We get asked all of the time--should I recycle my old candle jars? Well, if you want to but here's a better idea... reuse them! Yeah, did you know you can reuse your candle jars?
Interested in cleaning them up for a new life? Read along to see what you need to clean, how to clean, and two different avenues we took with our scrubbed up candle jars.
Here's a list of everything you'll need and a photo to help.
Blue shop towels--these are the best when working with soy wax.
Needle nose pliers-- to grab the base of the wick.
Small saucepan-- with about an inch of water in the base.
Goo Gone-- to remove the sticker labels.
Isopropyl alcohol-- to remove the residual wax left behind after warming.
Trash can-- preferably nearby.
Grease fighting dish soap or a dishwasher-- for the final clean.
On we go!
First, ensure you have all of your supplies nearby to make for quick work.
Step One: Using a stove top or hot plate, warm the water in the saucepan. Do not bring it to boiling temperatures. We are just wanting to warm the wax in the bottom to make it pliable enough to remove.
See note*** below.
***Do not let the glass jar rest on the bottom of the sauce pan, you will need to hold it so it never touches the saucepan. If the glass comes in contact with the bottom of the saucepan you run the risk of the glass exploding.***
Step Two: Once the wax is warm enough remove from the water bath and remove the saucepan from heat and turn the burner off. You can tell it's warm enough when it begins to liquefy. Look closely at the photo, you can see it's starting to liquefy. The wax will start turning the rich gold color, just like when you burn it. No need to melt it completely, we just need to warm it up.
You'll also note that it wasn't too hot where I needed to use a hot pad or oven mitt... remember, just warming the wax.
Step Three: Head to your trash can to dump out the liquefied soy wax. If wax remains in the solid state and won't come out of the jar, use your fingers to break it down and clear it out. Dispose in the trash can. Wash your hands after you do this, or wear gloves.
Step Four: Next, grab the needle nose pliers and remove the wick base. It may take a bit of working around for it to come loose, but keep at it. No worries if a foam sticker is left behind, you can clean that up with GooGone later. Dispose of the wick base and foam sticker in the trash can.
Step Five: After you've cleaned out the bulk of the wax with the blue towels, removed the wick holder with the needle nose pliers, clean out the interior and exterior of any remaining wax with fresh blue towels. Feel free to use gloves during this process or at least wash your hands after you're done.
Step Six: Grab the isopropyl alcohol and squirt a few drops into the bottom of the jar. Grab a fresh blue towel and soak the blue rag in the isopropyl alcohol, then proceed to scrub the interior and exterior of the glass further cleaning any little remnants of the soy wax. Feel free to use gloves during this process or at least wash your hands once you're done.
Step Seven: Once all of the soy wax is off of the jar, now it's time to clean the jar with a de-greasing dish soap or dishwasher. Note: Never pour wax down your drains as it will cause problems. This is why we pour out the wax in a trash can and clean up with blue rags and isopropyl alcohol, to get the jars as clean as possible before we wash them with soap. Dispose all of your used candle jar cleaning supplies outside to your trash bin.
If sticker residue still remains, use GooGone or whatever sticky fighting solution you know and trust, and then clean again with the de-greasing soap.
From there, you should have a squeaky clean jar ready for just about anything! New coin jar, new button jar, or... the possibilities are endless! Scroll further to see what we did with our newly cleaned up jar...
We decided to plant a succulent that was a recent gift from one of Amanda's friends. Now the succulent sits on the window sill in the room where Amanda works on the business so it's a fun reminder of creativity and friendship.
Have you repurposed old jars? We'd love to see how you give old glass new life! If you found this blog post useful, please share with your friends!