5 Foolproof Hacks for How to Get Candle Wax Out of a Jar

Get the most out of your candle wax and jars with these helpful hacks!

Updated May 11, 2023
Woman with burning match lighting candle in glass jar

Don't you hate that you spend more on a candle than on a meal, but there is always leftover wax that doesn't get used? Thankfully, upcycling old candle jars and the wax inside is cost-effective, easy, and even a little satisfying. We detail how to get candle wax out of a jar with ease so you can give these items new life.

Best of all, you don't need a lot of special tools or equipment to remove candle wax from a jar or holder. You only need a few everyday items from around the house and these simple tips to get started.

1. How to Remove Candle Wax From a Jar With a Hair Dryer

Do you need a low-key method for removing wax fast? Grab an oven mitt and either a hair dryer or heat gun. Heat is one of the best methods to get rid of that leftover wax.

This simple five-step strategy allows you to melt the candle wax out of a jar with minimal effort, leaving you with a clean, empty jar in no time that you'll be ready to use or display.

  1. Put the candle on an oven mitt.
  2. Use the heat gun or hair dryer to heat the wax.
  3. Once the wax melts down to a soft consistency, scrape it out of the jar with a spoon or knife.
  4. Continue heating until all the wax is gone.
  5. Wash and dry your jar.

2. How to Clean Out Candle Jars in the Oven

Do you need to clean out a bunch of candle jars at once? Look no further than your oven. This is an easy method that is relatively hands off once you've prepped everything. It's a wonderful option to melt the old wax, quickly and thoroughly removing the leftover residue, and leaving you with a sparkling clean candle jar.

Follow these simple steps when you want to know how to get candle wax out of a jar in a fuss-free way:

  1. Preheat your oven to 200°F.
  2. Remove any sticker labels on jars to be safe.
  3. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  4. Line the aluminum foil with parchment paper.
  5. Place the jars upside down on the parchment paper.
  6. Put the jars in the oven for 15 minutes.
  7. Move the jars from the wax-covered parchment paper to a fresh piece of parchment paper using an oven mitt.
  8. Allow them to cool and then clean them with soap and water.

3. Melt Leftover Wax and Remove It With the Stove Top

You've now discovered that heat is a great way to melt old wax and get it out of used-up candles. If you don't have a hair dryer or heat gun on hand, or don't have multiple candles to use the oven approach, you can also try this quick and easy pan method.

Using just a few supplies and the heat from your stovetop, you can get those candle jars clean:

Boiling glass jars
  1. Fill a saucepan with enough water to cover where the wax reaches on the candle jar when submerged.
  2. Bring a pot of water to a boil and lower the heat to simmer.
  3. Place the candle jar in the water.
  4. Use long tweezers to pull out the wicks to reuse, if you wish.
  5. Grab the jar with tongs and pour out the remaining old wax.
  6. Allow the jar to cool and clean it out with soap and water.

4. How to Freeze Candle Wax Out of Jars

Remember the old hack for removing chewing gum by freezing it? This can work for candles, too! One of the simplest ways to remove old wax from a candle jar is simply to freeze it. While this method is one of the easiest, it may leave behind a bit more residue on the glass jar or candle holder than a heat-based method.

To address this, use a good quality soap like Dawn dish soap and hot water to wash the candle jar after freezing, removing the wax, and allowing the jar to return to room temperature.

Reusing old candles leftovers
  1. Put the jar in the freezer overnight. Ensure the candle is at room temperature when you put it in the freezer to prevent the jar from cracking.
  2. Once frozen, use a butter knife to gently break the wax into chunks.
  3. Pop the wax out of the jar.
  4. Wash any remaining wax out of the jar once the glass has returned to room temperature.

5. How to Get Candle Wax Out of a Jar With Boiling Water

Boiling water is another easy hack for quickly removing wax from a candle jar. This can be a good method to use if you have an odd-shaped candle holder that makes it difficult to reach inside and remove the wax using other methods. Since the wax rises, it can work regardless of the shape of the jar or container.

  1. Use a pan or kettle to boil water.
  2. Place your jar on a hot pad or towel.
  3. Pour the boiling water into the jar.
  4. Allow the wax to melt and rise to the top of the jar.
  5. Let it to cool for several hours. Make sure this sits out of reach of pets and kids.
  6. Pop the wax out of the top of the candle jar.
  7. Drain the water.
  8. Repeat the process if wax remains on the bottom.
  9. Wash the jar with soap and water once all the wax is gone.

Tips for Removing Wax From Candle Holders

There are plenty of ways to get wax out of a candleholder, regardless of the type. While candles in glass jars are among the most popular, there are lots of other styles of holders as well, including non-jar candles like small votives, as well as specialty types made with a variety of creative materials.

Keep these tips in mind when determining how to empty a candle jar and keep it looking beautiful:

  • The method you use to remove the wax might depend on the style; a candle decorated with jewels, beads, or other items might respond best to the freezing method to avoid damaging the exterior designs with heat.
  • If the candle holder is made of a specialty material, you may need to avoid heat from the oven or stovetop.
  • Use paper towels or disposable cleaning cloths to clean and remove leftover wax residue, since it's difficult to remove wax from cloth and other surfaces.
  • If hot and soapy water doesn't clean out a candle jar as well as you'd like, you can also try removing the residue using rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover.
  • Commercial products such as Goo-Gone can also clean out any remaining residue if needed.

Assess the material and experiment with different techniques to get wax out of any type of candle holder safely.

Quick Tip

If you're struggling with removing the wax from your candle holder, you can try some of methods for removing duct tape residue or dealing with spilled candle wax - they can work on stubborn wax residue as well.

New Ways to Use Your Old Candle Jar

Once you've removed all the wax and residue from your candle jar or holder, there are dozens of ways you can reuse that pretty candle container. One of the most popular options is to repurpose it to store and organize household items in an attractive way, such as:

DIY makeup and cosmetics accessories glass storage for the home
  • Holders for basics like Q-Tips, cotton balls, or toothpicks
  • Container for earrings, rings, and other jewelry
  • Place to collect pocket change
  • Organize office items, such as thumbtacks, paper clips, or pens
  • Holder for makeup brushes, lip glosses, or cosmetics
  • Store craft items like small poms, googly eyes, or pipe cleaners
  • Use as a secret place to stash spare keys
  • Coral small tech items like earbuds or zip drives
  • Use as mini planters for succulents or small plants
  • Store kitchen items like loose tea or spices (if the candle jar has a lid)
  • Use as containers for DIY kids' items, like homemade play dough or finger paint
  • Stow small pet items, such as treats or catnip
  • Use as decorations on end tables or part of a dining table centerpiece

You also have the option to use the jar to make your own unique candles! This can be done from scratch or you can gather up all your leftover wax of the same scent, melt it down, and fill the jar back up with a new wick.

Get Candle Wax Out of a Jar With Ease

Whether you want to try your hand at making your own candles, you just love the look of a candle jar, or you are hoping to make to most of your wax warmer, you can easily remove the remaining wax from the candle jars you have lying around the house. Just follow these foolproof methods for getting jars or holders clean and saying goodbye to that old candle wax. Once you have your jar sparkling, you have endless possibilities for reusing the container and sprucing up any space.

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5 Foolproof Hacks for How to Get Candle Wax Out of a Jar