Have you got an ever-growing collection of empty candle jars & wondered what you could do with them besides throwing them out?

It’s safe to say sustainability, waste levels and the carbon footprint we’re leaving on this planet is on a lot of people’s minds. However not many people know that most candle jars can only be recycled curb side (Always check with your local council/authorities), if the excess wax has been removed and cleaned first. Sadly, this means many are tossed in with our usual rubbish and ultimately end up in a landfill.

So if you’ve ever wondered how you can reuse those burnt out, but still equally beautiful candle containers then keep reading. We’ll cover everything from cleaning out old wax, to fantastic ideas for repurposing them.


There are a few different ways to clean your containers, but the hot water method is the easiest, cleanest & most preferred way. Please note this works best for low melting point waxes like Soy or Coconut, and may take a little longer with paraffin or beeswax based candles.

  1. Fill your container with warm water & leave to sit until cool (The wax will melt and rise to the top, forming a wax disc as the water cools, making it easier to remove).
  2. Remove the hardened wax & If the wick holder is still stuck down, gently slide a butter knife underneath to lift & pop it out.
  3. Using warm soapy water, give the inside a good clean (if you have a dishwasher you can pop them in there) & Voila one clean vessel ready for it’s new life.


Never pour melted wax down the drains, it will cool, solidify & possibly clog your pipes.

Be careful not to overheat glass containers. There is always a risk that glass will explode if it gets too hot.

If fragrance remains after washing, soak for an hour or two in vinegar & baking soda, wash in soapy water once more, and leave to air dry overnight.


The candle may have come to the end of its life, but the container can go on and live another. Here are five of our favourite ways to reuse & recycle those empty candle containers…

Candle Refills

Candle Refills & Recycling Programmes allow those beautiful containers to re-live their life as a candle once more.

Match Storage

Match storage is an excellent way to reuse those beautoful containers, not only are they usefull, they look asthetically pleasing on display too! To turn your old jars in match pots, carefully cut the striker strip off a match box & glue to our wooden lids, side or base of container, & fill the inside with matches . Now you’ve got a a neat & useful way to keep your matches tidy.

Desk Tidy & Pen Holder

Chances are you’ve already spent 10 minutes searching for a pen, yet you only brought a pack of 10 last week. Sound relatable? Then this upcycle is for you…use your old candle jars as pen holders/ desk tidy’s.

Vase & Planters

Who doesn’t love bringing a pop of colour & a little nature into their homes with gorgeous freshly cut flowers. If flowers aren’t your thing perhaps a succulent planter. To help with drainage when using your old candle containers as planters, add a layer of small stones, before you add the soil or alternatively you can use a plant liner. (This is the better option if your plant is one that requires alot of water, as you can remove the plant liner to allow for better drainage when watering).

Apothecary & Vanity Jars

Hair ties seem to come and go in our house, so having somewhere to store all your hair ties & grips in one place means no more early morning hunting!  You could even re-use your old candle jars as asthetic & easy access storage for items in your bathroom, like cotton buds, or as brush holders, eyeliner & lip liner organisers – the list is endless. To use as a strorage jar, you can either use as is, or add a small handle to the lid with some heavy duty glue.