DIY: Recycle your old candle holders!

Posted by Lipglossiping On May - 2 - 2013

If, like me, you enjoy scenting your home with candles… you probably feel a pang of guilt every time you head toward the bin with the empty receptacle.

But who the heck has time to wash out those things? All that scrubbing and scraping does neither your nails nor your dishcloths any good. As Half Man Half Biscuit once said, “There is surely nothing worse than washing sieves”. Well, they obviously hadn’t ever tried to wash out an empty votive.

Well, this is an old trick that I used to use on my oil burners after exhausting those Yankee Candle tarts of their scent… I’m sure a few of you are already familiar with the process, but incase you’re not… it goes something like this…

DIY: Recycle your old candle holders!

DIY: Recycle your old candle holders!

Take one manky candle holder…

DIY: Recycle your old candle holders!

DIY: Recycle your old candle holders!

…and nestle it safely in the freezer for a few hours, I usually completely forget about mine and retrieve them a couple of weeks later.

While the wax is still “frozen”, carefully prise the remnants away from the container with a knife.  Most of it will come off in chunks.  For any leftover bits, fill the jar with super-hot water and leave on the side to cool.  The remnants will melt, float to the surface and then re-harden, allowing you to scoop them out with ease.

DIY: Recycle your old candle holders!


It’s an almost effortless way to secure yourself some pretty, new brush-holders.  Upcycle your votives and give them a new life on your dressing table.  Those large Yankee jars are particularly brilliant for re-using in the bathroom as cotton-wool holders.

Do you recycle your candle holders?  What do you use them for?

12 Responses to “DIY: Recycle your old candle holders!”

  1. Shortiee31 says:

    Thank you for posting this! I think the Lily Flame candle tins are cute so I will definitely be doing this and holding onto them :)

  2. Laura says:

    Once I’ve removed the wax in mine I wash them a couple of time and use them as tumblers :).

    I’ve got a couple of the big Yankee jars, can’t wait to recycle them :)

  3. I have two used Diptyque candle jars, a big white/clear one and a small pink one. They’re perfect for makeup brushes especially ones with shorter handles. And they look super pretty.

  4. Halima says:

    I re-use a lot of my candle holders too but my method of removing the wax seems really silly now that I’ve read about yours, haha!

    I stick them in the microwave for a couple of seconds then quickly wipe the remains out but it doesn’t remove it properly. I bet it isn’t even safe to stick something like that in the microwave. Yaar, I know, dumb idea!

    Will have to try your method :)



  5. Sheenie says:

    How do I stick my bedroom window in the freezer? That’s splattered in candle wax.

  6. Eva says:

    I’m getting married next year so I’ve been doing this with mine and I’m planning on decorating the tops of my yankee candle jars and using them on the tables at the reception, so far though I’ve only cleared out one!

  7. Nephthys says:

    An even easier method is to poor boiling water in your semi-empty candles. The wax will melt, float to the surface and after cooling down, you will end up with a layer of wax on top of the water, which you can very easily break and remove.
    Repeat if necessary. I tried several techniques and this is by far the easiest. Especially useful when there is a lot of wax left.

  8. Awesome!! I always wondered how people got them so perfectly clean! Thanks!

  9. Great tips! I knew about the freezer thing but not the hot water/melty thing.I re-use the jars from my big Bath & Body works candles for lipgloss and eyeliner holders. They work really great! And I love your idea of using jars for cotton ball holders.

  10. I also clean out my used candle jars and reuse them as brush holders. I particularly like the Bath and Body Works ones.

  11. Aaman says:

    Great post! I was thinking about what I could do with my Yankee Candle jars once their finished, I hate throwing them away.

    Thank you very much :)

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