3 Easy Ways to Remove Candle Wax From a Jar

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

Candles make for a lovely addition to any room in your home. Beyond adding a warm glow, the right candle—with an aesthetically pleasing jar—can also spruce up your space and tie together a room's entire décor. Whether you have a favorite candle (and want to retain the jar after you burn through most of the wax) or you simply want to repurpose leftover wax for another DIY project, figuring out how to get that sticky residue 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," says Ki'ara Montgomery, co-founder of Mind Vibe Co. There's one straightforward way to do so, says Teri Johnson, the founder of The Harlem Candle Company. She suggests using a simple candle warmer to remove and 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 more stubborn wax and remove pesky leftovers from a jar all at once.

differently shaped lit candles
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How to Remove Wax From a Candle Jar

Remember: Your candle's wax type plays a pivotal role in the technique you'll use.

Spoon Out Soft Wax

This task might not be a difficult job if you're working with a more malleable candle wax, such as soy. All you'll need is a spoon to remove leftovers for these softer wax blends, says Johnson. Simply spoon out the remaining wax, clean the jar, and it'll be wax-free in no time.

Place in Freezer

For more stubborn leftovers, "you can stick the candle in the freezer overnight," Johnson 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 the Double Boiler Method

Montgomery is a fan of the double boil method. Fill a pot or saucepan with water (no more than 3/4 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 enough by poking it with a spoon or knife). Then, wrap a dish towel around the candleholder to remove it from the hot water.

Alternatively, you can let the wax melt entirely. When it has liquified, carefully remove the jar from the water, scoop out the wick with a spoon, and pour the liquid into a new vessel (where it will harden) to repurpose the wax.

How to Clean Your Candle Jar After Wax Removal

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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