Best Way to Clean Candle Jars

The best way to clean candle jars is actually pretty simple – and it doesn’t require any fancy cleaners or tools. All you need is some items that can be found around your home and a little elbow grease! Let’s have a look at the easiest ways to clean out a candle jar.

To help increase the recycling rate of reusable jars, it is important for individuals and businesses to educate themselves about proper recycling practices and to make an effort to recycle as many jars as possible. Today we look at how to clean out an old candle jar and ideas on how to up-cycle its container. 

How to Clean out Candle Jars: 5 Ways to Try

A candle burning in a clear glass jar on a table

Give these 5 ways to clean out wax from an old candle jar a try:

Use boiling water to dissolve the wax and then use a sponge or cloth to wipe it away

Once the wax is gone, you can rinse out the jar with hot water and soap to remove any residue. Then, just let it air dry or dry it with a clean towel. And that’s it – your candle jar is good as new!

Soak the jar in hot water overnight and the wax will melt away

Removing the wax from a candle jar can be a tricky task – but it’s not impossible! In fact, there are several ways to get the job done. The best way (and my personal favorite) is to soak the jar in hot water. Here’s how to do it:

  • Fill up the jar with hot water, making sure to cover the entire surface of the wax.
  • Let the jar sit for about an hour, or until the wax has melted away.
  • Use a sponge or cloth to wipe away the remaining wax. Voila! Your jar is now clean and ready to use again.

Put the jar in the freezer for a few hours and then chip away at the wax with a spoon or butterknife.

Apply some oil (vegetable, olive, etc.) to the wax

Apply some oil (vegetable, olive, etc.) to the wax and let it sit for about 30 minutes. If the wax from a candle jar is proving to be tough to remove, you can use oil to help loosen it up. Just apply some vegetable, olive, or any other type of oil to the wax and let it sit for about 30 minutes. The oil will help soften up the wax so it can be wiped away with a cloth or sponge.

Use a product like Goo Gone to remove the wax.

We recommend this as a last resort as some of these solvent removers can have chemicals . 

The Sojourn Company has you covered for Good Vibes in a jar. Check these out!

How to Remove a Candle Jar Label

A candle burning in a glass jar

 If the jar has a label, removing it can be fairly quick and simple. Try using a  mineral oil and some hot soapy water to help lift the label adhesive. Next step is to scrape it off or place it under a warm hair dryer at 30 second intervals, then peeling it off. 

You can also try warm soapy water combined with baking soda. Scrub the jars with a dish scourer to remove any leftover sticky residue. 

If that didn’t work, more tricks and tips on removing labels can be for here. 

Things To Do With Recycled Candle Jars

Two tea light candles in clear glass jars

Add New Wax For A New Candle

Here at the Sojourn Company, we got started by taking old candle vessels and crafting our own using craft store wax and wicks! The rest is history!  You can add any soy or coconut candle wax to an empty jar, insert a wick and your favorite fragrances. Is it really that simple? No! But we will get into the nuances of candle making in futures posts.

Too Lazy? Just add A Tea Light

Drop a tea light into the spend candle jar, and recreate the warm glowing effect. For boring old clear jars, why not paint the exterior of the glass before dropping in your favorite (likely ikea!) tealight.


Spent candle vessels are the perfect size for a desk planter for a small cactus or succulent. Fill the bottom inch of your jars with stones in case you are an over-waterer (like me!), and your plant’s roots will thank you. A small planter is also a great idea for plants that require full sun as they can be moved around to the sunny corners of your home. 

Turn them into pinch pots

Your empty candle jars can find a second life on your countertops and kitchen table as pinch pots. After a thorough cleaning, keep your salt and pepper inside, or can also be used while cooking to separate out ingredients. Bon Appetit!

Make a Miniature herb garden

No need to go outside and stoop in the garden, why not grow your herbs indoors? Sage, Mint and more can grow year round with sunlight, and why not store them in your empty candle jar?  Simply add some soil and grow from seed, or transport your herb garden indoors for the fall/winter. 

If you’re in the market for a candle that will make your house smell like a dream, look no further than our Sojourn Company candles. These soy wax beauties come in three delicious scents and are sure to fill your home with good vibes. Not only do they smell amazing, but they also look pretty on any shelf. Check out our shop to see all of our amazing products and transport your senses today!