You’ve finished burning your Homesick candle and you’d like to do something with the jar, but there’s still some pesky wax left in the bottom. Discover four ways to get wax out of a candle jar, plus tips for removing the label and ideas for repurposing the jars.
How to Get Wax Out of a Candle Jar
There are several different methods for quickly and easily removing wax from candle jars. Here are four tried-and-true processes:
Unlike water, wax shrinks when it freezes. (In fact, most substances do. Water is an anomaly.) Take advantage of this and pop the candle into the freezer for a couple of hours. The wax should pull away from the sides of the jar as it freezes, making it easy to remove. If the wax isn’t loose to the touch, it hasn’t been in the freezer long enough. This method works best on candles that only have a little bit of wax left.
- Lay down a towel or something else to protect the surface and then set the candle on it. Heat water until boiling and then pour into the candle holder. Leave some room at the top. The wax will begin to melt and rise to the surface and then harden again. Once the water has cooled, remove the wax and pour out the water.
Place the candle at the bottom of a large bowl. Pour hot water into the bowl around the candle, being careful not to get water into the candle. Once the edges of the wax begin to soften, you can pop it out in one piece. This works best with soy candles, which have a low melting point. If the candle has a label that you want to preserve, do NOT use this method, as the water can stain or discolor it.
- Preheat the oven to 200°F and cover a baking sheet in aluminum foil. Place all your candle holders open side down on the foil and place in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and carefully take the candle holders off the tray using an oven mitt. This is a very efficient way to remove the wax from numerous candles at once. Just be sure not to crowd the baking sheet too much; otherwise, the wax can overflow the sides of the pan and get all over your oven.
After you’ve removed most of the wax, wipe out the candle jar with a paper while it’s still warm. Remove the wick holder with a butter knife if it’s stuck in place (the heat from the wax melting should also have loosened the glue). Wash out the inside of the candle holder with dish soap and dry it out, being careful not to stain the label.
How to Remove Labels from Candle Jars
Many people like to leave the pretty labels on their scented candle jars, but if you’d like to remove them, there are a couple of different approaches you can try:
- Fill a sink, bucket or pot with hot water, making sure that it’s deep enough to completely submerge your jar. Mix dish soap thoroughly into the water. If the labels are really stuck on, you can add some white vinegar, too. Let it sit, checking every 10 minutes or so, until the label is loose enough to come off in one piece.
- If you have a large enough pot, fill it with water and either liquid dish soap or baking soda. Put your jars in the pot. Place it on a stove burner and turn up the heat until the water is gently simmering (not boiling!). If you want to help the process along, you can carefully peel off the labels with a pair of tongs, or leave the jars until the labels come off on their own.
- If any residue remains on the jars after these processes, rub it with more baking soda until it’s all removed.
How to Reuse Candle Jars
So you’ve got the wax and label removed from your candle jar. Now what? These are some of our favorite ways to reuse Homesick candle jars:
- Use them as glassware or small flower vases.
- Plant small succulents or other plants inside them.
- Take them to the office and use them to corral paperclips, rubber bands and other small supplies.
- Store makeup brushes, Q-tips, lipsticks and other beauty supplies in them.
- Put your pencil, stamps and other art supplies inside them.
- Use the jars as holders for tea lights or smaller pillar candles.
Removing wax and labels from a candle jar is a simple process. Before you know it, you’ll be sipping rosé or displaying flowers in your Homesick candle jar.