How To Get Candle (wax) Out Of A Jar

Candles are awesome for a number of reasons. They smell wonderful, they look great when you’re trying to get romantic, and their jars are useful for a lot of different applications! Their one downside is that they don’t burn forever. If you’re as into using cool jars for arts and crafts as I am, this is the post for you. We’re going to talk about how to get a candle out of the jar – so keep reading.

The best ways to get a candle out of its jar are with various methods of heating and/or cooling the wax.

There are a lot of great ways to do this, so let’s get into it, shall we?

Great ways to Remove Candle Wax

We’ll start with the cooling method, as I find that it’s the easiest and safest way to get a candle out of its jar. If you’ve already tried that, move on down to the heating section – one way or another, we’re getting you a clean, cool jar.


All of the methods we’re about to talk about use the expanding/contracting reaction that heating and cooling have on glass (and most other materials, for that matter). The easiest method is to simply pop your candle in the freezer. Here’s what to know:

  1. First things first – make sure your candle is room temperature before doing this. Putting hot glass in the freezer will result in a shattered jar in with your frozen snacks.
  2. Leave your room temperature candle jar in the freezer overnight.
  3. Remove the candlewax by cutting it away with a knife, knocking out as much as possible.
  4. Wash away all of the remnants of wax with warmish (not hot) water and soap.
  5. Voila! You have a cool jar now.

Heating – Boiling Water

This uses the same idea, in the opposite direction of the above method. To use boiling water to get candle wax out of the jar, simply:

  1. Boil water.
  2. Place your jar on a hotpad or something else to keep it from damaging its resting place.
    1. Again, ensure your jar is room temperature or warmer. Cold glass will shatter when doing this.
  3. Pour the boiled water onto your candle, allowing the wax to fully melt. It will rise to the top of the jar, over the water.
  4. Allow the jar and wax to cool so it doesn’t burn you, then simply remove the wax. Repeat as need to get any pesky bits out.
  5. Wash the jar as above, and enjoy your new jar!

Heating – Stove or Oven

We’re going to group these into one big section, as they’re using the same part of your kitchen, most likely. We’ll start with the stovetop:

  1. Fill a large saucepan with water, enough to cover the wax (on the outside, the candle doesn’t need to be submerged).
  2. Bring it to a boil, then allow the water to simmer.
  3. Place your jar in the water, using tweezers or pliers to remove the wick.
  4. Pour out the melted wax into another container, being careful not to burn yourself or spill wax.
  5. Allow the jar to cool and clean with soap and water.

With an oven, however, things change a bit.

This is great if you want to do this with multiple candles at once.

Do the following:

  1. Preheat your oven to 100° C.
  2. While your oven is preheating, line a baking dish with tin foil and place the candles upside down in the dish.
  3. Place your dish and candles in the heated oven, keeping an eye on them. They should take roughly 15 minutes to melt all wax, which will puddle on the foil at the bottom.
  4. Remove the dish and place it somewhere safe. Let the candles cool, then remove the leftover foil with a knife – this will be much easier with the wax attached to the foil.
    1. Often, you can simply flip the dish and pull the foil up – it’ll remove large chunks of wax that melted to it in one fell swoop.
  5. Clean the jar with soap and water.

Heat – Hairdryer

This one is super simple, so no step-by-step here. Simply turn your hairdryer onto warm and slowly melt the wax. This will likely take a while, but it won’t fully melt the wax – it’ll just make it easier to remove. Once it’s softened, remove the wax with a knife and clean the jar with soap and water. You can use the boiled water method to clean out the jar quickly if you want to.

How to Dispose of Candle Wax Properly

This is an important step.

First things first – candle wax is not recyclable. You can reuse it, but it cannot be put in with recycling. You should also not dispose of it down your drain – it will cause issues.

It’s also important to note that the jars candles come in are also usually not recyclable. Glass comes in a few forms, many of which are not recyclable. Short of calling the manufacturer and asking, there’s not really a great way to tell if it can be recycled – hence why I recommend using the jars for arts and crafts, storage, or as cups.

If the candle is made from beeswax, it has so many uses! It can be used to shine bronze or copper (like doorknobs), finish wood, “grease” window frames to make them slide better, and much more. You can also make your own “mystery candles” by collecting all of the spent wax, inserting a new wick, and pouring hot wax into a candle jar. It might smell odd at first, but it’s a fun activity that prevents unnecessary waste.

Final Thoughts

Candles are awesome for a number of reasons. My personal favourite thing about them is that when I burn through a candle, I get to go search for more! And the jars that they come in are often very pretty and decorative, making them great as storage jars for your desk, use as cups, and so much more!

As always, be sure to ensure your candles are back to room temperature before trying any of the above. Yes, they’re heat-safe glass containers, but severe changes in temperature will shatter the nicest of glass – and that’s no fun.