Can You Reuse Candle Jars for Food? A Comprehensive Guide

In the era of sustainability and minimizing waste, reusing items has become more than just a trend—it’s a lifestyle. Among the myriad of items that spark creativity for repurposing are candle jars. They are sturdy, often beautifully designed, and seem perfect for a second life as containers. But the question arises, Can you reuse candle jars for food? This article delves deep into this query, providing a well-rounded view of whether candle jarsOpens in a new tab. can make the transition from illuminating your space to storing your spices.

Can you reuse candle jars for food? Yes, you can reuse candle jars for food, but it requires thorough cleaning to remove all wax residues and ensure the jar is made of food-safe glass. It’s essential to sterilize the jar before use to eliminate any bacteria or leftover scent. This practice is both eco-friendly and a creative way to repurpose materials, but always prioritize safety and cleanliness.

Understanding the Basics of Reusing Candle Jars

Before answering, can you reuse candle jars for food? It’s essential to understand what candle jarsOpens in a new tab. are made of. Most high-quality candle jars are crafted from glassOpens in a new tab. or ceramic, materials that are inherently food-safe once cleaned properly. However, the concern arises with the residue left from the candle—both wax and scent—which could potentially contaminate food.

Cleaning Candle Jars for Food Use

The key to repurposing candle jars for food storageOpens in a new tab. lies in thorough cleaning. Here’s a step-by-step guide to ensuring your jars are ready for their new role:

  1. Wax Removal: Freeze the jar to shrink the wax, making it easier to remove. Alternatively, pour boiling water into the jar to melt the wax, which then floats to the top and hardens for easy removal.
  2. Deep Cleaning: After wax removal, wash the jar with hot, soapy water. For a more thorough clean, consider using a vinegar or baking soda solution to help remove any lingering scents.
  3. Sterilization: To ensure the jar is completely food-safe, sterilize it. This can be done by boiling the jar in water for 10 minutes or by placing it in a preheated oven at 225°F for 20 minutes.

The Safety of Reusing Candle Jars for Food

When it comes to safety, the type of jar and the original candle ingredients play crucial roles. Jars made from non-toxic materials such as glass or high-fired ceramics are generally safe after a thorough cleaning. However, candles made with lead wicks (which have been mostly phased out in the U.S. but may still be found in older candles) or toxic fragrances could leave harmful residues, making the jars unsuitable for food storageOpens in a new tab..

Creative and Safe Ideas for Reusing Candle Jars in the Kitchen

Assuming your jars have been deemed safe for food storageOpens in a new tab., here are some innovative ways to integrate them into your kitchen:

  • Spice Storage: Their airtight seals make candle jarsOpens in a new tab. ideal for storing spices, keeping them fresh longer.
  • Serving Snacks: Clean, clear jars can be a quirky and fun way to serve nuts, candies, or even individual desserts.
  • Herb Gardening: While not directly food storageOpens in a new tab., using candle jars to grow herbs places fresh seasonings at your fingertips.

The Importance of Sustainability and Safety

In addressing the question, “Can you reuse candle jars for food?” it’s crucial to balance sustainability goals with safety considerations. Reusing candle jars for food storage not only reduces waste but also adds a touch of personal flair to your kitchen. However, ensuring these jars are clean and free from harmful residues is paramount to their safe reuse.

Checklist for Repurposing Candle Jars for Food Storage

Wax RemovalUse the freezing or boiling water method to remove all wax.
Deep CleaningWash thoroughly with hot, soapy water, followed by vinegar or baking soda soak if necessary.
SterilizationBoil in water for 10 minutes or oven-sterilize at 225°F for 20 minutes.
Safety AssessmentConsider the jar’s material and the candle’s ingredients for potential health risks.
Creative ReuseDecide on a safe and fun way to repurpose the jar in your kitchen.
Can You Reuse Candle Jars for Food

FAQ: Reusing Candle Jars for Food

Can any candle jar be reused for food storage?

Not all candle jars are suitable for foodOpens in a new tab. storage. It depends on the material of the jar and the type of candle it contains. Glass and ceramic jars are generally safe after thorough cleaning unless the candle has toxic components.

How can I completely remove the scent from a candle jar?

After the initial cleaning, filling the jar with a mixture of baking soda and water and letting it sit overnight can help absorb any remaining fragrances. Repeat if necessary.

Are there any foods that should not be stored in reused candle jars?

It’s best to avoid using them for highly perishable items or foods that can easily absorb scents, such as oils or butter unless you’re confident the jar has been thoroughly deodorized.


Can you reuse candle jarsOpens in a new tab. for food?” Yes, with the right preparation and safety considerations, candle jars can embark on a second life as charming and functional kitchen storage solutions. By following the guidelines outlined in this article, you can ensure that your repurposed jars not only contribute to sustainability efforts but also add a unique touch to your culinary space. Remember, the journey from candle holder to food container should be undertaken with care and creativity


Charles is a freelance writer whose areas of expertise include home renovation, gardening, and design. A graduate with a degree in Digital Marketing and Business Management. Charles is currently a freelance writer. Charles is always typing away on his laptop or tackling his newest home improvement project. He likes to spend quality time with his family, riding, and working out at the gym.

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