Candles add warmth and ambiance to our homes, but what do you do with the empty glass containers once the candle has burned down? Recycling or reusing are excellent eco-friendly options, but before you toss that glass jar into the recycling bin, it's essential to clean and prepare it properly. In this guide, we'll walk you through the steps to ensure your glass-encased candle is ready for recycling.
Materials You'll Need:
- Used glass-encased candle
- Butter knife or spoon
- Dish soap
- Warm water
- Soft-bristle brush or toothbrush
- Paper towels or a cloth
- Recycling bin
Step 1: Allow the Candle to Cool:
Before you begin cleaning, make sure the candle has cooled down completely. This may take a few hours, so exercise patience to avoid injury.
Step 2: Remove Any Remaining Wax:
Use a butter knife or spoon to gently chip away any remaining wax from the glass container. Be careful not to scratch or damage the glass. If the wax is stubborn, you can also place the jar in the freezer for a few hours. The cold will cause the wax to contract, making it easier to remove. Or you may place the candle in a warm-hot pot of water, this will cause the wax to melt, and make it easier to remove as well.
Step 3: Clean the Inside:
Fill the glass container with warm water and a few drops of dish soap. Let it sit for a few minutes to loosen any residual wax and soot. Afterward, use a soft-bristle brush, botttle brush, or toothbrush to scrub the interior. Pay close attention to the sides and bottom, as this is where most of the residue tends to accumulate. Remove the metal wick holder at the bottom, if present.
Step 4: Rinse Thoroughly:
Empty the soapy water and rinse the glass container thoroughly under running water. Ensure that all soap residue and debris are completely removed. You may need to repeat the cleaning process if the jar isn't entirely clean.
Step 5: Dry the Glass:
Use paper towels or a cloth to dry the glass thoroughly. Make sure there is no moisture left inside the container.
Step 6: Remove Labels (If Applicable):
If the candle had a label, you'll want to remove it before recycling. To do this, soak the jar in warm, soapy water for a few minutes. Gently scrape off the label with a butter knife or your fingers. Any remaining adhesive residue can be removed with a bit of rubbing alcohol. Alternately, you could try heating the label with a blow dryer and peeling it off.
Step 7: Check for Recycling Guidelines (If Recycling):
Different recycling programs have varying guidelines for glass recycling. Check with your local recycling center or program to ensure they accept glass containers from candles. If they do, you're ready to recycle your cleaned glass container.
Step 8: Recycle or Reuse Responsibly:
Place the cleaned and label-free glass container in your recycling bin, following the guidelines provided by your local recycling program. Some areas may require you to separate glass by color (clear, green, or brown), so be sure to comply with these rules. If you intend to reuse your candle glass instead or recycling it, it is safe to do so once it's been cleaned. Checkout glass bottle reuse ideas on Pinterest for inspiration. I've seen everything from reusing candle glass for storage containers, repurposing for further spell work, or creating a DIY garden path barrier!
Cleaning and preparing a used glass-encased candle for recycling is a simple yet important step in reducing waste and contributing to a more sustainable environment. By following these steps, you can ensure that your glass containers are ready for recycling, giving them a new life and minimizing your ecological footprint.