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Alternative methods to clean old candle jars

Updated: Nov 5, 2022

Last time I gave you a detailed tutorial on how to clean your wax holders, and your old candle jars. Here are some additional methods you can use.

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There are other methods you can use to clean your old candle jars than the ones I described in my first blog post on this topic. Their convenience and effectiveness depend on a) the type of jar and wax you want to clean, and b) the gadgets and utensils you have available.

Remember, it is heat that helps us liquefy the wax so that it is possible to wipe it off. Waxes of different types have different melting points. Beeswax or paraffin, for example, are much harder waxes than rapeseed or soy. More heat will be required to melt it, and clean it. On the other hand, rapeseed melts easier and faster. Arm yourself with patience and a bit of scientific curiosity. You may need to give it several tries before you’re completely satisfied with the results.


All the precautions from my previous post How to clean a candle jar hold! Let me repeat them nonetheless.

You are working with hot wax/water/glass. Always touch-test the jar before you fully grab it with your fingers. Use a cloth or oven mitten to protect your skin.

Keep in mind the properties of glass. Even though candle jars are quite resistant to heat, there is a limit to everything. Heat the jar up slowly and gradually. Do not put a hot jar in the freezer, or a cold jar in hot water.

Another important thing to remind you of is that wax always solidifies in room temperature. Therefore, do not pour wax-infused water down the drain, or put wax-containing vessels or dishes in the dishwasher. The wax will clog your pipes.

Only use old pots and utensils when you are manipulating anything wax related. There is a chance that some wax will escape the containers and will end up in the water we are using to heat up the jar. And even though it is possible to wipe any extra wax off, it is never a 100% perfect job. You do not want to cook your food in a pot with tiny wax speckles inside.

I also strongly recommend to line your working space with sheets of baking/parchment paper. Even if you are very careful (and skillful), a couple of drops of wax are most likely to end up on your surfaces. Parchment paper protects the surface, plus you can use it to collect wax leftovers, if you wish to remelt and repour them!

Hot water

If your candle jar has hardly any wax left in it (and if the wax is more towards the softer side), it may be enough to pour hot water into the jar, and then simply wipe the wax remains off. Just use your kettle to boil water as if you were making tea, pour the water into the candle jar for a few seconds, and then throw the water out. Dispose of the hot water ideally in your garden, but if it’s in the candle jar just for a few seconds, you can pour it down the drain, too. Remember, the aim is to soften the leftover wax, so that it can be wiped off with a paper towel. Not make it completely liquid and infuse the water.

Repeat this step a few times until you are satisfied with the result. This method will be effective only if there is hardly any wax left in the jar, and only for softer waxes. Otherwise, I suggest you use the hot water bath method described in my previous blog post.

Heat gun

If you have a heat gun at home, it can help you do the trick. (I have bought a cheap one on Amazon). Wear oven mittens to protect your skin, hold the old candle jar in the protected hand and use the heat gun to liquefy the wax leftovers. Pour the liquefied wax onto a piece of baking/parchment paper. Make sure the parchment paper is horizontal and flat, as well as large enough, so that the liquid wax does not run off the paper. When there is no wax left, wipe off the warm candle jar with a paper towel.

Tea warmer plate

If you’re a tea enthusiast (like I am), you may be in possession of a tea warmer plate. Great! You can use it to heat up the leftover wax in your old candle jar. It usually takes quite some time for the wax to melt (depending on the type of wax) but it works!

Once the wax has been liquefied, pour the wax onto a piece of baking/parchment paper. Make sure the parchment paper is horizontal and flat, and a large enough surface, so that the liquid wax does not run off. Then wipe the jar clean with a kitchen towel.

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Enjoy your candles, and until next time!


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