I’m a pack rat when it comes to things that can be repurposed in the future. I love to save old candle jars, tea tins, and jam jars because they’re perfect for holding little things like pens, change, buttons, cotton swabs, etc, etc (organization!). While tea tins and jam jars are simple to rinse out and reuse, cleaning out old candle jars isn’t quite so simple…

How to Clean Candle Jars

On Monday I tackled cleaning out my little collection of candle jars that can no longer be burned. You know a candle is done when it can’t hold a flame for more than a couple minutes. (By the way, I LOVE Anthropologie Blue Volcano candles, but am always disappointed with how much wax they leave behind. After the wick won’t burn any longer, I put them on a candle warmer and keep “burning” them until the wax loses its scent. When you spend $30 on a candle, you gotta milk it for all its worth!)

Here’s how I cleaned my candle jars:

Cleaning Candle Jars

How to Clean Out Old Candle Jars

First I used an old fork and spoon to scoop out most of the wax. It was really warm in our house when I did this, so I had no problem getting the wax out. If your wax is harder than mine was, you could set the candles on a warmer for a few minutes to loosen it up.

Cleaning Candle Jars

Next, I filled up my tea kettle and set it to high to boil. I put the jars on a cookie sheet and put a drop of dish washing detergent in each one.

How To Clean Wax Out of Candle Jars

I filled each jar with boiling water and let them soak for 40 minutes. You’ll see the wax bubble up to the top pretty quickly.

How to Clean Wax Out of Candle Jars

After they soaked, I cut the top of an empty gallon milk jug and poured the waxy, soapy water in the jug. Do not pour the wax down your sink!

Cleaning Wax Out of Candles

Next I took a paper towel and wiped out each jar, aiming to remove any wax or black soot left. Your jars will still be warm at this point, so be careful! I accidentally cracked one :(

How to Clean Wax out of candles

I then filled my sink with hot, soapy water, and in they went to soak for about an hour…

How to Get Labels off Candle Jars

And then I took them out, rinsed them, and peeled/rubbed off the stickers. The stickers on the Anthropologie candles and one of the Target candles left behind residue, which Goo Gone took right off!

Cleaning Candle Jars

And that’s it! Ready to use…

Repurposed Candle Jars

Holding flossing picks and cotton swabs in the guest bathroom…

Repurposing Candle Jars

Holding makeup brushes and earrings on the counter…

Repurposed Candle Jars

Collecting laundry room tips (all the change I find in Chris’ pockets!) and storing safety pins…

And I have big plans for the two blue Anthropologie jars once our master bathroom is complete.

Think twice before tossing those candle jars … you never know what knickknacks you can store in them!