How to clean candle jars (the easy way)

If you're anything like me you have a bunch of almost empty candle jars sitting around just waiting till you get the time to clean and re-use them. Oh yes, I have big plans to reuse these lidded  candle jars to store and organize all kinds of things! I just never get around to cleaning them. Well today we're cleaning candle jars!

Cleaned candle jars being used in bathroom as storage

They will look so nice lined up with my dried herbs in them. Or on the bathroom sink. Or used as a vase with a pretty bow around them. Time to get to it! The method is simple....and we're gonna do it today! So gather up all your used scented candle jars and pop them in the freezer and lets get started. 

How to clean wax from candle jars

First, you're going to wait about an hour for the candle remnants to freeze. Once frozen just stab the wax inside with a butter knife and it should break into a few chunks. Just shake them out of the jar into a bowl. You can throw them away if you'd like, but what's left of the wax still smells good so I like to reuse them in wax melt holders.

You could also reuse these leftover wax chunks to make fire starters.

Next, let the glass come back to room temperature and heat some water on the stove. You'll want it hot but not quite boiling. (boiling water can cause the glass to shatter) Place the jars in your sink and pour the water into the jars till full. Now you just wait for the wax to melt. 

It's absolutely imperative that the jars are room temperature before pouring warm water in them or the glass will crack!

While waiting on the wax, get a bowl and dump some ice cubes in it. Once the wax is melted, slowly pour the water into the bowl. You may need to use a pot holder or oven mitt to hold the hot jar. The wax should solidify and float to the surface in little pieces. Strain it out and throw the wax away so it doesn't clog your drain.   

How to clean out used candle jars

Your jars should be mostly clean now. A squirt of dish soap on a scrubbing sponge and some warm water should remove any streaky marks or soot on the jars. 

If the jars have labels now is the time to remove them. They should peel off easily since they're wet. If there is residue left behind just apply a little bit of cooking oil, let it set a few minutes and wipe off with a paper towel. (you could use Goo Gone or WD 40, but I prefer plain 'ole cooking oil) You might have to wash again with dish soap to remove the oil. Let dry and use them for whatever you want!

Candle jars used for storage after being cleaned

Reuse candle jars

I currently have a paper clips and thumbtacks in jars on my desk. A beautifully etched jar holds cotton balls in the bathroom. A few jars without lids hold makeup brushes in my bedroom, just like these jars did

All they needed was some vase filler to help the brushes stand up. As you can see from the photo above I also have drink mix sticks in one on my kitchen counter. 

Cleaned candle jars make a pretty organizer that you can leave out on your counters without it looking tacky. Plus you don't have to buy anything new and it wasn't that hard to clean them, was it? Now why in the world did I wait so long?

Not ready to leave yet? Here are more of my recycle projects.


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How to clean candle jars


  1. I have a lot of used scented candle jars with me, I will get started with this! Green cleaning improves air quality and is safer than traditional cleaning. The improvement is so drastic, in fact, that many companies have noticed a reduction in sick time, and related healthcare costs.

    1. I agree completely! We use way too many chemicals...especially when growing food!

      Thanks for stopping by!


  2. A friend of mine told me the freezer part but I never seemed to be able to get ride of the left over streaky bits. Thanks for sharing this will give it a try.