candle on top of book

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Wondering how to get wax out of candle jar? Does the clump of wax at the bottom of the jar annoy you? Of course, you can’t burn it, so you shrug and go on your way to throw old candle jars away. And by doing so, you’re throwing your own money away. It’s a dilemma that all candle lovers go through, but you don’t have to anymore.

Candle on top of book - how to get wax out of candle jar

But glass jars are too helpful to get rid of. The possibilities of reusing them are endless. You can turn them into tealight holders, storage containers, planters, air fresheners, seasonal decor, drinkware, succulent terrariums, toothbrush holders, and so much more.

So, if you want to know precisely how to get wax out of candle jars to reuse them however you like, tag along as we uncover that.

1. The Freezer Method

The easiest, cleanest, and most straightforward way of removing leftover candle wax is freezing it since everyone has a freezer and no special equipment is required.

To elaborate, the science behind freezing wax is that the cold makes wax shrink, harden, and separate from the sides of the jar, enabling you to scrape it out with ease. That’s why you’ve probably used an ice cube to remove wax off a carpet or another piece of fabric before.

For this hack to work, all you need is a candle jar with very little wax left, meaning no more than an inch left. In addition, make sure it isn’t one of those candles where the wick is glued to the bottom. To remove candle wax using the freezer technique, do the following:

  • Start by placing the candle jar in the freezer overnight or at least for a few hours until it freezes.
  • Test the old wax with your finger. If it has hardened, get the dried wax out of the freezer and turn the jar upside down. The frozen wax should pop right out.
  • If the pesky wax doesn’t come out even after you gently tap the jar, use a butter knife or spoon to scrape it off.
  • The wick holder may still be stuck to the jar. Remove it with the spoon or butter knife.
  • Use baby oil, soapy water, or both to remove any wax residue, ensuring that the jar becomes usable.
Closeup of boiling water in metal pan. - how to remove wax from candle jar

2. The Boiling Water Method

If you have one of those wide-mouth candles, boiling water is the ideal choice for getting rid of the wax. However, there’s a risk potential unlike the previous way, so be careful and always prepare. To dissolve the old candle wax: you should:

  • Put the candle on a heat-safe surface or a surface that’s protected by any cover, such as old towels, newspapers, or a baking sheet.
  • Add boiling water to the candle or just hot water if it’s soy wax or the wax is soft. Make sure to leave the top inch empty because the wax will melt and rise to the top of the jar.
  • Let the melted wax cool down for a few hours so that it’d be easier to remove.
  • Carefully remove the wax and the wick. Then, strain the water to remove the last wax remains.
  • Clean the candle jar with liquid dish soap and water or baby-oil-soaked cotton balls.

Pro tip: Avoid pouring wax into the drain because it’ll clog and damage it.

3. The Double-boiler Method

This easy way is very similar to the previous approach, as the name suggests. It’s ideal for removing soft wax, such as coconut or soy wax, because they have a low melting point and don’t need much heat to melt. Also, this approach is perfect for removing wax from multiple jars simultaneously. And here’s how with your double boiler:

  • Put the candle jar in a large empty pot, bowl, or clogged sink.
  • Fill the larger container with hot water, but don’t get past the wax level in the jar, meaning avoid getting the hot water inside the jar itself.
  • Wait for the wax to soften, which won’t take long.
  • Get a butter knife to loosen the wax, or pop it out of the candle jar in one piece.
  • Take the candle jar out of the larger container, and empty it from any remaining wax. Remove the wick holder as well.
  • Clean the candle jar with soap and water.

4. The Oven Method

Another approach that helps when you have multiple candles to remove wax from is the oven approach. It isn’t the easiest way since you need an oven mitt, aluminum foil, a baking sheet, and a paper towel. But it’s easier than it looks as you’ll see:

  • The first step is to preheat the oven to a temperature between 180 to 200 degrees Fahrenheit to help the wax melt with ease.
  • Get a baking sheet or baking pan and cover it with aluminum foil. Then, place the candle holder upside down on the pan. If you’re melting multiple candles, leave enough space between them and don’t overcrowd them because you don’t want the melted wax to overflow.
  • Wait for 15 minutes, and don’t leave the oven unattended.
  • Using a mitt, carefully remove the hot baking sheet or pan from the oven.
  • Place the sheet or pan and jars on a heat-safe surface, and pour the leftover wax on the aluminum foil.
  • Before removing all the wax residue, let the jar cool down. Then, get a paper towel, and wipe away any residue.
  • Finally, wash the candle jar with liquid dish soap and water.

5. The Microwave Method

If you’re looking for something easy and don’t feel like waiting 15 whole minutes for the wax to melt, you can use a microwave instead. Here’s how the microwave method works:

  • Fill the candle jar with water, but leave an empty inch at the top.
  • Place it in the microwave for a minute and a half to two minutes maximum.
  • Wait a minute or two before you remove the wax because it’ll be incredibly hot.
  • Place the jar on a heat-proof surface, and start removing wax by scooping it.
  • Don’t forget to wash the jar with soapy water.

6. The Hairdryer/ Heat Gun Method

The final approach is precisely what it sounds like. There’s no rocket science to it. You’ll use a hair tool or a heat gun to melt the wax in one of the easiest ways. If you already have these tools at home, why not use them? All you have to do is:

  • Place the candle jar on a heat-proof surface to protect it from the incoming mess.
  • Wear an oven mitt over one hand to hold the candle jar.
  • Turn on the hair dryer or heat gun and direct it towards the jar from all angles to properly get all of the wax melting.
  • Once the wax is melted, use a butter knife to extract it from the jar.
  • Wipe the jar with a paper towel, and wash it with soapy water.


Can You Pour Candle Wax Down the Toilet?

No, you can’t. While it seems like safe disposal because “out of sight, out of mind”, it isn’t safe at all. Wax, like oil, clogs drains pretty severely. So, it’s best not to flush it down the toilet or pour it into the sink to avoid plumbing issues.

What Is the Easiest Way to Remove Candle Wax?

The easiest way to remove wax from a candle jar is to freeze it overnight or for a couple of hours. Freezing wax makes it harden, which helps to remove it without the mess of melting or boiling it. However, if you don’t mind the mess, the next best thing is to put it in a microwave.

How Do You Dispose of Melted Wax?

The safest way to dispose of it is to pour it into a container, such as coffee cans or other non-recyclable containers with lids to ensure that it doesn’t get out. You can also get a few cotton balls to absorb the wax, then throw them in the trash can.

How Do You Clean and Reuse Candle Jars?

After you remove as much wax from a candle jar, scrubbing the jar itself to ensure that there isn’t any wax left is essential. You can reuse empty candle jars as decor, planters, storage and food containers, air fresheners if they’re scented, cool drinkware, toothbrush holders, succulent terrariums, or even new candles.

Final Thoughts

To sum up, there are multiple ways to get wax out of a candle jar. They’re pretty easy to follow and don’t require any DIY expertise. At best, they need tools that are available in every house. So, here’s a quick summary of the six methods.

You can try putting the candle in the freezer until the wax hardens. If you don’t have the time, pour boiling water into the jar, or do the double-boiler method. To get wax out of multiple jars, put them in the oven or microwave. A final trick is to use a heat gun or hair dryer to melt the wax.

Check out more home cleaning tips here.

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