Happy Wednesday! I’m flying solo this week as hubby is out of town on business for the next couple days. To take advantage of the bummer situation (I hate it when he’s gone!) I thought I would get some stuff around the house that I’d been meaning to take care of. One of those things is dealing with all the ends and leftovers of my Bath and Body Works candles. I. LOVE. the candles at B&BW. In fact, hubby and I make a date of it every time a new season rolls around – we go and smell all the new seasonal candles and pick out 3-4 that are our favorites – it sounds like a really simple date, but it’s one of our favorite things to do together! We can get pretty silly on these dates 🙂
The one thing that isn’t awesome about the candles is that once the wicks burn down to the nubs there’s usually still a half inch or so of perfectly good wax that doesn’t get used! Ack! I thought that if I could find a way to reuse candle jars and wax in some way, I could get the most bang for my buck, instead of just throwing the used candles away. I mean, they are over $20 when they aren’t on sale!
So I’m going to share a little trick for making this as easy and painless as possible that I’ve been using for the past year or so 🙂 When I first started looking for ways to remove wax on Pinterest and Google, I got a lot of results telling me to put the candle jar in a pot of boiling water to melt the wax, but I was worried about the jar shattering or figuring out how to pick up a boiling hot glass out of a pot of water and trying to pour it into something else. Another common way was just to use a knife and try to carve it out, but that just ends up messy and doesn’t get rid of all the remnants of wax.
My secret? Pour boiling water straight into the candle jar!
It really is quite magical. Just heat your kettle up to boiling and then pour a small amount of water into each candle jar. As you can tell by the amount of jars I have, I’ve been putting it off for a while! The nice thing about the hot water is that it will clean off any burn marks or other smudges on the inside of the jar.
The hot water will melt the wax and it will float up to the top of the water. As the water cools, the wax will re-harden into a nice wafer layer on the top. Simply lift the wax off the top of the water et voilà! You might need to repeat the steps of pouring boiling water in and taking wax off the top a few times if all of it doesn’t come off at first go.
After all the wax is removed you can pry up the wick holders pretty easily with a knife or fork. If they don’t come up easily, add more boiling water to loosen the adhesive. I also like to peel off the labels for a clean look – use goo gone or dish soap to get any leftover stickiness off!
Once the jars are all cleaned out, I run them and their lids through the dishwasher to get any remaining junk off and to get them sparkly clean.
Now you have some awesome jars to use for holding things like office supplies or knick-knacks or anything you’d like! I imagine that they would be safe for unwrapped food products if you ran them through the dishwasher a couple times, but don’t quote me on that. I would only put in wrapped items just to be safe.
Attach one to a thrift store candlestick for a trendy piece of home decor! I made one into a cotton ball holder for the bathroom. In addition to using them in my tea and coffee bar to hold my tea bags I also use them in my craft room to hold supplies 🙂
As for the wax, I usually make smaller candles out of the leftovers! I bought a box of plain wicks from the craft store and had a bunch of leftover small glass candle holders that someone gave me a long time ago. To make the new candles, you can do the double boiler method by placing the wax wafers in an empty can and putting the can in a pot of boiling water or simply use a pot dedicated to crafts and heat it until it melts. Then simply pour into the new container with the wick and you have a new candle! I love that you can get more life out of those amazing Bath and Body Works scents! You can see my new candles at work on my fall tablescape. This method should work with all candles that come in glass jars. Happy recycling!
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I hope this tip is helpful and that you can get more life out of your favorite candle jars and wax!