The Ultimate Guide To Reusing Your Old Candle Jars

How to remove wax from your old scented candle containers. Plus our favourite ideas for repurposing candle jars - Turn them into plant pots, pen holders...
If you've ever wondered how you can reuse your old candle containers, we have created the ultimate guide covering everything from cleaning out the old wax, to great ideas for repurposing scented candle jars.
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If you’re a candle addict like us, you’ll undoubtedly have a sprawling collection of burnt out candles just piling up somewhere. Each candle has been fully enjoyed and only a small amount of wax is left languishing at the bottom of the old jar.


Your first step to being able to reuse the decorative jar your old scented candle called home, is to remove all the old wax from inside it. There are a number of different ways to achieve this.



The Freezer Method

Because candle wax becomes brittle when it is frozen, it can easily be removed from its container. To start, place the old candle container into your freezer for a couple of hours. Once it has frozen, use a knife to gently pry out the remaining wax. Put some warm water on a paper towel and wipe out any leftover debris. This is a good method for candles made using Parrafin wax or Beeswax.


The Double Boiler / Bain Marie Method

For stubborn leftover wax, the double boiler method will be a great option. This method works by filling a bowl with boiling water, and gently sitting the candle container it it for a few minutes. The heat from the boiling water will transfer through the sides of the container melting the wax left attached to the inside. Once the wax has softened, carefully remove the jar from the water and pour out the melted wax. The jar can then be washed using warm water and soap to finish.


The Wash & Go Method

This is the simplest method and works well for candles made of wax with a low melting point like Soy Wax. First remove as much of the leftover wax as possible using a sharp knife. Then, just fill the container with soap and hot water from your tap, let it sit for a minute, before scrubbing the inside clean. Voila! 


Reuse Candle Jars


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+ Remove The Wick Holder

Once you have removed all the wax, don’t forget to take out the wick holder. If its stuck down, just slip a sharp knife underneath and pop it out. A little boiling water will usually help if it doesn’t want to come out easily.


+ Save Thin Containers

To get wax out of long thin containers, try using a hairdryer on a hot heat to loosen the wax before using an old chop stick to scrap the wax out.


+ Keep The Old Wax

It’s often worth setting the old wax aside as there are a number of projects you can do with. We’ll be adding a few ideas to the blog in the near future so make sure your signed up to our newsletter so you don’t miss anything!



+ Fragile?

If you’re worried that the glass container is fragile, we’d recommend using the Wash & Go Method – it’s slower, but your less likely to break the container.


+ No Drains

Never put the wax melted in water down the drain. It will cool and solidify, and probably end up clogging the pipe.


+ Don’t Overheat

You should be careful not to overheat glass containers. There is a risk that the glass will explode if the jar gets too hot. In fact, both freezing the wax and pouring boiling water into the jar run a great risk of shattering the jar so only use those methods if you are sure the container can handle it.


+ Don’t Microwave

Never ever use a microwave to melt wax inside old candle jars. The wick holder that holds the candle wick in place is made out of metal, which could not only ruin your microwave, but start a fire.

Reuse Candle Jar



Your favourite scented candle is nearing the end, all it’s perfectly fragranced wax has vaporised over countless evenings of cosy enjoyment, and your left with just the empty vessel. A beautifully decorated, elegant container that your in love with almost as much as the scent it once produced. 


Of course there’s no need to worry, there are plenty of great ways to reuse your old scented candle containers. After you’ve followed our cleaning instructions above, you’ll be able to recycle the candle holders – here are a few of our favourite ideas…


Reuse Candle Jars



Old scented candle containers are the perfect size to become your latest leafy addition’s new home. With our current obsession with succulents and pretty much every other plant out there, we almost don’t have enough old candle jars – that really is saying something! 


Because of the need to use brown soil, most people tend to choose amber or coloured glass candle jars for planting, however clear jars are great when growing in water.

Reuse Candle Jar for plants



What better way to keep your beauty space organised than to upcycle your favourite scented candle jars? Larger candles make perfect holders for make-up  brushes, eyeliners and pencils, while small candle containers make great places to keep cotton wool pads or bobby pins.  

Reusing Candle Jars



Your unlikely to find us at our desk without a calming candle lit, so it makes sense that when all the wax has been used up we’d recycle the candle jars to make pretty pots for our stationary! 






A post shared by Peter Som (@petersom) on






Did you know that matches can be beautiful too?! Treat yourself to some pretty coloured or even scented matches, and keep them neatly in an old candle container. 


The images below come from Nadine Koi of Well Boxed – if you are ever looking for candle styling inspiration her Instagram is a favourite of ours.










Flowers & candles make us happy. Repurposing your old candles and using them as vases for some fresh blooms is the ideal way to reuse them. 

Candle Flowers
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