Best Way To Remove Wick Tabs From Jars

remove wick tabs from jars

If you want to reuse your old candle containers and candle jars then you are going to have to remove the wick tabs from the jars. Removing the wick tabs can seem difficult at first, but it doesn’t have to be. Most wick tabs are secured by adhesive foam called wick stickers or by hot glue. Keep reading to find out the methods to easily remove them.

Removing Metal Wick Holders and Wick Tabs

How do you remove a metal wick holder from a candle jar? You can remove a metal wick holder or wick tab from a candle jar by heating it with a heat gun or by pouring hot water into the container. Then begin to pry away the wick tab with a butter knife. Once the glue or adhesive heats up, the wick tab should come loose more easily.

Throwing away a perfectly good candle jar just because of a metal wick holder is a big waste. To help you, here are some methods that you can use to remove wick tabs from a candle jar:

Removing Hot Glue Wick Tabs

Glued wick tabs are generally easier to remove because of most glue types’ formulas. If you’re dealing with this, here are some ways that you can try:

Hot Water Method

The first method on our list revolves around the use of hot water. Below are the step-by-step instructions that you can refer to:

  • Boil water. The amount doesn’t matter as long as you think it will be enough for the jar’s size.
  • Once the water boils, wait for a minute or two for it to cool down. This will prevent it from breaking glass jars.
  • After waiting, fill up the jar until the water covers at least 1/2 of it.
  • Let the water sit for at least 10 minutes. Some people tend to leave it on overnight for best results.
  • When you’re satisfied with the time, you can use a bread knife, tweezers, or thin pliers to remove the wick. It will be an easy removal since the glue is already melted.

You should use the hot water method if you want to clear up wax residues along the way. You can simply expect the wax, sometimes even the wick tab, to float on the water after some time.

Freezing Method

If you don’t want to worry about working with hot jars, then you can try the freezing method. Below are the things that you should do:

  • Put the empty candle jar in the freezer. You can leave this overnight or until it’s frozen.
  • Once frozen, pop the wick tab using a knife or any pointy tool that you have. Again, it will come off easy because of the already frozen glue.

This process is a more convenient solution. This is also suitable for removing leftover wax, but it can take some time since you have to pop each one of them.

The former requires a lot of work, but it is a guaranteed method. Moreover, it’s best for urgent solutions since hot water usually takes less time to remove the glued wick tab. On the flip side, the latter is an easier process since you won’t need to do a lot of tasks.

Removing Adhesive Wick Tabs

Some candle makers use stickers and adhesives for their wick tabs. In this case, you can use the following methods:

Adhesive Remover

The easiest and most effective way is to use adhesive removers. The brand “Goo Gone” is a popular choice among those in the candle community. You may, however, need to invest a little bit of money in this solution.

Here, you need to pour a sufficient amount of adhesive remover on and around the wick tab and let it sit for a few minutes. It will depend on the brand, so make sure to check the instructions first.

Oven Method

Some people recommend putting the candle jar in a preheated 150 F to 200 F oven for 15 to 20 minutes. After the waiting time, you can use knives or pliers to remove the metal wick holder.

Note that if you’re working with a glass jar, you should never put lids when putting them in the oven. You shouldn’t also consider raising the temperature as it may cause thermal shock for the jars.

Unlike glue, there are often leftover adhesives even after the wick tab is removed. Some are easy to clean, while some permanently stain the jar. Either way, it won’t look bad if a clear adhesive is used.

Can you reuse wick tabs? You can reuse wick tabs to make candles at home. If you can get a new wick inside the wick tab and crimp it down, then you can use the wick tab to make a new candle.

Unfortunately, there are few uses for wick tabs outside of making candles. So unless you plan to make a new candle, there won’t be any more use for them.

However, if you don’t want to dispose of the metal wick holders, you can collect them or save them for later use. You can also consider giving them to other candlemakers to help them save on resources.

Once you successfully remove the wick tab, you will have a clean candle jar that will seem all brand new. Here are some things that you can do with your candle jar:

What Can You Do with Your Clean Candle Jars?

  • Use them as pen holders
  • Put food, spices, or condiments
  • Save as a gift jar for later
  • Put collectibles like rocks, coins, and other small-sized items

If you’re crafty and have tons of available candle jars, you can try customizing and selling them online.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you secure a wick?

Secure a wick by placing it in a wick tab and then using a wick sticker or hot glue to secure the wick tab to the bottom of the candle container.

How do you remove a wick holder from a jar?

Are wick tabs necessary?

You need wick tabs to make candles. If you simply glue the wick to the bottom of the container it will not be able to stay steady enough to remain upright as the candle wax in the container begins to melt. The base of the wick tab allows the wick to stay verticle.

How do you anchor a wick?

You anchor a wick to the bottom of the container by using a wick tab. You attach the wick tab to the bottom of the container by using a wick sticker or by using hot glue.

How do you put a wick in a wick tab?

Slide your primed wick into the wick tab and then crimp the wick tab, securing the wick into position. This will hold the wick in to place and prevent it from coming out when making candles or moving when the wax becomes molten while the candle is burning.


In conclusion, when it comes to removing wick tabs all you have to remember is to use a little bit of heat. You can heat them up with a heat gun or with some near-boiling water. Both will work great to soften up the adhesives or glue.

Once they are removed you can use a little bit of goo gone on any of the sticky mess that is left behind and once you clean that up all that’s left is washing the jar with hot water and some dish liquid.

Now you have a perfectly clean new container to use for making more candles, or for something else!

Carl Adamson

Hi, I'm Carl Adamson, one of the founders here at Candleers. A few years ago I got really into the art and craft of candle making, initially with soy wax container candles. My friends started asking me to make candles for them and pretty soon it turned into a nice side-business. I started this website as a way to document what I've learned over the past few years and hopefully help others in the process. I still love candle making but I'm learning that what I enjoy even more is the business side of things - and for this reason I've started consulting others on how to start and grow their own candle-making businesses and side-hustles.

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