How To Clean Out Candle Jars?

It’s a common problem that scented candle users face, what to do about the glass jars leftover once the candles are done. Many, not knowing how to get rid of the wax, simply throw the jars away. This is a shameful misuse considering there is a multitude of uses one can apply to jars! How To Clean Out Candle Jars?

Clean out candle jars by placing them in a pot of water and bringing up the temperature until the wax melts, or by pouring hot water directly into your candle containers. The wax will float on top of the water, simply wait for it to cool and harden then remove it by hand. Then wash the jars with dish detergent.

To get a little more in-depth, we have a step by step version.

How To Get Wax Out Of A Candle Jar

  1. Boil some water. It does not necessarily have to be too hot as it only needs to be warm enough to melt off the wax.
  2. Place the glass candle jar on a flat surface. You can place a towel or wet rag under it to prevent it from slipping.
  3. Pour the hot water into the jar. Let all the wax visibly melt away, and likely floating to the top.
  4. Let the jar cool so you can touch it. Proceed to pour the water/wax out and wipe the jar clean.
  5. Repeat the process if necessary. It may take a few times to get the jar completely clean.

In addition, you can fully submerge your jar into warm water. Just fill up a pot or your sink with water warm enough to melt the wax and dip your jar in there.

Wait until you see all the wax in the jar completely melted then take it out and wash it clean.

In order to promote the noble act of recycling, here are some of the easy ways for you to clear the wax out of the jars.

More Ways Of Cleaning Jars

Using Your Oven

If you also pop the jars into the oven if you like. A quick time inside the oven, even at minimal heat, will melt the wax enough for you to pour it out easily — be sure to wear oven mitts when doing this. The great thing about this method is that it lets you clean the wax out of multiple jars at the same time.

How To Remove Wax From Jars In The Oven

  1. Place the jars upside down on a baking sheet covered in aluminum foil.
  2. Preheat the oven to about 200 degrees Fahrenheit and pop the jars into the oven.
  3. Watch them for about 15 minutes. See as the wax melts off the jars and settles on the foil.
  4. Take them out and set them on a heat-safe surface and wait until they are cool enough to touch.

The jars should be clear of wax but it’s always a good idea to give them a good washing or a turn at the dishwasher. The extracted wax can either be thrown or reused to make more candles.

Using Your Freezer

An easy and effortless trick, all you have to do so is place the jars in the freezer and wait overnight. Wax shrinks in size as it freezes and will come off from the surface of the jar by itself. In the morning, take the jars out of the freezer and flip them upside down. You should see the wax come right off like popsicles out of a mold.

Using Your Hairdryer or Heat Gun

Finally, you can also use a heat gun to melt the wax off of the jar. If you don’t have a heat gun, then a hairdryer will work just as fine. This is also a helpful trick if you are trying to get wax out of other surfaces like carpets or clothing.

How To Clean Out Candle Jars With A Heat Gun

  1. Wear oven mitts. The temperatures of the hairdryer or heat gun can get really hot or heat the glass jars to the point where they are untouchable.
  2. As you are holding the jars, point the hairdryer or heat gun directly at the opening of the jar.
  3. The wax should start to melt immediately. Once completely melted, pour it into a container and wash the jar clean.

You can also simply heat the wax until it is just soft and malleable, then just scape the wax out with a spoon.

Tips on Reusing The Jars

Now that you have clean, empty jars, it’s time for the fun part — deciding how to use them. You can let your creativity really run wild here and think about all the unique ways you can upcycle them. And if you’re running low on creative juices, here are some clever but simple times to reusing the empty jars:

  • Storage for office supplies. You can use the jars as pen holders or as a place to store paper clips, stickers, fasteners, etc.
  • As a place to store spices. Jars can serve as a great place to store dried herbs and spices. The jars can also keep them dry and preserved for longer.
  • As cups for drinking. Yes, once completely clean you can use the jars as cups and mugs for drinking. Depending on the jar, some actually turn out to be quite fashionable additions to a dining setup.
  • As a jar for candle making. You can also use the leftover wax to make new scented candles. Just remelt them and mix them in with some essential oils. Then pour them on the jar with a wick in the center and voila, you have a new scented candle!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you pour candle wax down the sink?

Do not pour candle wax down the sink. Candle wax will harden in your trap or in your pipes and clog them. Even if you pour it down with hot water, that will only move the clog further down the pipe. Eventually, it will cool and the wax will harden contributing to a future clog.

Can you flush candle wax down the toilet?

Do not flush candle wax down the toilet. Candle wax can contribute to clogs in your pipes and cause you lots of problems down the road. The best place to dispose of candle wax is in your garbage, soak it into a newspaper or a paper bag, and throw it away.

What do you do if you pour candle wax down the drain?

Clean wax from your drain by pouring 1/2 cup of baking soda into the drain opening, followed by 1 cup of white vinegar. Let that mixture do its work for about 30 minutes, then flush the drain with a pot of boiling water, followed by a few minutes of hot tap water.

Is it safe to reuse candle jars for food?

Do not reuse candle jars for food. Some types of candle wax and candle fragrance oils contain synthetic chemicals and even carcinogens that can be harmful. While some candles are made using all-natural vegetable oils and essential oils, you never really know what you are getting.


In conclusion, these are some of the ways you can clean the wax out of your jar, along with some tips on reusing them.

All things considered, trying to find ways to repurpose the jars of scented candles is a smart and money-saving endeavor we support. Waste created by humans is definitely a problem we face in the environment and your efforts to minimize it are very much appreciated.

One use for your old candle jars is learning to make your own candles. Take a look at our article titled How To Make Scented Candles.

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.

Recent Posts