Upcycle A Used Jar Candle Into Two Items (and how to remove the candle wax safely)

remove wax from a candle jar

When you burn a jar candle down to nothing, don’t toss it! You can upcycle a used jar candle into two useful items in just a few minutes.

I burn candles all the time. I love the warm glow and the delicate fragrant scent. As most of you know, I’m a thrifty DIY’er. But candles are a luxury that I don’t mind spending my hard-earned cash on.

I hate throwing away those nice, sturdy jars that they come in. I looked online and found all kinds of tutorials on removing the wax with boiling water. That somehow looked labor-intensive. Boiling water, rinsing, and repeating until the wax melts away seemed a little bit dangerous, even!

I remembered that my mother used to freeze her burnt down votive candles to remove them from their holders and decided to try her freezer method. It worked!  Once I got wax free from the jar, I realized that the wax was still quite fragrant and could be placed in my wax melter to use it a little bit longer.

Here’s how I got the wax out of the jar.


First, I placed the jar candle in the freezer overnight. No cheating. It must be solidly frozen.

remove wax from a candle jar
Remove wax from a candle jar and transform the empty jar into two useful items.


Use a butter knife to gently break the wax. Score the wax and use the dull butter knife blade to press down. The wax will break.  Repeat this a couple of times and the wax will pop right out of the jar.

remove candle from a jar
Score the frozen wax, then press the knife blade straight into the wax to break it up.


Remove the wick from the wax. Trash the wick. Place the wax into a zip top bag to use in your wax melter the next time you need fresh wax.  That’s useful item number one!

remove wax from candle jar
Upcycle the wax from the candle into wax for your wax warmer.
remove candle from a jar
Once the candle wax is broken up, remove the wick.


Pull the label off the candle jar. There may also be one on the bottom of the jar. I removed both so the jar had a nice clean look.

remove candle wax from a jar
Remove the label from the now empty candle jar.


Use hot water and dish liquid to clean the jar inside and out. This will remove the residue from the label and any leftover bits of wax inside the jar. Dry it off to prevent spots.


easily remove wax from a candle jar
Fill the empty, clean jar with whatever you’d like.

I decided to use the jar to hold my makeup sponges and keep them clean. It’s a nice, heavy jar that I won’t easily knock off of the bathroom vanity.  This vanity jar is useful item number two.

I was very glad that I decided to skip the boiling hot water. It really looked very messy. Once the candle was frozen solid, the rest of this upcycle literally took less than 5 minutes to complete.  My jar candle was upcycled into wax for my wax warmer and a vanity jar for my bathroom.

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