If you love burning scented candles, you know the struggle of what to do with leftover candle wax once the wick burns out. Often, that wax gets tossed in the trash, wasting all that scented wax and adding to landfills. But did you know there are many creative ways to reuse candle wax instead of throwing it away?

Reusing candle wax is an eco-friendly and budget-friendly solution, especially when opting to make new candles or using it in a candle warmer. With some simple tips, you can give wax new life in DIY projects, new candles, wax melts, fire starters, and more. This article will explore why you should reuse candle wax and provide plenty of ideas to inspire you. Read on to become a pro at repurposing wax!

Why Bother Reusing Candle Wax?

There are a few excellent reasons to reuse candle wax instead of throwing it away:

  1. It reduces waste. Tossing out leftover wax adds to landfills when that wax could be repurposed.
  2. It saves money. Making DIY products with used wax is far cheaper than buying new craft supplies and candles.
  3. The wax still has a scent! Used wax retains the lovely fragrance from the candle, allowing you to continue enjoying that scent.
  4. It’s extremely versatile. As you’ll see, there are so many ways to give candle wax new life for practical purposes.

Now that you know why it pays to reuse wax, let’s explore all the possibilities!

How Do I Reuse Candle Wax?

Remove the Wax from the Jar

The first step is harvesting the leftover wax. An easy way is to place the candle jar in the freezer overnight to easily remove the wax and reuse candle jars. The wax will shrink away from the sides of the jar, and you can pop it out. Another popular method is using a knife to gently pry around the cooled wax to release it.

You can also melt candle wax to pour it out of the jar. Place the jar with wax in a pot of boiling water to melt the wax so it slides right out, ready for you to pour the wax into new forms. Be extremely careful when handling hot wax to avoid burns.

Clean and Dry the Jar

Once emptied, clean the leftover candle jar thoroughly with soap and warm water to remove wax residue. This is the first step to reusing candle jars for your favorite candle. Allow the jar to dry completely before reusing it. Now you have a free glass jar to use in one of the wax crafts below!

5 Creative Ways to Reuse Candle Wax

1. Make New Candles

One of the most popular ways to reuse candle wax is by making new candles! Melt down the leftover wax and combine it with a little new wax, if desired. Then add wick and an optional fragrance. Carefully pour the melted wax into containers like cleaned-out candle jars or other heat-safe vessels to make recycled votives, pillars, tarts, and more. Customize with colors and designs—the options are endless!

2. Create Wax Melts for Warmers

Leftover candle wax is perfect for making wax melts, also called wax tarts. These are chunks of scented wax that melt in electric wax warmers. The melt warmers heat the wax to fill the room with fragrance. Simply pour your melted wax into silicone molds. Add some pretty designs by sprinkling in dye chips or botanicals if you want. Package the cured wax that melts up in bags or jars to use in your candle warmer, offering a delightful fragrance throughout your space.

3. Craft Fire Starters

Used candle wax creates excellent fire starters for fireplaces and campfires. To make them, cut up cardboard egg cartons to hold small amounts of wax. Melt old candle wax and carefully pour a shallow layer into each egg carton cup. Add wicks made from cotton balls or twine, if desired, before the wax sets. Once hardened, tear off the individual wax-filled egg carton cups to use as fire starters. They light easily and burn slowly.

4. Make DIY Wax Seal Stamps

Here’s a neat project for reusing candle wax—turn it into custom wax seals! Melt down the old wax in a metal tin. Press a carved stamp, pendant, charm, or other object into the wax to create an impression. As it cools, the wax will retain the stamp’s shape. Use your unique wax stamp to seal envelopes with wax for a fancy, antique look. Talk about repurposing wax in a crafty way to make your favorite decorative items!

5. Repurpose Candle Jars

We mentioned cleaning out old candle jars, but what creative ways can you reuse those jars? Turn them into jewelry holders, cotton ball containers, mini vases, drinking glasses, utensil holders, bud vases, or pencil cups—so many possibilities! Decorate them with paint, twine, gems, or other embellishments. Upcycling candle jars gives them new life.

Tips for Reusing Candle Wax

Now that you’re inspired to reuse leftover wax instead of throwing it out, keep these tips in mind:

  • Store wax in an airtight container until ready to use. This retains the fragrance.
  • Freeze the wax first to easily remove it from the jar.
  • Mix different candle waxes instead of limiting yourself to one scent.
  • Add essential oils or candle dye to refresh old wax.
  • Use caution when melting wax to avoid burns. The double-boil method is safest.
  • Make sure new wicks are centered when pouring recycled wax into containers.

Extra Tips for Repurposing Leftover Candle Wax

Looking for even more ideas on how to give new life to old candle wax? Here are some bonus projects to reduce waste through reuse.

Make Candle Holder Decoupage

An ingenious way to reuse emptied candle jars is by transforming them into one-of-a-kind decoupaged candle holders. Brush a thin layer of melted wax onto the outside of clean, dry jars. While still warm, press on cut-outs of scrapbook paper, fabric, lace, or other embellishments to pour the wax into unique shapes. Top with another coat of wax to seal. It makes great gifts!

Craft Wax Paper

Here’s a way to reuse wax to make eco-friendly alternatives to plastic wrap. Brush a very thin layer of melted wax onto parchment paper or brown paper bags. Let it cool completely. Use wax paper to wrap sandwiches and cover bowls. Unlike regular wax paper, it can be disposed of directly in the backyard compost.

Waterproof Surfaces

Used candle wax can also help waterproof containers, shoes, matches, and other items. Carefully brush on a thin, melted wax coating and let it dry completely. The wax layer helps repel moisture. Get creative waterproofing items that could use extra protection from the elements.

Upcycling leftover candle wax takes a bit of creativity, but it reduces waste. What repurposing projects, such as creating new candles with soy wax or using the wax in a wax burner, will you attempt? Which of these additional ideas are you most excited to try out?

Give New Purpose to Old Candle Wax

As you can see, leftover candle wax doesn’t need to go to waste. With so many innovative ways to reuse it for new candles, wax melts, fire starters, and crafts, the remaining wax gets new life. These projects are budget-friendly, reduce waste, and allow you to continue enjoying the candles’ lovely scents.

Hopefully these ideas inspire you to get creative with repurposing your old candle wax instead of pitching it in the bin. What will you try first? Which tip or project sounds most exciting to begin reducing waste through reuse?

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