Sometimes it's hard to part with our much loved candles once they’ve come to the end of their life. There are a lot of brands out there that make beautiful containers, but it can often feel like a waste throwing out a perfectly good jar once the wax is gone.
However, in the sake of reducing waste and reusing resources, it's now easier than ever to extend the life of your favourite candle creations.
How to salvage your old candle jars.
So it’s most likely you’ve come to the end of a great candle, and you’ll most likely have wax residue or a few centimetres of wax left to deal with. To remove this wax you have a few options.
The first is the double boiling method. Here you put the candle jar in a bowl set over a pot of barely simmering water, which ensures the wax melts without the jar getting dangerously hot.
Or you can place the candle in a separate pot and slowly pour boiling water around the candle (making sure the water doesn’t go in the candle jar itself).
Once the candle melts, pour the old hot wax into something that you’re already going to toss in the garbage. Don’t pour melted wax down the drain—wax dries quickly and it’s bound to clog your pipes.
* For this step, be cautious as some candle jars paint finish may not be able to withstand hot or warm water, the paint may strip off leaving you with a patchy jar.
Your second option is the freezer method which will work better for thicker jars. If you have more than one candle to dispose of (and some freezer space), this might be easier than the stovetop method.
Place the candles in the freezer for a couple hours, or until the wax is frozen, and then use a butter knife to pop the frozen wax out of the container. To make this process easier, try to break up the wax a bit before freezing to make it simpler to pop out once it’s frozen.
Other methods include pouring boiling water to let the wax rise to the top and harden where you can easily remove it. However this method is better for containers that only have a low amount of wax left in the container.
Once you’ve removed the wax you can clean the container with soap and water, making sure the soap is fully removed. From there you have a new container to use for your own candle creations.
Considering a lot of mainstream candles range from $20-$50 reusing the container is a great way to extend the life of your candle. At New Zealand Candle Supplies our high quality candle making ingredients are a great addition to any beautiful reused jar.
Creating your own candles is a fun process for any level of candle makers, and now that you’ve got your container sorted all you need is your wax, fragrances and equipment.
The first thing you need to be cautious of is the wick that you use. The size of your container will determine the size of your wick. Choosing the right candle wicks is crucial if you want to avoid candle wick problems and create high-quality candles. I’ll even go so far as to say that the containers, type of wax, and scent you select won’t matter if you use the wrong candle wicks.
Second part is to decide on what wax you want within your candle. Not all waxes are made the same, and with hundreds of different options and combinations, ultimately it's up to you to decide what wax you like working with.
The wax process is also when you’ll be able to experiment with colour and fragrance to truly determine your style. To find out more about the wax you should be using in your container, read our all things wax guide here.
Yet if you’re after the easiest way to reuse your old containers, try our complete candle making kits. These kits include everything you need including wax and equipment and are a great place to start for budding candle makers.
So, now that you’ve sorted your container and your candle base, you can appreciate your efforts reusing and recycling! Just remember to give your candle a chance to set properly before you use it. We know how tempting it can be to show off your creations as soon as possible!