We love our soy wax candles more than anything and we worked hard to design them. So we always find it a bit sad when we see that people don't always get to reuse the beautiful jars they come in. Today, we thought we'd share how to clean old candle jars and how to reuse your jars once the candle has run out.
How to Clean Old Candle Jars
Everyone has different methods for getting the last of the wax out of a candle jar but below is our favorite. Remember that when melting candle wax as below, the container can get incredibly hot so ensure you use proper protection like oven gloves and tongs to move the jar for cleaning. This method is for glass containers like Candles by Luma, so please don't use this method if you are using another container type.
Remove any labels if possible. If they don't come off easily we've got some more steps later.
Place the jar in a pan of hot water and bring it to the boil. Make sure the jar is not resting on the bottom of the pan as it is more likely to crack with direct heat.
As soon as it's boiling, reduce the heat so as not to smash the glass of the container.
Wait for the wax to melt and then pour the excess into another container that you can cool the wax in and then be disposed of. We like using old metal takeaway containers.
Use a tissue or paper towel to wipe the inside of the jar out to remove excess melted wax.
If there was a wick still in the bottom, they are usually loosened by melting the wax especially if they are secured with glue. Carefully remove the wick using tweezers as the jar will still be very hot.
Remove any labels that are still on. The glue used to attached labels will normally have melted in the pan so this makes them very easy to remove. If you still have residue though you can usually wipe this away with a cloth or paper towel soaked in a little bit of vegetable oil. This will dissolve the glue further and make wiping the label off quick.
Dry the jar and if it has a lid, make sure that it is clean and dry as well.
Uses For Candle Jars
Once you have a clean candle jar, you can of cause recycle it if it is glass but where's the fun in that. You can use it for whatever you need. Here are some different storage, gardening and arty ideas.
Storage Ideas For Candle Jars
The most simple use for an old candle jar; store items in it.
Store food plastic-free
Ensure the glass jar is completely clean before storing any food in it. If in doubt don't use it for food, but if it is safe, it makes excellent storage especially for smaller food items like herbs and spices.
Store beauty products and bathroom items
As candle containers tend to be very beautiful, they make an excellent storage bucket for beauty and bathroom items. Cotton rounds, toothbrushes or spare soap can all be stored in candle jars for a stylish storage solution.
Desk & craft organization
Small candle jars are the perfect size for those miscellaneous office and craft items that don't seem to fit anywhere. Staples, paper clips, buttons, pens, fabric swatches. Anything you can think of for your craft room or office can be stored.
Green Ideas for Candle Jars
If we are going to upcycle candles to save the planet, then we will definitely look for green uses for old jars.
Use as a plant pots
Simple and straightforward, use candle jars as small plant pots. Ensure you use some gravel, sand or other filtering method to ensure your plant pot has some drainage. As your candle jar is not going to have a hole in it, you want the filtering substance at the bottom of the pot with compost added above to create the right growing environment.
Build a mini terrarium
Making a mini terrarium in a clear glass container with a lid is a fun way to upcycle a candle jar. You can make the terrarium as small or as large as the container allows, just ensure you follow instructions from terrarium experts to make the most of your little glass garden.
If you've got a stylish glass jar, you can use it to display flowers in any room of the house. Bouquets don't have to be massive to bring joy and nature into the home, just a few picked flowers can brighten even the dullest corner in a room.
Crafting with Candle Jars
The best thing about upcycling, is the fun of creating a brand new product from something else. Whether practical or just pretty, upcycling will keep items out of landfill.
Make your own beauty products
Candle jars with lids can easily be repurposed to hold beauty products you make at home. Check out pinterest if you are interested in DIY beauty, there are thousands of recipes for all types of makeup and beauty products.
Make a memory box
Creating a memory box for an event or holiday is a great way to use an old candle jar. While we'll never get tired of a photo album, a memory box allows you to add items that can sit flat on a page. Tickets, toys, a keyring, the umbrella from your favourite cocktail. All these little holiday items can be stored in a fun way and allow you to have them on display throughout your home rather than tucked away in the attic.
Make a snow globe
A fun activity that kids and big kids can both enjoy. You can decorate any candle with a lid into a snowy landscape by mixing glitter into the water for the globe and creating a glued down scene in the lid. It helps if you have a very secure, watertight lid but additional glue can be used to make it watertight. Test it over the sink. Trust us on this one.
Why you should reuse candle jars
We hope we've given you some fun ideas on reusing your candle jars. While the majority of our candle container is completely recyclable, we'd love to see all our customers transform them into something else for their home. By reusing your candle jar, you keep that material out of a landfill and allow it to be used for something practical once again. Shop our full range of candles and wax melts, or check out the blog for more home decor inspiration and candle education.
Head Bottle Washer