Candles are used on many different occasions, from birthdays to romantic evenings, to bubble baths, so you are bound to have some leftover candle wax in your home. This wax can begin to build up, and you might be wondering what to do with it other than throwing it away. So, can you recycle candles?
You cannot recycle candle wax as recycling stations don’t receive enough wax to have a process to recycle it. You can recycle the glass jars and tins the candles come in. You can also recycle the candle wax at home and create your own candles, and it’s fairly easy to do.
How do you recycle candle wax yourself at home? What can you use the glass jars and tins for that the candles usually come in? Let’s find out!
Can Candles Be Recycled?
Candles are excellent to have in your home. They can be used for many things, including making a bubble bath more relaxing, making a table dinner or romantic, or even for light if you have trouble with your electricity.
In developed countries like the USA, candles are mainly used for aesthetic reasons and are seen as a luxury item. While in undeveloped countries, candles are primarily used as a source of like to help people see and navigate through their environment.
No matter how you use the candles, one question you may have is; can you recycle your candles? This depends on how you want to recycle your candles.
Unfortunately, you cannot throw your half-used candles into a recycling bin, as the recycling stations don’t receive large quantities of candle wax, so they cannot spend valuable resources on trying to recycle it.
So, almost all recycling companies will have candle wax on their list of things you cannot recycle. However, if your candles are in glass or tin jars, you can remove the candle wax from the jars, wash the jars, and then place these jars in the correct recycling bins near you.
If you don’t want to waste your leftover candle wax, you can recycle the wax at home. This way, you can make sure there is zero waste from your candles.
You can also recycle the candle jars at home too, so if you don’t want to or have time to take them to a recycling bin, you can still feel good about not wasting anything and doing your part for the environment.
How to Recycle Candle Wax
Recycling candle wax can take some time and patients, but you have the opportunity to make your own candles and create unique and enticing scents that you cannot find at the store. Here are the steps you can use to recycle your leftover candle wax.
To recycle your candle wax at home, you will need to buy a candle-making kit as you will need new candle wicks and some candle molds. You will require a saucepan large enough to hold the candle wax and a mesh strainer.
Step 1 – first, you will need to gather all your half-used candle wax. You will need a lot of candle wax to recycle the wax, so you might need to wait until you have enough leftover wax to fill a small paper bag. Otherwise, you could ask your friends and family for their leftover candle wax.
Step 2 – when you have enough candle wax, you can begin separating the candle wax. You can do this based on the color of the wax, the scents of the wax, or what you think will go well together. Doing this allows you to experiment a bit with making different colors and candle scents.
Step 3 – once you have the candle wax separated into different piles, use a butter knife to cut the leftover candle wax into small pieces that will be easier to melt.
Step 4 – place the cut candle wax from one wax pile into a saucepan and place it on low heat. Let the wax melt completely. Ensure you stir the wax periodically to stop it from burning at the bottom.
Step 5 – once the candle wax has melted, you can ready the candle holder of your choice. You can reuse a glass jar that one of your candles originally came in, or you can use a candle mold for a free-standing candle. You will need to get the candle wick ready too. You can do this by cutting the wick to fit the size of the jar.
The wick needs to touch the bottom of the jar, and the top needs to be long enough to wrap around a pencil to keep it in place. Wrap the top end of the wick around the pencil and lay the pencil horizontally over your candle holder. Make sure the wick is hanging in the center of the candle holder.
Step 6 – when your candle holder is ready, strain the candle wax through the mesh strainer and into a jug to make the wax smooth and easy to pour into the candle holder.
Step 7 – carefully pour the melted wax into the prepared candle holder. Ensure the wick does not move from the center of the candle and don’t fill the holder to the top, and you need the wick to stick out the top so you can light the candle.
Step 8 – leave the candle to solidify in the holder. This generally takes about two hours, and then you have a brand-new candle to enjoy.
How to Reuse Candle Jars and Tins at Home
If you have recycled your candle wax and find yourself with leftover candle jars, you don’t need to toss the jars in the trash or recycle them in a recycling bin, as you can also use them in your home. You should clean the jars thoroughly, and then you can use them for plenty of different things.
You can use your cleaned candle jars as little indoor plant pots for desks and coffee tables. If the jars have lids, you can use them for storage of small items around your home like hairclips. If you were the jars with lids properly, you could even use them as food containers for things like overnight oats.
You cannot recycle your leftover candle wax by throwing it into the recycling bin near your house. You can recycle the glass and tin jars that the candles come in through this method, but not the candle wax.
You can recycle the candle wax yourself at home. This is relatively simple and easy to do, but it will require quite a bit of time, so ensure you have an afternoon to complete the task. Good luck recycling your leftover candles.
I have two Associate’s degrees, one in Medical Assisting and the other in Computer Technician, and I am roughly five classes from a bachelor’s degree. Though I never ended up working in the medical field, I have five and a half years of experience in IT. I recently became a stay-at-home mom to my two young boys, and I’m so excited to start this adventure with them! In my spare time, I love to bake and read pretty much anything I can get my hands on.