When the wick burns low, do not despair! Your candle may be almost gone, but there is life yet in the vessel!
Re-purposing functional things is one of the ways we work toward zero waste, skipping the recycling center for a good old fashioned flip. Your candle jar has a multitude of potential uses, so don't toss it just yet!
How to clean crystal clear candle jars:
Cleaning candle jars with heat
Set empty candle jars right side up in a stovetop pot and fill halfway with water. Bring to a simmer (no need to boil) until all the wax turns to liquid. Turn off heat. Use oven mitts to pick up each jar and pour out the liquid wax. (Remember you can always pull out the wick holders and keep the wax for your own later use!) Wipe the inside of the jars with paper towel or scrap rag. Wait till jars cool a bit, then peel off labels and wash with warm soapy water.
Cleaning candle jars by freezing
If you're in a bind for time, you can try sticking your spent candle in the freezer. Allow to freeze for an hour or so. Take out the used candle and simply turn it upside down. Voila, you the wax should slip out as it has contracted slightly and is completely solid.
Manually removing candle wax from a jar
If you're set to do things the hard way, you can always take time for some working meditation. Get a hard utensil like a small wooden spatula or knife, then start scraping the wax out. Don't add water as that will make the soy wax harder to remove from your skin and clothes. Instead, opt for a towel or cloth to remove bits of wax while it's dry. Once you get as much residue out as possible, you can wash out the jar with hot water.
Always be careful not to pour wax down the drain as it can easily clog up your pipes. Ok, now that you have your jars ready, let's have some fun!
Here's how you can reuse candle jars:
1. Mini Terrariums
These jars make lovely little fairy worlds. We like to start with some black sand at the bottom to prevent rot, cover with some found moss and a neighborhood succulent, then decorate with crystals and tiny driftwood.
2. Desk Organizers
Pens, pins, and paperclips! When you have some classy receptacles, it's easy to keep your desk tidy. And the weighted bottoms mean they won't tip over if they get bumped by an elbow or a cat.
3. Bulk Herb/Spice/Tea Storage
Buying bulk is less expensive and more earth friendly! These air-tight lids make our candle jars perfect for your apothecary. The only downside is they're so pretty they'll make you want to replace all your old jam and pickle jars, too.
4. Collection Display Jars
Got a collection that deserves to be seen? Buttons? Agates? Beach glass? Put it on display in that old candle jar! They look simply splendid on a windowsill.
5. Tea Lite Holders
Oh, you thought life as a candle jar was over? Think again! With a little black sand, these jars become the perfect tea candle holders for indoors and outdoors, providing enough protection from the wind to enjoy all evening.
6. Drinking Glasses
This might be the most obvious item on the list, but yes, you can drink out of these jars! The lip is smooth and the bottom is weighted for spill-resistance. They make excellent cocktail glasses!
7. Pet Treat Storage
No one likes to look at those zip-top plastic bags that dog treats come in, so store them in something nicer! Or better yet, make your own pet treats at home for zero waste!
8. Bathroom Organizers
Our candle jars make great toothbrush and makeup brush holders, and it just so happens they're the perfect size for cotton swabs! Use them for dental floss picks, cotton balls, bandages, and anything else you can think of!
9. Weather Safe Mood Lighting
All you need is an electric tea candle or a little string of LED lights. The battery pack for most of those strings will fit perfectly inside the jar. You can disguise the battery pack with real or fake plants, twine, ribbon, or colored tissue paper. They make sweet little nightlights, and weather-safe outdoor mood lighting!
10. Gift jars for homemade treats
Tea cookies, buckeyes, truffles, caramels, and candies stay fresh in our air-tight jars!