3 Ways to Clean Your Used Soy Candle Jars

Although Soy wax candles are considered more sustainable than Paraffin wax candles, there's one thing that all poured candles have in common: vessels! 

Even if you're trying to reduce your impact by switching to burning sustainable soy wax candles, you're still going to be stuck with a glass, tin or ceramic jar after each candle has burned down. The more candles you burn, the more jars you accumulate, so if you're a soy wax candle lover- you may be wondering how to clean and save those jars so you can easily reuse them!

In this blog post, we're going to quickly summarize the top three ways to clean your used glass candle jars, so you can re-use them and prevent them from ending up in landfill. These methods may not work for candle vessels made of ceramics or tin, or candles that aren't made of soy or coconut soy wax.

CAUTION: Always remember to stop burning your candle once 1/2" of wax remains in the vessel. Once your candle has burned down until half an inch of soy wax remains, follow one of the three methods below for cleaning your used candle jars. 

We do not take any responsibility for damages or injuries that may result from following any of the information contained in this blog post. Duh!

Option 1. The Kettle Method: Use boiling water to lift the remaining wax off the bottom of the candle jar

The easiest and cleanest method by far is to use boiling water to lift the leftover soy wax from the bottom of your used candle jar or tin. This works well for softer soy candles, such as coconut soy candles. If this method doesn't work, try Option 3!

What you need: a kettle, a knife and fork, some paper towel.


How to clean your used soy candle jar: add boiling water!

Boil your kettle, then carefully pour the boiling water into your used candle jar. Fill the jar to just below the top edge. The boiling water will slowly melt and lift the last of your wax.

Use boiling water to lift leftover wax from the bottom of your jar

Once the wax has floated to the surface of your jar, it will harden (this may take up to 2 hours).

Break up the hardened wax with a knife

Once it's hardened, use a knife to break up the floating wax.

lift out remaining wax with a fork

Using a fork, lift out and discard the leftover pieces of wax in the bin.

How to clean your used candle jar: remove wick sticker with a fork after the wax has lifted off the bottom with boiling water.

Once all the wax has been removed, use hot soapy water to clean the remaining residue out of your jar.

Wipe down your candle jar with a paper towel and voila! Your candle jar is ready to reuse. 

Option 2. The Freezer Method: Use your freezer to chill the wax so it's easier to break up and remove

This method involves a bit more muscle, but leaves you with perfect wax chunks which can be re-used in a diffuser! The other methods involve melting the wax which can also "burn off" any remaining fragrance, which means the leftovers will be less aromatic if re-used in a diffuser.

What you need: a freezer, a knife, a fork, some paper towel, a diffuser.

How to clean your used candle jar: put it in the freezer!

Place your used candle in the freezer for 2 hours. This will allow the wax to freeze, making it easier to shatter.

How to clean your used candle jars: freeze them!
Once your wax is frozen, remove the jar from the freezer and use a knife to gently but firmly break up the wax cake into pieces.
break up the frozen wax with a knife
How to clean your candle jar with a freezer. Save the broken wax pieces in a diffuser!Remove the chunks of wax and set aside to melt later in a diffuser!
How to clean your used candle jars: lift the wick sticker with a fork

Use a fork to pry off the wick sticker from the bottom of the jar.

Wipe the jar down with some paper towel (this saves your sink from getting any wax in it). Using hot, soapy water, clean any leftover residue from your jar.

Light your diffuser, enjoy the last remnants of your candle, and start dreaming about ways to reuse your jar!

Option 3. The Double Boiler Method: Melt the wax and lift off any wick stickers using a double boiler 

How to clean your used soy candle jar: use a double boiler to melt the leftover wax!
This method involves the use of the stove and some common sense (please don't burn yourself!)- BUT it is the most effective method that should work on any candle, even if it's hard and stubborn and Option 1-2 haven't worked. This method will also lift any wick stickers that may be stuck on the bottom of your used candle jar!

CAUTION: As always, use caution and common sense when working with your stove top. Keep an eye on your vessel at all times, and keep in mind some jars may not withstand the heat of rapidly boiling water, and may shatter. Always use an oven mitt to handle your jar or vessel, as they will get extremely hot to the touch! 

Without further ado, here's how to lift that stubborn leftover wax out of your used candle jar, for success every time!

What you need: a stovetop, a small pot filled with an inch of water, paper towel, a (used) paper cup.


How to reuse your candle jars: use a double boiler to melt the wax! Step one, peel off the label

Peel all labels off your used candle jar.

Melt leftover wax in your candle jar using a double boiler.

Fill a small pot with 1" of water. Place your used glass candle jar in the pot of water, and turn on the heat. 

Once the water starts simmering (avoid boiling), watch your jar closely. The wax will start to melt around the outer edges, and eventually you may see the wick sticker lift too. 

How to clean your used candle jars: melt the wax in the jar in a pot of boiling water, then remove safely using an oven mitt.

Using an oven mitt, VERY carefully remove the jar (now filled with melted wax) from the water.

How to clean your candle jars: melt the wax, then pour it in a used paper cup.

Pour any leftover melted wax into a used paper cup- being careful not to burn yourself. You don't want to pour any wax down your sink! You can discard the paper cup once the wax has cooled.

How to clean your used candle jars: once you've melted the wax in a double boiler and discarded it into a paper cup, remove the wick sticker with a fork

Lift any stubborn wick stickers off with a fork. Wipe your jar down with paper towel.

Wash with hot, soapy water to remove any residue from the wick sticker. Congrats! Your candle jar is ready for reuse!

How to clean your used candle jars three ways: freezer method, kettle method or double boiler method.

We hope you found one of these three methods helpful for cleaning your used soy wax candle jars. Let us know in the comments below if you have a favorite method- or give us your best suggestions for how to reuse your old candle jars!

Feel free to take a look at our DIY Soy Candle Making Kits below, as they teach you everything you need to know about making your own soy candles at home.

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