The Easiest Way to Remove Wax from a Glass Jar Candle
My name is Malia and I’m addicted to candles. There, I said it! I fuel my habit at Bath and Body Works. Their 3-wick candles come in an array of amazing scents and gorgeous colors. They tend to be a little on the expensive side but if you stalk the store (I mean if you frequently visit the shop) and have a little patience, you can find great deals like “buy one, get one free” or 50% off. Since they are usually priced at $22.50, that’s a steal!
Part of the appeal of the candles to me are the packaging. I love the glass jars and the lids which change seasonally. Here are my before candles. They were literally down to the an inch or so of wax.
Isn’t this lid the cutest? It would be a shame to toss it. So I set out to save these awesome glass jars and lids. And a few failed experiments later, I’ve discovered the the EASIEST way to get rid of the old wax so you can put these jars to use in a fresh way.
Supplies: Glass Jar Candles, boiling hot water, a butter knife (maybe one you don’t care about!) and Goo Gone. You’ll also want to have kitchen tongs on hand.
You’ll know when it’s time to recycle your jar when you go to light your candle and it turns into about an inch of liquid.
1. Make cuts/jabs into the hard wax with the knife. Do NOT try to cut the wax into quarters. This is too hard on the glass and it will break (learned that one the hard way).
2. After you make the cuts, the wax will start breaking into chunks. Keep going until all the wax is broken up. Discard it.
Now you’ll still have the wicks to deal with, as well as wax inside the glass and labels on the side of the jar and the bottom.
Here’s what all the jars looked like after I removed the wax chunks.
3. Boil some water (I filled a measuring cup with water and popped it in the microwave until it was boiling) and pour 2-3 inches into the glass containers.
4. The hot water will loosen some of the metal wicks. Use salad tongs to grab the ones that need a little extra help. See all that extra wax floating to the top? Pretty darn cool. Pour it in the garbage when the water cools off.
5. Next, peel off the label that’s on the side of the jar.
We’re getting there!
6. Flip the jars over on a rag or old towel and squirt some Goo Gone on the bottom label.
7. Give it a few minutes to saturate the paper, then peel the labels off.
8. Any remaining residue will come off with hot tap water.
Here are the jars– no wax or labels and ready to be used for some new purpose!
Great tips! I would keep the chunks of wax though, it’s super easy to save and then remelt them into brand new candles. https://zoundsdesigns.com/2012/03/21/recycle-old-candles/
I realize I’m arriving a bit late for the old candle wax party, but I felt the need to point out something important that was probably an oversight. It only takes 2 minutes to boil 8 oz of water in a measuring cup, so I surely hope you were talking about a quart size measuring cup when you said to microwave for 6 minutes.
I’m merely trying to clarify to keep folks safe out there in crafty world! Thanks so much for your blog.
Thanks so much for your comment, Mary. You are correct, I used a quart size measuring cup. I changed the wording to make it clearer. Thank you for taking the time to help me! BTW Malia means Mary in Hawaiian, so we are name twins. (-:
I’ve had great luck with putting the jars in the freezer overnight. The remaining wax and wick pop right out.
That is how I do it too.
Wow… I never thought about that I would have thought that putting them in the freezer would make them breakable I just used the water and once they were finish I got the wax out and I use just soap and water to get the rest of the labels off thank you
I have an easier way to get the wax out in one lump if the candle doesn’t burn completely and then I use it in a wax warmer. I run dishwashing liquid around the inside top of the jar. Fill it with boiling water and allow the wax to bubble to the surface and cool. Then I was the jar in hot soapy water.
I do this with my wax warmer dishes. Pops out easily in minutes.
Thanks for the tip, Sharon. I think I need a wax warmer!
I use the remaining wax in the bottom of the waste bin to make it smell nice. I also have an old vacuum cleaner with a bag and I put wax in there too,.
So clever, Julie! I’d love to try that!
Janet Glenn says
I put my candle jars in the freezer for a little while and all the wax, wick and wick holders pop right out.
Great idea Janet! I am looking forward to trying that!
An easier way to get the wax out is to throw the whole thing in the freezer! Then with a butter knife, press down on the edging. One you hit a few of the right points it the wax should just pop right out! For the left over little pieces I usually just let it soak in soapy water, let it air dry then wipe out the excess with a paper towel. It’s a lot less physically demanding and doesn’t require as many tools or products!
I like to put mine in the oven to melt all the waxes and then pour off to make a new layered candle. Thanks for all the tips!
N M Brady says
Just throw them in The freezer overnight if you can. As long as the jar is the same size on the top as it is the rest of the candle it will slide right out. All you have to do is take it out of the freezer and it pops right out.
How were you able to remove the candle scent from the lids? I ran the lids through the dishwasher but they still smell very strongly.
The wax can be reused as well. I use the wax for fire starters. I keep paper egg cartons in the laundry room and fill each empty egg compartment with dryer lint. When the egg carton is filled with dryer lint, I put the candle jars in a pan of water and bring the heat up high enough to melt the wax. I then pour a little melted wax over the lint in each compartment of the egg carton and let it cool. I then cut the egg compartments up into six pieces of two compartments each. I then push two egg compartment fire starters into an empty toilet paper roll and push down the ends of the toilet paper roll. It makes a nice little package. Then we use that under the wood to help start fires. Works like a charm and recycles stuff that would otherwise be deemed as useless!
You use a product called goo gone we are in South Africa what alternative can you use to get glass jar shiney clean
Freezer way is the easiest. I turn my candle jars/holders upside down in the freezer. Within a few hours I take them out & the wax falls out when I lift the jar.
Just put the jar in the freezer the wax pops right out. Then you can do the boiling water after the jar is room temp.
Thanks for the great idea. I actually use a butter knife around the cooled off wax and the wax popped right out. Also when putting hot water in the jar, I was able to peel off the label. After most of the wax has come up to the top of the glass, I used a Plastic knife with paper towel and got remaining wax out. Dumped out the water and soaked the it hot water, dawn soap and alcohol for about 15-20 min and turned out perfect.