6 Clever Tricks to Remove the Leftover Wax From a Candle Jar

IYKYK: A Diptyque candle is just too pretty to throw out.

Candles lovers, we've all been there—you get to the bottom of your expensive candle with more wax to spare, but the life of the wick grows short and you're stuck with an unusable clump at the bottom of the jar. If you tend to speed-burn your way through your favorite scented candles, throwing away the pretty glass jars feels too wasteful, yet burning a candle past the half-inch wax point can damage the container and the surface it's sitting on.

But don't fret: It is possible to breathe new life into that awkward wax-clad container. We've compiled some effective methods for cleaning your candle jars so you can reuse the vessels as storage, decor, or even a home for new candles. The best part? You don't need any special equipment whatsoever. Any leftover candle marks can be washed off with dish soap—and once you're through, you should have a clean jar all ready for repurposing.

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Fill your candle with water and microwave it for a minute-and-a-half, or a maximum of two minutes. This will cause the wax to melt and rise above the water. Let the glass and wax cool, then swiftly pop out the remaining wax with a spoon or butter knife. Important note: Keep an eye on the candle while it's in the microwave as some wicks have a metal wick holder that could pose a fire hazard.

Watch a satisfying demo.

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Probably the easiest and cleanest method on this list, this tip only works if there is not too much wax left (about 1.5 inches). Wax shrinks when it is frozen, allowing it to separate from the walls of its container. After leaving your candle in the freezer overnight, simply flip it upside down and scrape off the wax with a spoon or butter knife.

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Boiling water

This method works best with wide-mouth candles. Add boiling water into your candle—leaving an inch of space at the top—and let it rest. (Oh, and make sure to protect the surface you set your candle down on because it will be very hot.) You'll see the wax rise to the top, similar to the microwave method, but at a slower pace. Finish by straining the water (being careful not to pour the wax down the drain as it can clog) and remove the wax separately.

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Double boiler

For softer candles like soy and coconut, the microwave might be too intense, so the double boiler method will likely work better (think of it like the bain-marie of candles). Place your candle into a large empty pot or bowl, and pour the hot water into the container around the candle. The wax will start to soften around the edges, making it easy to pop out with a knife.

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This method is good if you have multiple candles to handle at once. Begin by preheating your oven to 150 to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Place your candle(s) upside down on a sheet of aluminum foil on a baking pan. Stay in sight of the oven in case of any waxy mishaps, but if all goes well, the wax should steadily melt and pool on the foil within 15 minutes. Carefully remove the pan from the oven, and take the glasses off the pan using an oven mitt. Once the leftover wax has dried on the baking sheet, you can remove it from the aluminum foil to use in the future or throw it out.

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Heat gun

If you have a heat gun in your house, you're probably already a DIY pro and don't need much advice. But in case you weren't aware, a heat gun (or a hairdryer) is a great way to melt the remaining wax inside a candle. Just be careful not to burn the tag and make sure the candle is on a safe, heat-proof surface. When it is liquefied, you can use a paper towel to remove the excess wax.

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