Huntington Home Three-wick Candles are a cult favorite at Aldi. Multiple times throughout the year, depending on the season, the discount grocer stocks these scented candles, and many customers like them because they tend to burn evenly, they last a long time, and they come in a range of great scents. I’ve been buying Aldi candles for years and have a good-sized collection, with scents to match every season, from lemon, peach, and nectarine in the spring and summer months, to spiced pumpkin and apple in the fall, to cranberry and cocoa and cream in the winter months.
All those candles can create a lot of waste after they’re burned up, though, especially if you burn candles often. They leave behind both the glass jar and the metal lid, not to mention the leftover wax and wick at the bottom of the jar.
Some people remove the leftover wax and then chuck the glass jar and lid in their recycling bins. You can remove the wax by placing the candle jar in the freezer for a while. Once frozen, you can usually crack the wax and pop it out wax using a flathead screwdriver or a butter knife (just be careful not to cut yourself).
However, glass candle jars may not be easily recycled in a standard curbside recycling bin because they are often made with a special type of glass designed to withstand the heat from the burning candle. Recycling programs are generally designed to accept food-grade glass jars, which are made differently.
That means your other options are to throw the jar in the trash, or find a way to clean up the jar and thoroughly remove all the small clinging bits of leftover wax so you can reuse the jar and/or lid.
If you’re looking for ways to reuse your Aldi candle jars, read on.
Cleaning Your Aldi Candle Jars
If you’ve already removed the largest portion of leftover wax from your candle jar (using the freezer method mentioned above), you can clean up your jar even more and make it look like new. You can view detailed instructions and photos showing how to do this at The Spruce Crafts.
The short version is that you place one or two layers of parchment paper on a rimmed baking sheet or a baking dish. Then place your candle jars upside down on top of the parchment paper, and place the baking sheet in the oven for 10-15 minutes at 180-190 degrees Fahrenheit. Check on the jars frequently, and once most of the wax has melted off onto the parchment paper, remove the jars from the oven carefully. Use a potholder to hold the hot candle jar with one hand while using paper towels with your other hand to wipe out the remaining wax and soot from the inside.
This method worked easily for me. I set my oven to 190 degrees and heated my candle for about 15 minutes. The small amount of wax residue and black soot in my jar easily wiped out with a couple of paper towels, leaving me with a sparkling glass jar.
To get the label stickers off your jars, remove what you can’t peel off by scrubbing with some Goo Gone or other cleaning product. It took me just a few minutes to peel off the front label and the bottom sticker and remove the residue with Goo Gone.
After you’ve done this, you can sanitize your jars by washing them in hot, soapy water.
If you want to remove residual scents from your jars and lids, Apartment Therapy recommends baking soda and vinegar, or setting the jars and lids out in the sunshine for a few days.
Now your candle jars are clean and ready to reuse. It’s time to get creative about re-purposing.
The jars make pretty holders for wrapped tea bags, although I probably won’t keep tea bags in recycled candle jars without first trying to remove the residual candle scent so it doesn’t potentially affect the flavor of the tea.
Instead, I designated my first recycled Aldi jar candle as a container to hold my daughter’s sticker collection. Once I collect several cleaned-out candles, they will be a nice way to organize and showcase several small craft supplies such as erasers, googly eyes, beads, and more.
Read on for more ideas on what to put in a repurposed glass candle jar.
Ways to Reuse Aldi Glass Jar Candles
- Storage for small sealed foods. Use clean, recycled candle jars with lids to store individually sealed tea bags, wrapped candies, wrapped mints, sugar or artificial sweetener packets, instant drink packets, etc. While it might be tempting to use candle jars for storing spices, pasta, or other loose food items, these glass jars are not made specifically for storing food, so there is concern about whether chemicals in the glass are safe for edibles, especially since candle glass is often made to hold up to high temperatures. There’s also the issue of the candle smell transferring to whatever you put in the jar, and it can be difficult to completely eradicate the scent from the jar. If you want to reuse jars for food storage, I recommend re-purposing jars that were actually made to hold food, such as Aldi marinara and alfredo sauce jars.
- Gifts in a jar. Fill with small toiletries or sealed food items such as wrapped candy. Add a bow or ribbon to the top for decoration.
- Office supply storage. These jars a a great size for storing paper clips, rubber bands, thumb tacks, or small erasers.
- Art supply storage. For stickers, beads, googly eyes, crayons, child-sized scissors, stamps, paint brushes, small glue sticks (keep the lid off if it doesn’t fit on), etc.
- Toiletry and personal care item storage. These jars are a stylish way to stash cotton balls, Q-tips, bath salts, bath bombs, epsom salt, BAND-AIDS, flossers, small soaps, makeup (lip balm, lipstick, eye liner pencils, mascara, foundation, blush, brushes, etc.), ponytail elastics or scrunchies, bobby pins, makeup remover pads, tweezers, nail clippers, etc.
- Homemade body scrub jar. Find instructions for making your own scrub here.
- Jewelry storage. A pretty way to keep your earrings, rings, pins, broaches, pendants, etc.
- Hardware storage. Keep nails, screws, and more in these small jars.
- Sewing supply storage. Great for safety pins, straight pins, buttons, small spools of thread, ribbon spools, thimbles, etc.
- Match storage. These jar are the right size for holding small wooden matches. You can cut the strike tip from a box of matches and fasten it to the bottom of the jar. For obvious reasons, this seems like an especially appropriate way to reuse a candle jar.
- Collection storage. One blogger notes that Bath and Body Works candle jars, which are essentially the same size as Aldi candle jars, are the perfect size for holding autographed baseballs to make a stunning display. These jars can also be used to hold small seashells from your vacation, or other small objects. When grouped or stacked together, they may have a real visual impact.
- Table centerpieces. Fill with small real or artificial flowers for easy eye-catching centerpieces for special events or any time.
- Fairy light display. Fill with a short strand of fairy lights, put the lid on, and you have an instant night light or pretty ambient lighting for a covered porch or patio.
- Planters or seed starters. Fill with potting soil or seed starting mix and grow a flower or plant some seeds to transplant later to your garden. Many of these jars are just the right size for growing succulents. Avoid over watering because these jars don’t have drainage holes and you don’t want to drown your seeds or plants, or alternatively you can line the jar with a plastic pot with drain holes in the bottom.
- Seed storage. Store loose seeds for your garden.
- Potpourri bowl. Make homemade potpourri or buy some at the store and set a jar, sans the lid, wherever you want to add a nice scent around your house.
- Homemade candles. Find instructions here. Or, if you don’t want to make your own candles, you can also purchase tea lights or larger candles that don’t come in jars and place them in these recycled jars. Craft stores and big box retailers often sell “loose” candles in various sizes, so you’re bound to find a size that will fit your jar.
- Coin/loose change jar. Great for stashing your quarters and pennies.
Do you reuse your glass candle jars from Aldi? Tell us what you do with them in the comments.