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Simple hack takes care of empty candle jars without you spending a dime

Emerald Pellot
·2-min read

Candles almost always come in nice jars but once they’re used up, it can be hard to know what to do with the leftover container.

In The Know’s Phoebe Zaslav came up with a great sustainable hack that converts old candle jars into storage jars.

“I am literally a candle hoarder, so I thought it would be cool to show you guys how I would clean them out and use them for storing tea, candy, self-care products,” Phoebe said.

The project only takes about 30 minutes and requires household items you likely already have.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 used candle

  • 1 butter knife

  • Hot water

  • 1 large bowl

  • Dish soap

  • 1 sponge

  • Nail polish remover

“The first step is to take your butter knife and carve around the wax carefully so that the wax is no longer touching the glass,” Phoebe explained.

Once you’ve removed the wax around the circumference, the remaining candle should pop right out.

“So now you have a jar that’s pretty much empty. You’re gonna go over to the sink and turn the hot water on. Let it get warm for a moment. Then you’re gonna fill up your candle jar with a tiny bit of soap and some hot water,” she said.

Scrub out all the remaining wax and ash left in the jar using the sponge.

The next step is optional. Some candles have fashionable labels but if you’d like to remove the one on yours, here’s how.

“Take your now empty candle jar and put it in the center of that large bowl,” Phoebe explained. “You’re gonna fill it up with hot water, all the way up to the top so it’s fully submerged. Leave it in there for 20 minutes.”

After 20 minutes, start to peel the label off the jar. You can use a butter knife to help scrape it off. If there’s any sticky residue, Phoebe recommended using nail polish remover to scrub it away.

The jar looked brand new when Phoebe was done. She used her upcycled decorative jars to store tea bags, Q-tips and mints.

“I did not have to buy anything for this hack and I did not have to throw anything away,” Phoebe said.

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