5 Hacks for How to Get Candle Wax Out of a Jar

Updated August 10, 2022
Woman with burning match lighting candle in glass jar

Upcycling old candle jars can be cost-effective, easy, and fun. Learn how to get candle wax out of a jar with ease so you can repurpose that pretty container and give it new life. You don't need a lot of special tools or equipment to remove candle wax from a jar or holder; you just need some everyday items and a few simple tips to get started.

Effective methods include heat-based ways to melt leftover wax, freezing techniques to get the wax out, and cleaning out old candle jars with water. No matter what approach you take, though, these foolproof tactics for removing old candle wax and wicks from jars will leave you with a limitless supply of containers to reuse in different ways. Household hacks for removing burnt grease off a frying pan and dealing with soap scum are essential, but these hacks for giving new life to your candle jar might be more fun.

1. How to Remove Candle Wax From a Jar With a Hair Dryer

Do you need a low-key method for removing wax fast? Grab an oven mitt and a hair dryer or heat gun. Heat is one of the best methods to get rid of that leftover wax. This simple five-step strategy allows you to melt the candle wax out of a jar with minimal effort, so you'll have a clean, empty jar in no time that you'll be ready to use or display.

  1. Put the candle on an oven mitt.
  2. Use the heat gun or hair dryer to heat the wax.
  3. Once the wax melts and is soft, scrape it out of the jar with a spoon or knife.
  4. Continue heating until all the wax is gone.
  5. Wash and dry your jar.

2. How to Clean Out Candle Jars in the Oven

Do you need to clean out a bunch of candle jars at once? Look no further than your oven. This is an easy method that is relatively hands-off once you've prepped for it. It's a great option to melt the old wax, quickly and thoroughly removing the leftover residue and leaving you with a sparkling clean candle jar. Follow these steps when you want to know how to get candle wax out of a jar in a fuss-free way:

  1. Preheat your oven to 200°F.
  2. Remove any labels on jars just to be safe.
  3. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  4. Line the aluminum foil with parchment paper.
  5. Place the jars upside down on the parchment paper.
  6. Put the jars in the oven for 15 minutes.
  7. Move the jars from the wax-covered parchment paper to a fresh piece of parchment paper.
  8. Allow them to cool and clean them with soap and water

3. Melt Leftover Wax and Remove It With the Stove Top

You've discovered that heat is a great way to melt old wax and get it out of used-up candles. If you don't have a hair dryer or heat gun on hand or don't have multiple candles to use the oven approach, you can also try this quick and easy pan method. Using just a few supplies and the heat from your stovetop, you can get those candle jars clean:

Boiling glass jars
  1. Fill a saucepan with enough water to cover where the wax reaches on the candle jar when submerged.
  2. Bring a pot of water to a boil and lower the heat to simmer.
  3. Place the candle jar in the water.
  4. Use long tweezers to pull out the wicks to reuse, if you wish.
  5. Grab the jar with tongs and pour out the remaining old wax.
  6. Allow the jar to cool and clean it out with soap and water.

4. How to Freeze Candle Wax Out of Jars

Remember the old hack for removing chewing gum by freezing it? This can work for candles, too. One of the simplest ways to remove old wax from a candle jar is to simply freeze it. While this method is one of the easiest, it may also leave behind a bit more residue on the glass jar or candle holder than a heat-based method. To address this, use a good quality soap like Dawn dish soap and hot water to wash the candle jar after freezing and removing the wax.

Reusing old candles leftovers
  1. Put the jar in the freezer overnight. Ensure the candle is at room temperature when you put it in the freezer to avoid the jar from cracking.
  2. Use a butter knife to cut the wax into chunks. (If you have a fair amount leftover, you can also reuse the wax in different ways).
  3. Pop the wax out of the jar.
  4. Wash any remaining wax out of the jar.

5. How to Get Candle Wax Out of a Jar With Boiling Water

Boiling water is another simple hack for quickly removing candle wax from a jar. This can be a good method to use if you have an odd-shaped candle holder that makes it difficult to reach inside and remove the wax using other methods. Since the wax rises, it can work regardless of the shape of the jar or container.

  1. Use a pan or kettle to boil water.
  2. Place your jar on a hot pad or towel.
  3. Pour the boiling water into the jar.
  4. Allow the wax to melt and rise up to the top of the jar.
  5. Allow it to cool for several hours.
  6. Pop the wax out of the top.
  7. Drain out the water.
  8. Repeat the process if wax remains on the bottom.
  9. Wash the jar with soap and water once all the wax is gone

Tips for Removing Wax From Candle Holders

There are plenty of ways to get wax out of a candle holder, regardless of the type. While candles in glass jars are among the most popular, there are lots of other styles of holders as well, including non-jar candles like small votives as well as specialty types made with a variety of creative materials. Keep these tips in mind when determining how to empty a candle jar and keep it looking beautiful:

  • The method you use to remove the wax might depend on the style; a candle decorated with jewels, beads, or other items might respond best to the freezing method to avoid damaging the exterior designs with heat.
  • You may want to avoid submerging certain types into the water in order to keep them looking their best.
  • If the candle holder is made of a specialty material, you may need to avoid heat from the oven or stovetop.
  • Use paper towels or disposable cleaning cloths to clean and remove leftover wax residue, since it is difficult to remove from cloth and other surfaces.
  • If hot, soapy water doesn't clean out a candle jar as well as you'd like, you can also try removing the residue with rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover.
  • Commercial products such as Goo-Gone can also clean out any remaining residue if needed.
  • Some of the same methods for removing duct tape residue or dealing with spilled candle wax can also work on stubborn wax residue as well.

Assess the material and experiment with different techniques to safely get wax out of any type of candle holder.

New Ways to Use Your Old Candle Jar

Once you've removed all the wax or residue from your candle jar or holder, there are dozens of ways you can reuse that pretty candle container. You can either repurpose it in a completely different way or simply take off the label and use it for everyday household needs to coral items and organize items in an attractive way, such as:

DIY makeup and cosmetics accessories glass storage for the home
  • Holders for basics like Q-Tips, cotton, balls, or toothpicks
  • Container for earrings, rings, or other jewelry
  • Place to collect pocket change
  • Organize office items, such as thumbtacks, paper clips, or pens
  • Holder for makeup brushes, lip glosses, or cosmetics
  • Store craft items like small poms, googly eyes, or pipe cleaners
  • Use as a secret place to stash spare keys
  • Coral small tech items like earbuds or zip drives
  • Use as mini planters for succulents or small plants
  • Store kitchen items like loose tea or spices (if the candle jar has a lid)
  • Use as containers for DIY kids' items, like homemade play dough or finger paint
  • Stow small pet items, such as treats or catnip o
  • Use as decoration on an end table or part of a dining table centerpiece
  • Enhance it in a creative way to decorate an entry table, bathroom, or bedroom
  • Make your own unique candles

Get Candle Wax Out of a Jar With Ease

Whether you want to try your hand at making your own candles or you just love the look of a candle jar, you can easily remove the wax. Just follow these foolproof methods for getting jars or holders clean and saying goodbye to that old candle wax. Once you have your jar sparkling, you have endless possibilities for reusing the container and sprucing up any space.

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5 Hacks for How to Get Candle Wax Out of a Jar