When you have enjoyed your fragranced soy wax candle to the full, at some stage you will want to recycle, repurpose, or simply reuse the container to make upcycled candles. However, removing the residue wax can be a challenge. Here are some tips to safely and easily clean up a used candle wax container.
Wax shrinks in cold temperatures, so putting the container in the freezer for a while should make it pull away from the sides easily. If there is a lot of wax tunnelled at the sides, try and break as much of this away as you can first. This will make it easier to remove the remaining wax. Wait until the wax is fully cooled off before you attempt to remove it.
Leave the container in the freezer overnight for best results. Once it’s done, pop the wax out with a blunt tool such as a butter knife. If the container is quite thin, such as an upcycled drinking vessel, then take great care not to shatter the glass. If the wick is glued down, you should be able to dislodge it with the knife.
Wash out the jar with warm soapy water to remove the waxy residue, and if there is still any glue remaining from the wick, use a little cleansing oil to remove it.
Use hot water (double broiler method)
If you don’t have the time or space for the freezer method, the next best method is to melt out the wax by putting the jar into a container of hot water. As before, remove as much of the remaining wax as you can first with a knife. If the wax is soy wax, it will have quite a low melting point, so there is no need to use boiling water.
Place it in a container of hot water, which is full enough to be level with the remaining wax in the jar. If the jar bobs about in the water, empty some out until it stands steady. Wait until the wax begins to soften in the heat, but not until it starts to liquify, as this will make it too difficult to remove.
Loosen the edges of the softened wax with a butter knife, and remove it. Clean up any residue with hot soapy water.
Use hot water (direct method)
Another technique is simply to pour hot water directly on to the remaining wax, once you have scraped out as much as you can with a knife. The wax should liquify in the hot water, and float to the surface. When the wax begins to re-harden, remove it from the water.
However, the cooled water can contain a waxy residue which is difficult to dispose of, so use the first two methods wherever possible.
And what not to do…
You might see some advice about melting the wax off in the microwave, but never ever do this! It is dangerous, as there may be a metal tab at the base of the wick which could cause a nasty explosion.