Afterburn: What I Like to Do With Bath and Body Works Candle Jars

Hello gentle reader.

If there is one thing I like as much as yummy smelling Bath and Body Works candles burning and making my home smell scrumptious is what I can think of to do with the jars after the candles are all gone.

The obvious... Makeup brush holders. Everyone has makeup brushes in B&BW candle jars. Hey, why not? They are the perfect size for the job. I have a few pressed into service for that purpose, myself. The rest are doing a few other jobs.


One is holding Shiseido Cotton Squares, cut in half. (Thank you Laura for the idea. Cutting them in half just makes so much more sense than flipping one over. :D )

One houses my fragrance samples, nestled in filler beads. I normally keep a lid on that jar to keep it dust free inside but I liked the look of  it without the lid for this photo.

The bottom two are regular and Precision Tip Q-Tips. I burn through those puppies! It's nice to have big containers of them, close at hand. I also have a couple of these jars holding lip glosses, one has my Beauty Blenders in it. They are so handy!

Cleaning these jars has become a bigger pain in the ass than it used to be! It's no longer simple as popping them in the freezer for a little while, turning them over and giving them a rap on a counter top to drop out the wax then cleaning them up. Bath and Body Works is using a factory that glues the wick bases down and that also "glues" the wax, as well and it makes cleaning out the jars a messy, time consuming job.

I burn them down to the bitter end, pour out the hot wax into an old container then, using an old butter knife (that I no longer use for food) I pry out the wick bases. While everything is still warm, I use paper towels to clean out as much gunk as I can. Run hot water in to melt out the wax, wipe and clean with an old rag. Then, because there is still adhesive, I dump in a little 91% alcohol, clap on the lid and leave it to sit for a day or two or until I'm in the mood to deal with it, again. Dump out the alcohol, by which time the adhesive is broken down by the alcohol, wipe out the residue, clean with hot water and detergent and dry. Then I wash the lid and pry out the gasket, if it is a very strong scented candle, like Leaves. Otherwise, the scent, which has permeated the gasket, will scent anything in the jar. Use alcohol and a lint roller to get the label off the bottom. Then it is ready to use. I do all of the cleaning by hand, it can also be done by running them through the dishwasher. Just get the gunk out, first.

I don't mind the work to clean out these jars for re use. If putting in a little work keeps a few things out of my local landfill, I'm happy to do it. And, I am more than happy to have handy, good looking receptacles around my home.

You're probably wondering what I do with the wax I pour into an old container when cleaning out my jars. I let it harden, then pop it out and put it in a plastic grocery bag and hang it in a closet to scent the air. I have a bag hanging in my utility closet in my laundry room and one in my walk in closet in my bedroom. I like to make use of as much as I can. Hey, I pay good money for those candles, I'm going to extract every last bit of goodness from them!

Do you have any favorite up cycle/re use projects you like to do? Are you a B&BW candle jar nut? Do you have them doing little jobs all over your home?