping chocolate chips and other baking goods handy in the pantry. 

If you have a tart warmer, you can melt old wax into small tarts or wax melts to scent your home. Alternatively, you could also melt all your wax scraps together and pour them into an old candle jar to create a new, signature candle for free. 

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