How to Get Wax Out of a Candle Jar: Pros Explain When to Use Cold vs Heat

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Candles are a great way to relax and unwind after a long day and spread a lovely aroma around the house. But what happens when the wick is burnt down and all that’s left is a layer of wax? It would be wasteful to simply throw away a candle jar, especially if it has a fun shape that can be reused. But to reuse it, you need to get rid of the leftover wax. Luckily, this isn’t hard to do with the right techniques. Choosing the right cleaning technique comes down to how much debris is left inside the candle jar.

Scooping & Cooling Methods

There’s usually some wax left under the metal holder of the wick, at the bottom of the container. That happens because the metal tab normally holds the wick about a quarter of an inch above the glass bottom of the jar. If the candle burned in a tunneling fashion, there’s usually plenty left adhering to the walls of the jar too. In such cases, using a plastic spoon or knife (very carefully) is the first step to scrape off or remove any residue from the walls and bottom of the jar.

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If you have a small amount of wax left in the candle jar, you can place it in the freezer for about 30 minutes. The cold temperature should make the wax contract just enough to separate it from the jar walls. If, for some reason, you want to remove a whole candle from its jar, leave it in the freezer for a couple of hours. Then, you can take it out and turn it upside down, and the candle should fall out on its own.

Oven & Heating Methods

You can also try heating it in the oven by lining a cookie sheet with the candles and placing them in an oven that’s been preheated to 180°F for 15 to 20 minutes. Once melted, you can carefully pour out the wax and wipe up any remnants using an old rag.

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If there are trace amounts of residual wax coating the candle jar walls, using a bit of heat from boiling can help, too. After all, candles were designed to melt entirely. Simply boil some water in a kettle and pour it into the candle container. Let it cool completely. The hot water should loosen and melt the remaining coating, and even set loose and remove the metal wick at the bottom of the jar.