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How To Remove Candle Wax From A Jar Easily

Never dispose of a candle jar again. Let me show you how to remove candle wax from its jar using four different techniques, so that you can recycle and reuse the jars over and over again.

So, you bought and burned your favourite candle and now you are left with a jar or candle holder that would be just the thing to reuse as another candle holder, trinket holder, or a plant pot? However, you’ve been left with a waxy, sooty mess that seems impossible to remove? Yup, I’ve been there too. Thankfully, it is easier and not as messy as you think to remove the residual candle wax from your jar. Let me show you four different methods that you can try at home today.

How To Remove Candle Wax From Its Jar – Four Ways

Image of three candles in glass jars with a blue text box that says how to remove candle wax from jars so you can reuse them.

First, of all – a note on safety. When you are trying to remove candle wax, it can be tempting to burn your candle as much as it will allow before self-extinguishing. This isn’t a great idea. The base of the jar can get very hot and cause your candle to explode. Burning it this far down can also damage the surface your candle is sitting on.

Instead, extinguish your candle when about one centimetre to half a centimetre (½ of an inch to ¼ of an inch if you prefer old school measurements) of wax remains. This will prevent your candle jar from overheating, and potentially shattering.

Now we’ve got the safety chat out of the way, here are the best ways I’ve found to remove leftover candle wax from its jar. You can use the quick links below to navigate to each section, or just keep scrolling:

Freeze The Candle

Use Hot Water

The Soaking Method

Warm The Candle In The Oven

Freeze The Candle

My preferred method to remove candle wax from a jar is to simply pop the whole thing in the freezer overnight. Yup, just put the candle jar upright in the freezer. This method shrinks the wax – no matter if the wax is plant-based or mineral-based – making it easy to remove. In the morning, you can just take the candle jar out of the freezer and turn it upside down. The leftover candle wax should just pop right out, without too much fuss.

If the candle wax is being stubborn, then you can use a spoon or a butter knife to carefully prise the wax out. If it won’t come out, then don’t risk injuring yourself. Just try another method.

Use Hot Water To Remove Candle Wax

If you can, use a spoon or butter knife to remove as much excess wax as possible. Place your candle jar on a heatproof surface, and then, depending on what your candle is made of, add hot water.

  • If your candle was made from beeswax or soy wax, then add hot water to the jar – leaving around 2 centimetres of space at the top of the jar.
  • If you candle was made from a mineral based wax, then add boiling water to the jar, again leaving around 2 centimetres of space at the top of the jar. This method can cause your jar to break so do if you decide to try this technique then proceed with caution. Take care when using boiling water as your candle jar may not be heatproof. If you hear any supicious cracking noises, then, using an oven glove, carefully pour out the water. If in any doubt about the integrity of your jar, or if it is made of thin glass, then do not use this method for candles made from mineral based wax.

No matter which method you try, after a short period, the hot water should have melted the candle wax. This should cause the majority of the wax to float to the surface of the container. Let the water cool completely before removing any large pieces of wax, and then strain the water into a bowl – not your sink. Using a mesh strainer, try to fish out as many small pieces of wax out of the water as possible, before discarding the water. This is because wax could block your sink.

The Soaking Method

For beeswax or soy-based candles, then another effective method for removing candle wax from your jar is the soaking method. If you are not precious about keeping the label on your candle jar – because it will come off – then using this method you just let the candle jar soak in hot water.

Simply fill your sink with hot water, and place the jar in the water for around half an hour or so. The heat should melt the residual candle wax, making it easy to scoop out with a spoon or butter knife.

Warm The Candle Jar In The Oven To Remove Wax

This method isn’t my favourite, as it’s a little messier than the others. However, if your candle wax is refusing to budge from its jar, then it’s a good technique to have up your sleeve.

Do note that this method is not suitable for candle jars with any decorations on them. This includes stickers, labels, sequins, or glitter. Only place plain glass jars in the oven.

If your jar is suitable, preheat your oven to 80°C/180°F, and line a rimmed baking dish with some tin foil. Place the candle upside down on the dish and then pop it in the oven, for about 15 minutes or until the wax melts. You’ll know when the wax melts because the wax will form a pool on the tin foil.

Once the wax has melted, remove the dish from the oven, and place it on a trivet or similar heat-safe surface. Then let your jar cool before cleaning it in warm soapy water. When the leftover wax has dried on the tin foil, simply peel it off the tin foil to reuse or recycle. Do see my notes on candle wax recycling below for more details on this.

Final Steps

No matter which method you employ to remove candle wax from your jar, your jar will need a good clean. A scrub in warm soapy water will help remove any residual wax and soot, leaving your jar ready for whatever purpose you have in mind.

How To Recycle Candle Wax

Once you have successfully been able to remove the leftover candle wax from your jar, don’t bin it. It’s a little-known fact that old candle wax can actually be recycled, even if you are not a candlemaker.

If you make your own candles, simply keep the wax scraps to meltdown for future candle-making crafting times. However, even if you don’t make your own candles, you can still recycle the old candle wax.

Companies like The Recycled Candle Company will take any type of old candle wax and melt it down to make new candles. The wax can be in any colour, scent, or size. And don’t worry if there is any debris in the wax. This can be removed during the refining process. And after following all of these tips, and you still can’t remove the wax from your candle jar, they will also take the wax in all types of containers. This includes glass. They will even take the aluminium sustainers from tealights, and these will be recycled too for zero waste.

If you are local to Devon, you can drop off your candle wax in person. Alternatively, you can save up your leftover candle wax, and post it to them. All the information you need is here.

Life & Style, sponsored

Shop Plastic-Free Products Easily At The Ideal Sunday | AD

This article on plastic-free products made easy is paid-for content in association with The Ideal Sunday.

Sunday is grocery shopping day in our house, and I’ll tell you what is not my ideal Sunday. Trying but failing to buy the plastic-free products I need at my local shops. Supporting your local high street is brilliant, but when your local high street doesn’t cater to you then it is frustrating. My ideal Sunday would instead involve quickly and easily finding the products without plastic I need online, in one place, and then getting on with the rest of my day.

Thankfully, The Ideal Sunday has stepped forward to make my vision of a stress-free Sunday a reality!

Who Are The Ideal Sunday?

The Ideal Sunday is a new UK-based eco-friendly, plastic-free, and zero waste online store that was set up in 2020. As well as bringing you a great range of ethically made sustainable and plastic-free products, all made in the UK, they also plant a forest along the way. The Ideal Sunday plant a tree, in collaboration with Ecologi and the Eden Reforestation Project, with every order placed. If you want to do more, you can add extra trees at the checkout. This adds more trees to The Ideal Sunday’s future forest.

Offering sustainable and plastic-free swaps to their customers is great. However, The Ideal Sunday goes one better and through their blog, they also offer a knowledge hub to help their customers learn more about how to create a sustainable future through making sustainable swaps. This guide on alternatives to tin foil, for example, is a really useful read.

With a focus on friendly service and community, The Ideal Sunday seeks to be the online version of your favourite local store. You know, where the shopkeeper always remembers your name and asks you how your day is going. But one where you get a side order of sustainability knowledge too, every time you pop in.

Plastic-Free Product Shopping Made Easy

The Ideal Sunday has a great range of plastic-free products that support a sustainable lifestyle. Broadly categorised into three main product categories: personal care, household, and plastic-free on the go, let’s take a whistlestop look at each department.

Zero-Waste Personal Care Products

A selection of plastic-free products available from The Ideal Sunday, including bar soap, deodorant in a tin, and natural bamboo plasters.

The first stop on our tour of The Ideal Sunday is the zero-waste personal care products section. Here you’ll find solid soap bars, like these deliciously scented bars from Kleen. This 100% vegan soap is handmade in the UK using only high-quality, natural ingredients with packaging that is recycled and recyclable. Essential oils, such as cedarwood, ylang-ylang, patchouli, and vetiver, provide a moreish fragrance.

Talking of smelling good, The Ideal Sunday carries a range of plastic-free deodorants, such as this tea tree and lavender deodorant from Zero Waste Path.

And, if you need to stock up your household first-aid kit, then pick up these Patch plasters. Made from bamboo, these plastic-free and home compostable plasters are hypoallergenic and perfect for those with sensitive skin. 

Plastic-Free Household Products

A selection of zero-waste household products available from The Ideal Sunday, including solid dishwashing soap, compostable kitchen cloths, and concentrated cleaning products.

Shopping for conventional household products is hardly a treat. However, The Ideal Sunday has turned a mundane activity into a delightful experience. Browsing their beautiful plastic-free household products section is a visual feast for the eyes, and is great at giving you inspiration for your sustainable home.

For the kitchen, you’ll find plastic-free dishwashing soap bars to concentrated refill cleaning products and to home compostable sponge cloths. In fact, The Ideal Sunday has everything you need to give single-use plastic the heave-ho in the kitchen.

Of course, it’s not just cleaning products that The Ideal Sunday sells. In the household section, you’ll also find seriously useful items such as wireless iPhone chargers made from recycled plastic waste to reusable coffee filters, and even plastic-free ground coffee.

Sustainable On-The-Go Products

Sustainable products for a plastic-free life on the go, including reusable shopping bags and plastic-free food saving products such as silicone bags.

And for when you are out and about, The Ideal Sunday is there to help you live more sustainably on the go.

In The Ideal Sunday’s On The Go collection, here, nestled amongst a whole range of plastic-free lifestyle products, you’ll find stylish reusable shopping bags from ethical brand Kind. These funky bags are each made from 6 recycled plastic bottles, and hold the equivalent capacity as 2 to 3 regular shopping bags, up to a maximum of 20 kilos. They’re super for stashing in your bag so that you never forget a reusable shopping bag again.

For food on the go, you’ll also find useful items such as these silicone zip-lock pouches and silicone stretch lids from Green Island. These great value products make packaging a plastic-free lunch a breeze.

Q&A Time

Whilst we are here perusing the shelves of The Ideal Sunday, I thought it would be interesting to have a quick Q&A with Will, the founder of Ideal Sunday. Here’s what Will had to say about all things The Ideal Sunday and eco-friendly living in general:

So Will, to kick things off can you tell us a bit about yourself?

Sure! I’m originally from Adelaide in South Australia but have been living here in the UK since 2016.

I love to travel, and I met my partner Victoria whilst travelling in Barcelona. She’s British, hence the move to the UK. I initially studied architecture at university – this was my first foray into sustainability. I then taught myself web design and development when I moved to London, which gave me a bit of an edge when starting The Ideal Sunday.

Outside of work I am a big fan of food and exploring new places. One of the things I love about the UK is that with every new turn you find new places to explore. I’m also a big fan of sports (playing and watching) and generally keeping active. I’m currently training for the Hackney Half Marathon, and I’ve got my fingers crossed that the ski resorts will be open this winter and I can get out in the mountain air!

And what prompted you to start The Ideal Sunday?

It was actually a combination of a couple of hard realisations, along with a really happy day that prompted me to start The Ideal Sunday.

I knew I wanted to do something to help tackle plastic pollution more generally, and we were discussing some ideas on a walk through the woods on a sunny December afternoon – you guessed it, a Sunday. It was one of those days that made me reflect and really appreciate the natural world around us. On our way home, we all agreed we’d had ‘The Ideal Sunday’, and this is where the name came from!

The Ideal Sunday is unique to each and every one of us. For me, it’s a time for relaxation, reflection, and an appreciation of the beautiful world we all live in.

A few weeks after that, in January 2020, I was lucky enough to take a trip to Diani Beach in Kenya. It’s the most beautiful place. Think white sands, clear water, and skies full of colourful sails from windsurfers. But in amongst all of this, I was overwhelmed at the prevalence and the impact of plastic pollution. We took a trip to visit the national parks, and even amongst the most breathtaking landscapes, it was often punctuated with plastic waste that had built up along the streets and highways. It felt that plastic had become part of the environment.

To think that my little company could change this oversimplifies the issue. There are lots of factors at play. Infrastructure, lack of choice, availability, and accessibility of alternatives to name a few. However, for me, it was a real eye-opener and a realisation that change was definitely needed.

Another eye-opener for me was when I started to research this industry. I thought I was pretty on top of living a sustainable lifestyle. However, the more I read the more I realised there were so many more changes I could make! I figured if I didn’t know about them maybe there’s a lot of other people out there who don’t know either. It was my aim to change this!

You have a big focus on plastic-free products. What was your first plastic-free swap?

I think a lot of us subconsciously make decisions to avoid single-use plastic every day. I’ll take a water bottle with me when I travel or I’ll buy loose bananas instead of the ones in the bag. My first ‘conscious’ plastic-free swap, though, was a pack of beeswax wraps from BeeBee & Leaf. They are a versatile alternative to plastic cling film, and you can wrap just about anything with them. Think leftovers, fruit, veg, nuts, and herbs. You name it, you can wrap it!

What’s your biggest tip for living a greener lifestyle?

The biggest tip I’d have for living a greener lifestyle is to leave yourself time to plan. Trying to be plastic-free in a world that still relies so heavily on plastic means it can be really challenging to make conscious choices in a rush. And don’t be afraid to be creative. We were talking to a stallholder at a market near us at the weekend, and she said that someone had come in with an old (hopefully clean!) pillowcase to bulk buy pasta! I love that prep work and the ingenuity.

As the UK starts opening up again, it can be really tough to make greener choices while travelling. Your options are often limited. We got the train down to Cornwall a few weeks ago. The trip takes over 5 hours and I knew that anything coming along in the refreshment trolley would be covered in plastic. The night before we left, we made up some fruit and yogurt straight in the yoghurt pot. We also packed some sandwiches and leftover fruit from our Oddbox delivery into Tupperware and we were all set! We also raided the supermarket bakery section at the railway station. Plastic-free and delicious!

Another important tip to remember is that living a greener lifestyle isn’t an all-or-nothing thing. No matter how small, every positive change you make is still progress. If everyone made a little bit of progress then the world would be a much greener place.

And lastly, I’d love to know what you have planned next?

We have some big plans for our small business!

In the future, we’d like to create our own product line of eco-friendly must-haves! If you have any ideas then let us know in the comments. We’d also like to introduce a product recycling scheme so you can return things that aren’t accepted by your council to be recycled responsibly.

Lastly, we’d like to start a store in Australia as we’ll be spending a lot of time between the two countries in the future. It will be a priority of ours to source locally produced products wherever possible to limit the carbon footprint of ourselves and our customers.

Thanks so much, Will, for these insightful answers! And If you are keen to shop for plastic-free products, then do visit The Ideal Sunday’s website. Don’t forget to check out their great blog, and do follow them on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter.