Done With Your Candle? Reuse the Tin

Burning a candle down to nearly nothing may be the end for that particular scent, but it also signifies a new beginning for the empty tin left behind. You can repurpose a particularly pretty tin in plenty of functional, decorative ways—as long as you can get it clean.

Clearing out candle scraps can seem like a messy, daunting task—one that involves drippy wax and dangerously hot tins. And if you don’t have a plan for the container once it’s empty, it runs the risk of collecting dust at the back of a cabinet. But with the proper technique and some inspiration, giving an empty candle tin a second life can be quite simple. 

“You should always stop burning a candle when there’s about a quarter inch of wax left,”. The nubby wax at the bottom of a candle won’t produce a quality scent—but more important, burning any further could cause the tin to overheat, posing a safety issue.

Once you’ve burned your candle down to that ¼ inch, pop the tin into the freezer overnight. (You can also pull the candle out after a few hours, but leaving it overnight ensures the wax freezes through.) After your candle remnants are fully frozen, flip the tin upside down in the air and forcefully bang the bottom with an open palm—the wax should fall out cleanly in one large piece. If it doesn’t, use a butter knife to break apart the clump of wax and remove it in pieces.

Hand-wash the jar with dish soap and water once you’re done. To remove stubborn black scorch stains, try soaking the jar in soapy warm water.  Avoid using a dishwasher to clean out candle tin.

How to creatively repurpose your candle tins

Save your spare change

Keep an empty jar near the front door—or wherever you’re most likely to dump out your pockets or tote once you’ve made it home—and drop in your spare change. This can be especially helpful for folks who use a laundromat or coin-operated parking meters and need a stash of quarters at the ready.

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