Candle Holder 101: How to Clean Candle Jars, Maintain & Reuse

how to clean candle jars

With the festive season in full swing and the bright lights illuminating our houses each day, it is essential to maintain and upkeep our favorite candle holders, lanterns, and tea lights in the best shape possible. Since they are reusable in nature and can be utilized all year round, you can make the most of them by following some simple steps that will not only ensure their longevity but will also make them look bright, beautiful, and squeaky clean.

How to Clean Candle Jars

candle holder
Decorative Candle Holder

The biggest enemy of any candle stand, tea light holder or lantern is wax which gets solidified and will not budge from its place. Cleaning it can become a big hassle, and your relentless effort to scrape off the wax to make room for the next use can actually tarnish the surface underneath that will culminate in you losing your favorite piece of lighting. With these quick and easy hacks, you can easily have fresh and new-looking lighting each time in just a matter of minutes.

  • Always keep in mind to rub a thin coat of any non-staining oil like coconut oil, olive oil, or jojoba oil on the base of your candle holder or lantern. This will ensure that the wax does not stick to the surface and will keep your cleaning time to a minimum, as it will slide right off. 
  • For metal candle holders/lanterns, the best you can do is run them under hot water to let the wax melt off from the surface, but make sure to read about the product first to see if it can withstand hot water on its body or not.
  • Petroleum jelly also works wonders in creating a barrier from letting wax stick to the surface and is easily available in everyone’s home. Just apply some petroleum jelly on the base before lighting the candle. 
  • Votive candles can be difficult to clean sometimes since they are closer to the inner surface or holder. So use some water on the surface so that a thin layer can stop it from sticking. 
  • One of the safest ways to remove wax is by sticking the candle holder in the freezer since the low temperature will make the wax consolidate and harden and will easily pop out of any surface.

Maintaining Your Candle Jars

candle jarsSource: Logam
Candle Holders

Now that you know how to clean your candle holders and lanterns, then comes the question of how to maintain and use them properly for longevity and safety. There are a few things to keep in mind so that your beloved lighting option will not only grace your home but will also not be a one-time-use commodity but rather a one-time investment.

  • Before burning the candle, make sure any stickers or labels are removed so that they don’t get burned or stick to the surface forever.
  • Trim the wick of any large candle since it can last very long and can become a hazard. So keep the wick smaller if you are not that mindful of checking it again and again. If you want to keep the wick longer, then keep cutting it from time to time.
  • Avoid placing candles or tea lights near flammable objects like curtains, pillows, and other fabrics. Don’t place them on a plastic surface since the base gets heated up and can cause the plastic to melt. 
  • Always buy very good quality products that are durable since flaming hazards can happen in your home. You can check out Arcedior Shop, which has a curated range of high-quality lighting options that are hand-crafted and of perennial usage. 

How to Reuse Candle Jars

How to Reuse Candle Jars as vaseSource: Home Artisan
Reuse Candle Jar as a Decorative Vase

Candle jars are not only beautiful but also versatile containers that can be given a second life. Here are some creative ways to repurpose and reuse them:

Storage Containers

Clean the candle jar thoroughly and remove any residual wax and wick. Then, use it to store small items like makeup brushes, office supplies, pen holders, or office supplies. You can also repurpose larger candle jars for organizing kitchen spices or crafting supplies.

Decorative Vases

Candle jars can make charming vases for fresh or artificial flowers. Simply add water and your favorite blooms to create a unique centerpiece for your dining table or a lovely decorative piece for any room in your home.


Turn candle jars into miniature ecosystems by creating terrariums. Layer soil, small stones, moss, and tiny plants to craft your own indoor garden. Or turning it into a mini herb or succulent garden. Fill it with potting soil, plant your herbs or succulents, and place it on a sunny windowsill.

Bathroom Organization

Candle jars can be a stylish addition to your bathroom. Use them to store cotton balls, q-tips, or even as a toothbrush holder.

Gift Containers

Decorate and fill your clean candle jars with homemade treats or small gifts. They make unique and eco-friendly gift containers for your loved ones.

Storing To Prevent Breakage

candle jars
Candle Jars

Some lighting options are extremely durable and sturdy, while others are prone to breakage. To prevent their undue breakage, you can store your favorite items in ways that when you open them next time for any festival season, you will find them in the best conditions for you to enjoy their luminescence again. 

  • Lanterns are essentially a little bigger in size than candle holders and tea lights and are often made up of materials like metal, steel, and glass. Though nowadays the glass is of good quality and doesn’t break easily, still storing them in their designated package in which they arrived will induce better care. If you have chucked the package away, then don’t fret since you can place it in any unused cardboard box and use loads of scrunched-up newspaper so that it doesn’t move. You can even use Styrofoam, which is the holy grail for keeping products safe from any breakage. 
  • Candle holders are made from so many materials available in the market that you will lose count. Some brass and metal candle holders, when coming in contact with air or due to the process of aging can become dull, so in order to prevent that from happening, you can wrap them with newspaper or any soft cloth and place them in a cardboard box. 
  • Tea light holders are smaller and can get lost as we tend to forget where we placed them. You can put labels or stickers on the box in which you are placing them and keep them in front where you can see the box since they get utilized the most throughout the year. 


With the knowledge of how to clean candle jars and the multitude of possibilities for reuse, you can make the most of your lighting accessories, enhancing your home’s ambiance and adding a touch of your unique style. So, whether you’re preparing for the next festive season or looking for ways to infuse creativity into your home, remember that your candle jars are more than just vessels for light – they are a canvas for your imagination.

image sources

  • Kai-Candle-Holder: Logam
  • Nordic-Glass-Lantern: Home Artisan
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