How to Dispose of Candles Safely

If you’re someone who loves candles, you know how easy it is to end up with dozens of partially used ones all over your house.

And if you’re trying to live a more sustainable life, trying to figure out what to do with them can be tricky.

Fortunately, that’s where we come in – we will tell you all you need to know in today’s post.

Can you recycle candles and put them in the recycle bin?

No, candles can’t be recycled. Recycling plants don’t accept wax and can only recycle the tins and jars they come in – these are what you can throw in the recycle bin. All you have to do is scoop out all the wax before tossing the tins/jars into the bin.

Alternatively, you could try melting and freezing it for a quick removal process.

How to properly dispose of candle wax?

Just because candle wax can’t be recycled commercially doesn’t mean you can’t recycle it at home.

Using a few readily available supplies, you can melt the wax and create a new candle. Here is a step-by-step guide:

  1. Gather all your used candles together
    Since the process of recycling wax at home is time-intensive, it is best you use as many as possible. If you feel that the ones you have aren’t enough, you can get more used candles from friends or buy some from dollar stores.
  2. Separate and cut them
    Once you gather your candles, separate them according to scent and color. Afterward, use a butter knife to cut them into small pieces.
  3. Prepare a candle wick and jar
    Before you start any processing, ensure you have a ready jar and wick for your new candle. Place your wick vertically in the middle of the candle jar. Ensure the bottom end of the wick touches the bottom of the jar and place a straw/pencil on top of the jar to hold the wick in place.
  4. Get a saucepan and melt the wax
    Wax can only be recycled by melting it. So to kick things off, get a large saucepan and place it on a stovetop set to low heat. Once the saucepan is hot, pour the pieces of candle wax in and start stirring. Continue stirring until all the wax melts – the whole process can take up to 40 minutes. Ensure there is no candle chunk left on the saucepan.
  5. Strain the melted wax and pour it into the jar
    Once your jar and wick are ready, you should strain your melted wax and pour it into your candle jar. As you pour, ensure the wick doesn’t shift or get pulled down. Also, remember to leave enough wick to light.

How do you properly get rid of old candles?

If you neither have the energy nor the time to recycle old candles at home, the best thing you can do is sell, donate, gift, or upcycle them. This way they can serve another purpose.

Otherwise, your only option is to throw the wax in the trash and throw any leftover jars in the recycle bin.

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