How to Clean a Candle Jar

Two Methods:Heat cleaningFreezer cleaning

Making candles is a fulfilling and enjoyable hobby for many craft lovers. All sorts of jars can be used and reused for candles, but sooner or later these jars have to be cleaned and that's when the stuck-on wax can bring about frustration. No need to feel that way anymore––there are some very easy methods for removing it!

Method 1
Heat cleaning

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    Blow out the candle's light.
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    Reach into the candle with a knife, when the candle is burned down to the point where the wax is only 1/4 to 1/3 thick. Push the point into the wax several times in a line until the candle puck cracks. It should come out in one or two pieces. These can be remelted for other candles later, so save them.
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    Use a paper towel to wipe out the candle jar. This should remove some of the carbon or oil film found on some non-paraffin wax candles. This will also remove most of the flakes and chips of wax left over from removing the wax puck.
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    Place a dishcloth, folded four ways, into the bottom of a saucepan large enough to hold the jar. Place the jar on the cloth.
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    Fill the jar with room temperature water right to the top so that it overflows. Add room temperature water to the pan so that it comes up to the side of the jar.
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    Turn on the heat under the pan no higher than medium. Do not leave this jar unattended from here on in. Depending on the candle, the waxes melt at different temperatures. The column candles that you often see in Hispanic stores or in roadside memorials melt at very low temperatures, some can be spooned out at room temperature. This wax is not good to add to other waxes.
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    Check the water temperature using a probe or stick thermometer. Turn the heat down when the temperature reaches 140° - 160°. Paraffin, bees wax, and soy wax all melt at different temperatures. You don't want this to just be melted, you want the wax to be as liquid as possible. The wax chips should all be melted and floating on the top of the water at this point.
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    Use a ladle or small dipper to carefully pour hot water into the full jar, making it overflow into the pan.
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    Turn off the heat from the stove, and let the water settle to room temperature.
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    Let the remaining wax solidify on the water's surface.
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    Pour the remaining water through a sieve and knock the wax chips into the trash.
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    Scrub the inside of the jar with a bottle brush and hot, soapy water. You shouldn't need an abrasive cloth. What's left should come right out.

Method 2
Freezer cleaning

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    Place the jar or candle holder in the freezer overnight.
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    Take the jar or candle holder out of the freezer the following day.
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    Use a knife to pop the wax out in one piece. You should find that it lifts up in one or two pieces, with ease. You can simply pop it out and discard of the wax or reuse it, as required.
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    Wash the jar or candle holder in the dishwasher to complete the clean. It will come out sparkling, with no more wax.

Tips

  • If the jar is a smooth, straight sided jar, you can freeze it. The wax might come out with a few gentle knocks or by running it under hot water.
  • If there is any amount of wax that comes out, you can use it to make new candles. When you melt it, any debris will sink to the bottom and you can just pour the wax through a screen.
  • Clean the pan from the wax that was over-filled into it. Use hot, soapy water.

Warnings

  • The heating method used in these steps will melt any amount of wax.
  • Never pour boiling water into a jar that still has wax in it. The wax and the glass will expand or contract at different rates. When the hot water is introduced the glass may shatter everywhere.

Things You'll Need

  • Saucepan large enough to hold jar
  • Dishcloth or washcloth
  • Stick or meat thermometer

Article Info

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Categories: Featured Articles | Candle Making