Plus, learn how to clean the jar after the wax is removed.

By Taneasha White
June 09, 2021
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Pink candle burning in a glass beaker on an old white wooden table
Credit: PAVEL IARUNICHEV / Getty Images

Candles make for a lovely addition to any room in your home. In addition to adding a warming glow, the perfect candleholder can spruce up your space and tie together a room's entire décor. Whether you have a favorite holder or you simply want to repurpose leftover candle wax for another DIY project, figuring out how to get wax out of a candle jar is a valuable technique to learn.

"Once you have gathered your leftover wax, you can save [it] for future use," Ki'ara Montgomery, co-founder of Mind Vibe Co, says. Teri Johnson, the founder of The Harlem Candle Company, suggests using a simple candle warmer to utilize your leftovers. "The best thing to do is to put the wax in a wax melt warmer. It is warmed with a tea light candle, and you can enjoy every last bit," she says. You can also save your candle jars once they are clean to make new candles, or as storage for everyday items such as makeup brushes or pens and pencils. Follow these tips from Montgomery and Johnson to salvage your favorite scents and remove pesky leftover wax from a jar all at once.

Spoon Out Soft Wax

The type of wax plays a pivotal role in the technique you'll use. It might not be a difficult job, especially if you have a more malleable blend of candle such as soy. Johnson suggests using a spoon to remove leftovers for these softer wax blends-simply spoon out the remaining wax and clean the jar, and it'll be wax-free in no time.

Place in Freezer

Another option that Johnson recommends is to pop the candle in the freezer before attempting to retrieve the wax. "You can stick the candle in the freezer overnight," she says. "Then use a butter knife, nothing too sharp, to stab it a few times to create a few divots. This will allow you to remove the wax with ease along with the wicks and wick tab." Then give the holder a good clean and reuse.

Use a Double Boiler

Montgomery is a fan of the double boil method. Fill a pot or saucepan with water (no more than ¾ full), set your candle jar inside, and bring the water to a boil. Once your wax is soft enough to remove with a spoon, you're all set. You can test if the wax is soft by poking it with a spoon or knife. Then, wrap a dish towel around the candleholder to remove it from the hot water.

Clean Your Candle Jar

Be sure to rinse your candle jar with hot water and soap, and wipe clean before reusing or recycling. "Use an old sponge that you're going to throw out," says Johnson. Once you've given your candle container a good wipe down, there will be wax residue on your sponge, and you likely won't want to use it again.

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