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19 July 2023 / Laura Garvin Gomez

How to Get Wax Out of Candle Jars

Discover effective techniques to safely remove wax from candle jars and give them a new purpose, providing you with practical tips on revitalising your favorite candle containers.

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Small lit candle in an amber glass jar

Understanding how to get wax out of candle jar containers will prove very helpful once it has burned through, giving you the option to reuse the old wax to make something new.

When a candle has around ½ inch of wax remaining it is time to stop using it, otherwise, you run the risk of damaging the container or the surface beneath.

If cleaning wax out of candle jars is often a frustrating experience, we hope to make things a little easier with a few methods you can use that should be less stressful.

How to clean candle jars using boiling water

Hot water can be very effective at removing wax, helping to loosen it from the side of the jar. Use the steps below:

  1. Add boiling water: Boil a small amount of water – enough to fill the candle jar – and pour when ready. Leave about an inch of space at the top of the container to avoid potential spillages and burns. Leave the water to settle, and it will start to melt the candle wax, which will slowly start to float to the top.
  2. Remove the wax: Let the water cool completely before you attempt to remove the wax. Strain the water in the sink, ensuring that the drain is stopped and remove the wax once the water has cleared. Make sure you remove as much as possible, as wax can clog drains quite easily.
  3. Soak the jar: An alternative method is to let the jar soak in warm water. Simply fill the sink and place the open candle in the water for about 30 minutes. The wax will slowly start to loosen from inside the jar so it can be easily removed and disposed of. However, if there is a label on the jar that you want to keep in place, this method will probably remove it.

Small lit candle in a clear glass jar on a bench outside with greenery behind

How to clean candle jars in the freezer

Colder temperatures can also prove to be as effective when it comes to removing wax from a candle. Try the following:

  1. Place the candle jar in the freezer and leave it overnight.
  2. Remove the container in the morning and turn it over – the wax should fall straight out.
  3. If the wax doesn’t come out so easily, use a butter knife or spoon to remove it.

When wax is placed into the freezer, it shrinks, so this method should be straightforward and allow you to get most of it out hassle-free.

How to clean candle jars in the oven

As you can see, high and low temperatures help with the removal of wax, which means using the oven is also an option. This method is suitable for plain glass candle jars that do not have any decoration. Use a different method if the jar has any sequins, glitter or similar adornments.

Follow the steps below:

  1. Prepare the oven: Take a baking sheet and line it with aluminium foil. Place the candle jars upside down on the tray.
  2. Heat the oven: Place the baking sheet in the oven and turn the temperature to 100 degrees celsius. After about 15 minutes, the wax should start to melt and pool on the foil. You can then turn off the oven and remove the baking sheet. Then, using oven gloves, remove the jars from the sheet.
  3. Clean the jar: Leave the candle jar to cool, and once it is safe to touch, use soap and warm to clean it. Let the wax cool and harden on the foil and either remove it to reuse or discard with the aluminium foil.

Three lit candles in amber glass jars

How to clean candle jars using a hair dryer

If using the freezer, oven or hot water isn’t for you, then if you own a hairdryer, you could use it to remove the wax from a candle jar. It is already a common method used to remove wax from carpets, helping to soften the wax so it can be removed.

Try the following:

  1. Turn the hairdryer to a warm setting.
  2. Use the hairdryer to heat the sides and bottom of the jar.
  3. The wax should soften enough so you can scrape it out with a butter knife.

Only use a medium warm setting for this method, as some glass or plastic containers may crack or even melt when exposed to high temperatures.

How to clean a candle jar

Once the wax has been removed from the jar, there may still be bits of residue and soot left on the glass. This can be easily cleaned away using a sponge, warm water, and soap.

Clean the container as normal and then leave it to air dry. Some older candles may have some stubborn build up, so you can use an adhesive remover for this – along with a bottle brush, if needed.

Black and white illustration of a candle

Our guide on how to clean out a candle jar should give you a few helpful ideas that do most of the hard work for you. Wax can nearly always be reused, so getting it out of the container or jar and placing it aside to make another candle later is good for the environment and can also save you money in the long run. Always take care when handling boiling water and removing heated items from the oven, so please allow enough time for everything to cool properly before touching them.

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