With the summer most of us in Australia have had so far (read: chilly temperatures and unrelenting rain), you’ve likely been lighting a few more candles than usual. The sound of rain is extremely calming, and a flickering, fragrance-heavy candle indoors adds to that soothing experience.
But when the candle has burnt all the way through, then what? How do you properly dispose of it? If you’re guilty of leaving them on a lounge room mantel or on a kitchen counter for weeks on end, unsure of what to do with them, then you’ve come to the right place. Ahead, we share how to properly dispose of a used candle or, even better, how to upcycle them.
How to Properly Dispose of Candles
Most glass candle jars can be recycled (tossed in the yellow bin), but only if they’re entirely free of candle wax. So, if you want to do right by the environment, it’s worth taking the time to clear out the jar of wax.
You can take out the wax by wiping it out when it’s still warm or soaking the wax in hot water (avoiding boiling water as it may cause the glass to crack) and then scooping it out with a spoon and throwing the wax in the bin — not down the drain where it’ll likely clog your pipes.
You can also try putting the candle in the freezer and then using a spoon or butter knife to get the wax out. Again, though, you’ll want to be aware the glass might crack so you won’t want to leave it in the freezer for too long.
Once you’ve removed all the wax, clean the jar out with soap and water as you would wash a dish, or try popping it in the dishwasher.
How to Repurpose Candles
The other option when getting rid of old candles is to repurpose their jars. From storing spices or cotton buds, to being used at a planter, there are so many ways you can upcycle them. Here are just a few of the many.
Make a New Candle
Buy new wax with a delicious-smelling scent and a wick from Spotlight or another craft store, and spend a rainy day making a fresh new candle.
Use as a Liquor Glass
The thick, beautiful glass from a candle jar can be used as a tumbler for a fine spirit.
Store cotton buds or pads, tweezers, make-up brushes, even just your toothbrush and toothpaste.
Store Office Supplies
Either bring the empty jar to your office or keep it on your work desk at home, and add pens, pencils and any other stationery items you want to be in reach.
Use as a Vase
Pour in some water and place a flower or leaf from a bouquet, or pick one from the garden.
Keep as a Tea and Coffee Holder
Satchels of tea or loose coffee grounds can also be held in an empty candle jar.
Keep Pet Treats
Store your pooch’s favourite biscuits in the jar and seal it with its lid.