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Repurposing Sustainable Decor Candles: How to Use Your Candles After the Last Burn

Repurposing Sustainable Decor Candles: How to Use Your Candles After the Last Burn

Every candle connoisseur may have come across the dilemma of what to do with the container after burning a candle to the last remnants of the ½ inch of wax left in the vessel.

With sustainability practices in mind, we put together this simple yet informative guide on how you can repurpose your candle vessels. With a little bit of creativity and some effort, you can easily repurpose candle containers into home accent and storage pieces in your home.

Before you repurpose your vessels, be sure that you properly prep them for use.

Steps to Prepare Container for Reuse

1. Remove the excess wax and wick. 

The simplest way to do this is to put your vessel in the freezer for at least 3-5 hours. The wax and wick should easily dislodge from the container as the cold temperatures have separated them. 

Another way to do this is to place your vessel on a stable surface and fill it with boiling water to half of your candle vessel’s height. The wax will soften. Let the mixture sit and then pour out the water.

Remove the wick and clean the vessel with warm, soapy water until the wax residue is gone.

2. Remove the label. 

The vessel may be removed using the following methods from gentle to harshest.

  • Olive Oil - Pour a few generous drops of oil and rub until all of the residue is gone. This is a natural way of removing a label and may not work on all types of adhesives. 
  • Heat - Apply heat to the label with a blow dryer or submerge in hot water for 10-15 minutes. Use caution when using any type of high heat methods.
  • Alcohol or Polish Remover - This method may be faster than using olive oil but is the harshest due to the fumes of the acetone. Rubbing alcohol helps to dissolve the adhesive, making it easier to remove. 

Finally, wash with warm, soapy water until all wax and sticker residue is removed and pat dry.

Repurposing Your Vessels

Now that your vessels are clean and ready, we have outlined a variety of ways you can repurpose them.

1. Refill Your Candle
Ask your candle maker if they have a refill program. Small candle makers especially those that adhere to eco-conscious methods may be more than happy to refill your vessels for you. If you want to opt for one online, we recommend Siblings Co.

2. Create a Votive Holder
One of the easiest ways is to put a smaller candle such as a votive or tea light inside the container. You may want to add texture and depth with sand, pebbles, or stones; just make sure the surface is level as to ensure an even burn.

3. Create a Pot or Vase
This will work with almost any vessel. Simply fill the container with water and add fresh flowers or greenery. While the vessels lack a drainage solution for plants to thrive, you may have success with air plants. If you are an advanced green thumb, you could consider them to create your own terrarium.

4. Create Bathroom Storage
Candle containers may have the right dimensions to hold and keep your makeup brushes organized. Some may opt to use candle containers with lids to hold bathroom essentials like cotton balls, q-tips, and hair pins. Fill the containers with your preferred bathroom items as a great way to keep your items organized and easily accessible.

5. Spruce Up Your Home Office
Deeper vessels are great for storing pens. Shallower vessels can hold little sweets for a sweet treat during your work day. Some vessels may even be great for storing small but heavy items like pebbles or marbles that can be used as a paperweight. The possibilities are endless.

If you come across a unique vessel that you cannot repurpose, please remember that many of your glassware pieces can be recycled. The next time you burn a candle, do not throw away the container - think about how you may recycle or repurpose it instead.


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