People who love to burn candles often wonder what to do about old candle jars after the wicks have gone out. Most jars made from clear soda-lime, the most common type of glass, can be recycled. However many candles use other types to increase heat resistance or add color to make them more attractive.
Don’t throw away or recycle used candle jars. You can reuse them around your home. Here are 25 ways to reuse candle jars. This will keep them out of landfills as well as reduce plastic waste for gift-giving and storage.
- Prep and store food
Glass candle jars can be used to prepare meals for the next day. Keep any liquid, such as a dressing for salads, on the bottom layer of the jar so that the other ingredients don’t get soggy when you eat.
- Reduce plastic use when you shop
To store dry beans, grains, and other bulk goods, most shoppers grab the closest plastic bag. A jar can be used to transport dry goods to the supermarket, along with other food items such as meat and cheese.
- Create a window garden
Small window gardens can be arranged in candle jars that have no lids. You can re-grow plants such as green onion, celery, and leafy vegetables by placing them in a container with water.
- Ferment What Your Heart Desires
For fermentation, candle jars with lids such as the ones pictured are great for storage. There are many great options for fermenting kimchis, sauerkraut, or fire cider.
- Freeze stock, soups, and smoothies
The most important thing when storing glass containers in the freezer is to leave extra space at their tops for the contents to expand as it freezes. The best jars for this purpose are those with wide mouths. There are many options.
- Make your very own lip gloss/balm
These tins can be used to make homemade balms. Typically, they contain a mixture of beeswax or shea butter and essential oils. Up cycled candle containers are also great for homemade beauty products such as bath salts and dried herbs to soak in the tub.
- Make a new candle
If the scents aren’t too clashing, you can reuse the wax from your candles as well as the jars. You can also make new candles with the wax leftovers. This is easy: After you have baked the candle jars, collect the wax on the baking sheet to clean them.
- Catnip treats should always be on hand
Toys coated with catnip are a favorite of cats. Take a few small, cloth toys for cats (mini mice are a good choice) and put them in a sealed container with catnip. Give it a good shake and let your cat enjoy.
- Decorate the table
Glass jars with decorative designs can be used to decorate bookshelves, tables, and side tables. You can add natural scents to your home by adding pine cones, pine needles, or dried flowers.
- Make painted votives from jars
You can make candles out of old candle jars by using your artistic skills. Use heat-resistant paint.
- Make a cake jar
Layering desserts in individual serving jars can give new life to certain types of desserts that aren’t as appealing when served individually. This is a great way to serve banana pudding or trifle, for instance.
- Bathroom organization
Old jars can also be used to store items such as Q-tips and cotton balls. Organization can also be improved by keeping jars with similar items together.
- Herbs and Store Tinctures
Tinctures have several health benefits.
- Keep Lemons in the Reserve
A glass jar, some lemons, and salt are all you need to preserve lemons. The brine will protect the lemons from their natural decay over about a month. They’ll keep fresh for as long as the liquid level is not higher than the lemons. For a citrusy, briny taste, add to seafood or salad dressing. This is a great way of using excess citrus when it is in season.
- Increase the Shelf Life of Loose Teas and Spices
Teas, dried herbs, and spices that were purchased in bulk will last longer when stored in glass jars sealed with a lid. Clear glass can also enhance the decor of any kitchen by storing whole-leaf tea.
- Get a set of eclectic drink ware
Increasingly, sustainability-minded folks are ditching plastic and turning to up cycled glass jars, especially for taking drinks on the go. A lodged candle jar is great for carrying cold brews and iced tea to work. It can also be stored in the refrigerator in the same container.
- Make Your Bitters
Bitters are a classic ingredient in mock tails and cocktails. They add flavor to drinks and give them a unique kick. It’s a good idea for bitters to be added to cocktails with a dropper, as they are often used sparingly.