If you’re ever stuck on what to buy me as a present, I can refer you no further than to your closest retailer which stocks and sells Diptyque candles. My house is covered with the heavenly scents that waft out of their candles – my favourites being Figuier and Feu de Bois– and recently I found myself with a house littered with empty candle votives that I didn’t seem able to part with.
Inspired by dozens of photos of cleaned out candle jars on Pinterest and people using the jars to hold makeup brushes and other paraphernalia around the house, I decided to transform my collection as well. Here is how you too can clean out your candle jars.
Step 1: Make sure you burn the candle down until there is as little wax left as possible. If you’re talking about a Diptyque candle you spent $60 on, you’ll likely be an expert at getting the most out of your candle, but it’s really important to make sure you’ve fully burned the candle. If you’re still burning your candle while reading this how-to (smart!), Diptyque recommends always keeping the wax short to avoid the “soot” around the top of the votive as well as the problem of seeming to have a pool of wax in the centre of the candle and hardened wax around the edges – ensuring you get the most life out of your expensive candle and making for easier cleaning.
Step 2: Remove as much of the the rest of the wax as possible. I found the most effective tool to be a small Allan key (I have no idea what they are actually used for, but they come in most Ikea packages, so if you are like me and have stored the little plastic bags of widgets from your shelving units over the years you have one.) I used the long side to hold and the short side to scrape out the wax on the bottom. If you aren’t a packrat and don’t own a toolbox, you could also use a butter knife, a long bobby pin or really any object that will get into the candle deep enough to scrape wax.
Step 3: Turn on your kitchen sink to the hottest temperature you can and let it run for a few minutes to make sure it’s as hot as that little faucet can get it. It’s really important that you don’t use boiling water as you can break the glass (plus it’s practically impossible to stick your hand in boiling water to keep scraping) but that you use the hottest water you can from the tap.
Step 4: Pour it in carefully to the glass and let it sit for a minute or two. Take care in pouring it in as you’re trying to preserve the sticker/paper on the outside, so avoiding getting water that could get under the label will help ensure it lasts throughout the process.
Step 5: Pour out a little of the water and resume scraping. The hot water will have made the remaining wax softer and easier to remove. Pour out the water when you’re really just dealing with the waxy remnants on the side of the glass.
Step 6: Use a paper towel and wipe off the black “soot” from the rim and the rest of the wax from the votive. I found that starting with a dry paper towel made the process go more smoothly – it got damp by virtue of being put inside a damp container which helped the soot at the end.
Step 7: Repeat steps 2-6 as necessary. I only had to do it once but you may need to repeat depending on how much wax was still left in the candle when you began.
And that’s it! You’ll now have a fully clean and ready to be repurposed Diptyque candle votive, ready to be used in any way you can imagine. I had a few leftover peony blooms from my garden that I cut down to sit inside one votive and even used another as a pen holder for my desk. I was once at a friend’s party who had these extravagant pink glasses for cocktails who told me that they had once been expensive candles that she cleaned out and kept using. Would love to see how you are reusing yours!