How to Recycle Candles in Glass Jars [3 Best Ways]

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Candles add warmth and ambiance to our homes, but what happens when they burn out?

Instead of discarding those lovely glass jars, consider recycling them to contribute to a greener environment. 

In this guide, we’ll explore how to recycle candles in glass jars, including creative ways to reuse the wax and jars for various DIY projects.

Why Recycle Candles in Glass Jars?

candle in glass
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Reusing candle jars comes with important environmental advantages, mainly due to the nature of typical candles. 

Many candles, especially those using paraffin wax, rely on petroleum, which is a finite resource. 

When these candles are not disposed of properly, they can harm the environment.

Recycling the glass containers that once held these candles plays a crucial role in lessening this negative impact. 

This not only prevents glass from piling up in landfills but also reduces the necessity to produce new glass containers, thereby cutting down on the environmental footprint associated with manufacturing. 

Adopting eco-friendly practices in handling used candles, not only helps preserve valuable resources but also sets a positive example for others, encouraging a shared dedication to environmental responsibility. 

Before you start recycling, make sure to get your candles ready for the process. Follow these easy steps to make everything go smoothly.

A Guide to Prepare Your Candles in Glass Jars For Recycling 

1. Allow the Wax to Cool 

Let the wax cool before recycling your candle in a glass jar. Allow the candle to burn until the wax is no longer hot to the touch. 

This has two important benefits: first, it makes the wax solidify, making it easier to remove from the jar without creating a mess. 

Second, dealing with cool wax is safer, reducing the risk of burns or accidents during the recycling process. 

This simple cooling step sets the stage for easy and effective wax removal, making the whole recycling experience smoother.

2. Freezing Method 

Use the Freezing Method to easily recycle candles in glass jars. Here’s a simple guide: once the wax has cooled, put the glass jar in the freezer for a few hours. 

The cold makes the wax brittle and pulls away from the sides of the jar. This makes it easy to handle. When the wax is frozen, gently pop it out using a blunt object like a butter knife

The frozen wax is brittle, so it comes out easily without harming the jar. 

3. Hot Water Bath 

Try the Hot Water Bath method for an easy way to recycle candles in glass jars. Just pour hot water into the jar with leftover wax. 

The heat will melt the wax into a liquid. Once it’s all melted, carefully pour the liquid wax out of the jar. 

But remember, don’t use this method for jars with glued labels because the hot water might make the labels peel off. 

It’s a great way to get the wax out, but be mindful of the jar’s condition and any labels to keep things clean and hassle-free.

4. Scrape and Clean 

The Scrape and Clean method is the last step to get your candle jar ready for recycling. First, scrape off any leftover wax with a plastic scraper or spoon to get rid of most of it. 

Then, wash the jar with hot, soapy water and a sponge to remove any remaining bits of wax and make sure the jar is nice and clean. 

If there are stubborn spots, baking soda and water mix works great. It acts like a gentle scrub to get rid of any leftover wax. 

This cleaning process makes sure your recycled jar is all set for its next use or trip to the recycling bin.

How to Recycle Candles in Glass Jars?

candle jar
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Now that your glass jar is wax-free and clean, it’s time to explore how to recycle it responsibly.

1. Check Local Recycling Guidelines 

Before recycling your glass candle jars, it’s crucial to check the local rules. Look into your area’s recycling guidelines to make sure they accept glass containers

Different places have different rules, so it’s good to know what applies to you. 

Some recycling places might ask you to sort glass by color, so keep an eye out for any specific instructions they give. 

This way, you’re following the local guidelines and playing your part in making glass recycling more efficient and eco-friendly in your community.

2. Remove Metal or Plastic Components 

Take off any metal or plastic parts like lids or wicks. It’s a quick and important step to make sure these pieces don’t mess up the recycling process.

If your local rules say so, toss these parts into the right recycling bins. This not only keeps things smooth for recycling but also follows guidelines for responsible waste management in your area.

3. Consider Repurposing 

Don’t just toss your glass candle jar after it’s done. Think about using it in a new way! Instead of quickly throwing it away, consider giving it a second life. 

You could use the jar for storing things, as a decoration, or for fun DIY projects. Get creative – it could organize small items, hold flowers as a vase, or become a container for crafts.

 Repurposing not only cuts down on waste but also adds a bit of creativity to your home. 

By following these steps, not only do you contribute to efficient glass recycling in your community, but you also explore creative ways to repurpose your glass candle jars and reduce waste.

Reuse Candle Wax and Jars 

Don’t let the candle wax go to waste! Here are some creative DIY ideas to reuse both the wax and jars:

1. Homemade Candles 

Get creative and make your candles using leftover wax! Melt the wax from used candles and start crafting unique pieces at home. 

This DIY method not only reduces waste but also lets you personalize your candles with scents like essential oils or charming touches like dried flowers.

Making candles at home gives a second life to leftover wax and allows you to create each candle just the way you like it. 

So, every candle becomes a special, one-of-a-kind creation designed uniquely for you!

2. Container Plants 

Give your old candle jars a new life by turning them into stylish plant pots for small herbs or succulents. 

It adds a touch of elegance to your space and lets you enjoy watching your plants grow through the transparent glass. 

Using these recycled jars as plant containers is not only a chic and eco-friendly choice but also brings a fresh, natural vibe to your home decor. 

It’s a simple and creative way to repurpose your jars, making your living space delightful and environmentally conscious for home gardening.

3. DIY Candle Holders 

Transform your cleaned candle jars into charming DIY candle holders effortlessly. 

Place tea lights or small candles inside and take it up a notch by adding a personal touch – decorate the jars with paint, ribbon, or twine. 

This creative DIY project not only repurposes your jars but also lets you customize them to suit your style. The outcome? 

A set of unique candle holders that not only brighten up your space but also double as delightful decorative elements. 

This cost-effective and eco-friendly idea breathes new life into your used candle jars, turning them into both functional and aesthetically pleasing decor. 

Add a touch of warmth and personality to any room in your home with this simple and environmentally conscious solution.

Do Candles Harm the Environment?

Candles, even though they create a cozy atmosphere, can have a big impact on the environment, especially those made from paraffin wax. 

When you burn these candles, they release not-so-great stuff like benzene and toluene into the air, adding to air pollution. 

To be kinder to the environment, it’s better to choose candles made from soy or beeswax—they burn cleaner and support eco-friendly practices. 

Also, it’s a good idea to recycle and reuse your old candle stuff. Doing this helps lessen the overall impact on the environment

So, by picking eco-friendly candles and being careful about how you get rid of them, you can play a part in making our planet healthier and reduce your impact on the environment.


In summary, recycling your candles in glass jars is an easy but powerful way to support a sustainable lifestyle. 

By using the tips mentioned here, you can make your candle containers last longer, cut down on waste, and create a more eco-friendly home—one candle at a time. 

If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to leave a comment below. Thank you for taking the time to read!


When should you throw out candles?

You should consider throwing out candles when they are burnt down to a very short wick or if the wax has melted completely, making it difficult to burn the candle safely.
Damaged or deformed candles may also be a good candidate for disposal.

Is it safe to throw away candles?

Yes, it’s generally safe to throw away candles.
However, removing any metal or plastic components, like wicks or lids, is recommended before disposal.
Recycling glass jars or finding alternative uses for candles is an eco-friendly option to consider.

Can you donate used candles?

While donating used candles might not be a common practice, you can explore local community centers, schools, or crafting groups that might have a use for them.
Make sure the candles are in good condition and safe for use if considering donation.
Always check with the organization or individuals first to see if they accept such donations.

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