Diptyque Candle Jars Recycled

July 20, 2013


By popular request, here is a simple step-by-step guide to cleaning candle jars so you can recycle and reuse them as decorative containers. This will work for most candles. My favorites to re-use are Diptyque and Henri Bendel mainly because the jars are sturdy and even if there is a slight burn on the sides, the glass is strong enough so it doesn’t leave burn marks (most of the time). I like the way Henri Bendel candles are simple and clean looking. For Diptyque, I love the oval stickers and the fact that heat from the flames doesn’t change the color or make them peel.

Tools needed:

Hot running water, paper towels and a flat-edged spoon (I prefer spoons because they are safer to use) … and of course a finished candle! The spoon below is a hot chocolate spoon from Crate and Barrel from several years ago.


Step 1: Make sure your finished candle has finished cooling. Take the spoon and carve or scoop out any wax. The hard edges make the wax easier to scoop from the bottom corners where the sides meet the base. Work around the candle in a carving motion around the sides and then on the bottom. Depending on the candle, room temperature, how much you’ve burned, you may find some waxes more stubborn than others. Having remnants is ok, we will remove in the next few steps.


Step 2: Take a paper towel and wipe down any excess burnt pieces and wax. A stiffer paper towel will help pick up some of the wax you scraped off. If it doesn’t come completely clean, not to worry. Most of the cleaning has to be done in a series steps where the jar gets progressively cleaner.


Step 3: If stubborn wax remains, fill the jar with hot water. Make sure it’s not too hot (definitely not boiling). If the heat is too high it can crack the glass. Let it sit for 30 seconds to soften the glass. Note that you can re-arrange any of the steps. I like to scrape, wipe and then fill with water to remove as much wax and burnt edge remnants as possible before adding water to soften the excess.


Step 4: Now that the warm/hot water has softened the waxes on the sides, repeat the cleaning process with a paper towel to wipe the inside completely clean. The wax should glide off easily and adhere to the paper towel. If there’s still wax remaining, repeat the above steps by adding hot water for an additional 30 seconds to soften wax and wipe clean again.

Now your candles are cleaned and ready to use for decoration!


There are a number of different ways to clean out your candle jars. This is just one I’ve found works. Some recommend freezing the jars to help the wax pop out. I haven’t tried it – if you have I’d love to hear how it worked for you. For me, I tend to leave things in the freezer and forget about them. Also using the method listed above is faster for me rather than having to wait for the jars to cool/freeze in the freezer. Others recommend pouring boiling water to soften and remove the wax – I personally wouldn’t recommend boiling water since the glass might not be strong enough to sustain the shock in different temperatures.

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  • Anonymous July 20, 2013 at 8:16 pm

    I love to use mine for makeup brushes and even use one on my vanity to store lipgloss. My favorite scent this summer has been violette, but my personal year round favorite is Opoanax.

    I read somewhere that Mimosa is Karl Lagerfeld's favorite. I should try that one next.

    x, M.Fay

    • Sabrina July 21, 2013 at 12:12 am

      I've heard so many good things about Violette! I loved Opoanax – unfortunately I dropped that one and broke it before I was able to burn 🙁 It's on my wishlist. I will be sure to check out the Violette next time – thanks for the recommendations!

  • k. July 20, 2013 at 8:30 pm

    There is a much easier way to do this. Just put them in the freezer and any wax left in there pops right out.

  • Claire July 20, 2013 at 8:34 pm

    One of the easiest way to clean up candle jar for me is to: 1. burn until the wax is all liquid, 2. cool it down a bit and 3. pop it in the freezer for an hour or so. The wax will shrink right off the glass and pop right out! Now scraping & coercing needed. Nice collection!

    • Sabrina July 21, 2013 at 12:10 am

      Thanks for the tip Claire – I will try it next time, I'm often too impatient to wait for it to freeze, but will be sure to try next time I finish a candle 🙂

    • Claire July 21, 2013 at 5:39 am

      Let me know how it goes!

      P.S. Love the nail polish too!!

  • Claire July 20, 2013 at 8:39 pm

    Sorry for the double post, Sabrina, but to add to the freezer method I mentioned: it won't work if you start with a cool candle already solidified in the container, but be careful not to put the still-hot glass into the freezer either. I'd say cool the burned wax to room temp (until you can touch the outside and it's not hot anymore) then put it in the freezer. This method always works for me, even for ceramic candle containers like the ones from Mariage Freres/Laduree.

  • Eileen July 20, 2013 at 11:49 pm

    You have a gracious and artistic sensibility, Sabrina. Although I already know how to remove wax from containers, I enjoyed looking at your lovely composed pictures which made such a mundane task seem elegant. Even your nail polish plays with different shades of pink the same as the gorgeous roses you used as props.

    • Sabrina July 21, 2013 at 12:09 am

      Thank you Eileen! Your kind words always make my day 🙂

  • Dovey July 21, 2013 at 12:58 am

    Hi Sabrina, It was fun to see your candle cleaning tutorial in photos, especially since we've enjoyed your Diptyque jar collection on The Beauty Look Book for some time now! I've used the freezer method on other candles successfully, however I probably wouldn't use them for Diptyque candles, because the cold makes it easier for labels to fall off!

    • Sabrina July 21, 2013 at 1:36 pm

      Thank you – glad you enjoyed. Good to know on the freezing method and the possible effect it might have on the sticker labels!

  • faye lu July 21, 2013 at 1:41 am

    so pretty! i use my large candle jars to store my makeup brushes. a tip, to get rid of the wax at the bottom, i place some warm-to-hot water and dish washing detergent in the jar .. leave over night .. and voila .. the wax should 'lift' to the surface over night =)

  • Missmacbeauty July 21, 2013 at 1:55 am

    Great post! I really want to try this when I finish my candles


  • Jenny July 21, 2013 at 5:21 am

    I love reusing empty candle jars. It would have been so helpful to read something like this before I tried to remove wax from candle jars the first time. I adore Choisya. It's my absolute favorite–so calming and relaxing. I always have to have a backup or two around.

  • Ruby Chua July 21, 2013 at 5:27 am

    Thank you for posting this, it is very useful.

  • Louise Nickel July 21, 2013 at 6:55 am

    Thanks so much for this post! I must remember to do this! =] xx.


  • Bella July 21, 2013 at 7:35 am

    Thank you very much for this! I have two empty Patchouli glasses and one Baies about to finish, and I got a bit hopeless when I saw how blackened the glass had become! I would like to try Figuier next.
    A question about the freezing method: is there no risk of the glass cracking? Do you have to cool it right down before freezing?

    • Sabrina July 21, 2013 at 1:37 pm

      Hi Bella – I haven't tried the freezing method before, but others have mentioned it. I do think if you do try it you will need to have the glass cool down completely before freezing. I do believe that changing temperatures drastically (ie from hot to freezing, or even vice versa) will cause it to crack.

  • Sunny July 21, 2013 at 9:22 am

    Thanks for the step-by-step tutorial, Sabrina! I'm definitely going to try this out next time I finish a candle!

  • mpop July 21, 2013 at 11:30 am

    I love your nail polish! What is it?

    • Sabrina July 21, 2013 at 1:38 pm

      Hi – the first picture is Chanel Allegorie. The sparkly ones features Deborah Lippmann's Mermaids Kiss.

  • 3Wildxx July 21, 2013 at 1:56 pm

    i LOVE the look of using these for holding things ater they have been used up, plus they are so exspensive i can never justify throwing them away after i have finished with them!

    Ive also used some clear glass candles as glasses for drinking from, and smaller one for shots 🙂

  • Lydia July 21, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    I just used this technique to clean two of my used candle jars and it worked a treat! I was pretty skeptical about this working because both candle jars were pretty sooty, but they came out sparkling clean after soaking with hot water. Awesome!

  • Jules July 22, 2013 at 4:39 am

    This is def a great idea. I guess I have to recycle mine too. I usually throw them afterwards but knowing the importance of recycling makes me realize that it can still be used for other purposes.

  • Anonymous July 28, 2013 at 3:15 pm

    Love! I've done this with multiple candles and have never had much luck with the freezer method. I've had a much easier time spraying on some Goo Gone and leaving it for a few hours, and then wiping out the jar with a paper towel and washing the it with soap and water. I don't spray it on the outside, but I've never had a problem with it ruining the sticker if i a little happened to get on it.

  • Timbo December 3, 2013 at 3:38 am

    Sorry to bump up this thread , but I find the best way to clean a Diptyque jar is to scrape out the wax with a spoon , as you suggest , then wipe out the jar with white spirit ; it removes the remainder of the wax and any soot staining. I found this the quickest of all after many attempts over the years , you have to watch the white spirit doesn't get on the label much as it may lift the glue , always works a treat !

  • Julie Arthur March 8, 2014 at 4:30 pm

    Great tips. I wish I could handle candles, but I am so sensitive to smells I can't own any. 🙁

  • Stephanie B March 9, 2014 at 12:44 am

    Putting th jars in the freezer is my favourite method! Then you just pop a butter knife in the middle of the remaining wax and then you can clean it like any other dish. It's way more easier than your method!

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