It seems such a waste to throw out old candle jars – they are perfectly re-usable glass jars. I think the candle companies should try to collect old candle jars, because they can easily refill and resell the candles as new ones. Even if the glass jars are put into recycling, the melting & energy costs will be much higher.
Anyways, for a simple do-it-yourself project at home, old candle jars can be turned into something more useful.
The first jar I used to store cotton pads and cotton swabs, and the second slightly larger jar I used to store / display necklaces and bracelets. I especially like the jewelery one, because you can easily see the necklaces and pick them out without having to dig through a lump of chains.
- After burning out the candle, there will be some wax and the wick still intact. Put the entire candle in the freezer for about 2 hours. This will harden the wax and make it more brittle. Use some knife or a sharp edge to break apart the wax, and remove it. I used scissors. You should be able to remove all the wax, but not the wick, which is glued onto the bottom of the jar.
- Pour about half an inch depth of boiling water into the jar, and let it sit for a few minutes. This melts the glue, and using the scissors again, I scraped the wick out. Next, pour away the water. There might still be some glue residue where the wick used to be.
- Clean the jar. I used a stove top cleaner I already had, which is formulated for glass / ceramic surfaces. I removed the rest of the glue and cleaned the glass. Lastly, rinse with water and allow to dry.
- (optional) decorate the jar & it is ready to be used.
There is another method of removing the wax using hot water, but this is more messy since you won’t be able to pour the wax down the drain (you don’t want the wax to solidify and clog up your pipes). I think freezing it and removing it as hard wax is the best way.