How to Get Wax out of Candle Jars

Repurposing candle jars might be one of my favorite ways to get extra longevity out of something special. I adore a good candle and have no shame in admitting I get sucked into pretty packaging on jars- so why not always keep it?! I’ll use these jars to store makeup brushes on my GLAMbox, pens on my desk, nail polishes on my dresser, Maxi’s ponytail holders in her bathroom, and so much more. I also keep an entire section of empty candle jars in our linen closet, because I’ll use them on tables for flowers when hosting a party or to hold plasticware for guests, as I think it gives a bit of a vintage look.

So just how do you get a candle jar to look clean when it has wax residue leftover?! Let me spill my secrets.

There are many ways to do this, some people boil water, some people use butter knives, this is just how I do it! When the candle has a tiny bit of wax left, but it isn’t able to burn, I will put the candle in the freezer overnight. You could pop it in for about 4 hours, but I’ll just do it in the evening and grab the candle jar out in the morning.

Then, I place the candle on a folded towel on the counter. I’ll hit the bottom of the jar pretty hard {sometimes I’ll use a book- but of course be careful with the glass!} about 3 or 4 times. The wax will pop right out. If it doesn’t pop out, this will at least loosen it. This is where a butter knife comes in, you can typically just pop the rest out once one side is loose.

After you pop the remaining wax out, you can take the wick out and use the rest of the wax for a Scentsy or wax warmer. Good to the last drop, right?! 😉 To get rid of the soot or wax buildup on the sides, I use lemon essential oil. I’ll put a few drops on a cotton pad and then wipe it all on the inside of the glass jar. This removes all the sticky film leftover and any black soot from the wick!

Some people use Windex for this step, so if you don’t have lemon essential oil that would work, too. However, I find with Windex, I need to let it sit more to get the waxy film off. If you aren’t using the lemon, fill your jar with water, and about 2 tablespoons of Windex and a drop of Dawn dish soap. Let that soak for an hour, then you can use a cotton pad and wipe off the inside of the glass.

Now you’ve got an empty candle jar! This is a great way to store beauty products or those samples you get with your purchases. Then when I have guests over, I’ll put one of these jars in the guest bath so they can try any products they may have forgotten! Speaking of organizing beauty products, yesterday I had a really fun opportunity to go on Good Morning Texas to chat about why you want to see your beauty products as you organize them. You can watch the segment here, and you’ll see how I use some empty candle jars!

Let me know if you try this hack over the weekend!

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  1. This is great, thank you, Katey! It’s such a good way to reuse old candle jars. Perfect for my new year’s resolution to go greener! 🙂

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    Published 04 Jan 19Reply
  2. Sam wrote:

    So glad you linked that segment! I saw it on your stories yesterday and was hoping there was a way for us non-Texans to see it ?. Thanks for sharing!!

    Published 04 Jan 19Reply
  3. Laura Leigh wrote:

    This is perfect! I actually have three jars to do this to right now!

    xo Laura Leigh
    Louella Reese

    Published 04 Jan 19Reply
  4. Katey, you read my mind with this post! I have a Kendra Scott candle that is almost out and I want to use it for make-up storage. Thank you for this post 🙂

    Published 04 Jan 19Reply
  5. Jennifer Andrade wrote:

    I love this!!!! I’ve actually heard of people sticking in the candle in the over and melting the wax away. But it still leaves the sticky film around.

    Published 04 Jan 19Reply
  6. Lauren wrote:

    This is SO helpful! Thank you, Katey!

    Published 04 Jan 19Reply
  7. Yay! Thanks Katey! I have a few to do right now. I even bought new wicks so I can reusue the leftover candle wax in a smaller votive candle size. ?

    Have a great day!


    Published 04 Jan 19Reply
  8. Val wrote:

    Love it! Thanks for tips

    Published 04 Jan 19Reply
  9. Libby wrote:

    Love this hack! Great job on your segment – I love Glamboxes!

    Published 04 Jan 19Reply
  10. Logan wrote:

    I love this idea! I have so many candles that I keep but have yet to empty. This definitely is giving me the motivation to empty them out!

    xo Logan

    Published 06 Jan 19Reply
  11. Ok seriously so helpful! I remember when I first tried doing this a few years back and it was SUCH A PAIN! haha. Definitely will be needing these tips soon again

    Published 07 Jan 19Reply
  12. Heather wrote:

    Nnow all I can think about are the pretty jars I’ve omtossed over the years! lol

    Published 07 Jan 19Reply