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How to Clean a Candle Jar: Quick Tip

Author: Hou

Aug. 29, 2022

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Tags: Gifts & Crafts

Hey guys, I’m popping in today to share a quick tip about how to clean a candle jar—including how to get all of that old wax out of your glass candle jars! I got this little glass candle at Target, and once I’d burned the wick down to the bottom, I decided to upcycle this piece into a cat treat container.

More on that project in a few weeks—in the meantime, I’m chatting about how to get all of that old wax out. The first and easiest way to get old wax out of candle jars is to put them in the freezer. The used wax will typically pop right out. However, that doesn’t always work—especially with candle jars that have wax splatters on them. So I’m sharing a method you can use for those messier candle jars.


How to clean candle wax out of jar by melting it

Candle wax has a fairly low melting point since the candle has to burn on an open flame. So melting the residual wax is a great way to clean up the candle jar. I did this by putting a few inches of water in a pot, bringing the water to a boil, and then turning the heat down to a simmer.

This will quickly melt the wax, including all of the old wax residue on the sides of the candle jar. Everything will melt to the bottom in a neat pool. And as a bonus, your house will smell lovely during this process! It’s like a stovetop potpourri.

Important: Only use this method with glass candle jars. I can’t recommend it with other materials (like ceramic) because I haven’t personally tried it myself. Use oven mitts to protect your hands since the glass jar gets very hot. Keep kiddos away from any open flames or hot burners on the stove, as well as the hot wax.

Dump the wax out!

Once the wax was completely liquefied, I created a little “bowl” using aluminum foil. The glass jar gets very hot, so I used oven mitts. If oven mitts are too bulky, you can use smaller heat-protectant work gloves or just a thicker dish towel. (If you want to upcycle your wax, check out my tip about making wax tarts, which I made from the wax residue of our DIY beeswax and coconut oil candles.)

I pour the liquid wax into the aluminum foil, and while everything was still a bit warm, I used a butter knife to pop up the wick plate. As the glass began to cool but was still warm to the touch, I used a paper towel to quickly wipe out the glass jar, too. Then I peeled off the labeled on the side and bottom. Mine came off easily, but you can also check out my quick tip for removing sticker residue if you need it.

After everything had cooled completely, I scrubbed the glass jar in the sink using regular dish soap and a scrubber. This also helped to remove the black soot residue around the rim and the remaining wax spots that hung around after I pour most of the liquid wax out.

And that’s it!

If you’re painting your jar, I recommend rubbing it down with a cotton swab and some rubbing alcohol before doing so. This will remove any dish soap or finger print residue from cleaning. Here’s my cleaned glass jar and what I made out of it…a cat treat container! Check back in a few weeks for the tutorial for that. It’s all about the right way to paint glass