Can You Recycle Candles? (And Candle Jars?)

In today’s world, one of the means of providing light that has not lost its relevance is using candlelight. Aside from the fact that candles are used in many developing countries to illuminate the environment, candles serve different aesthetic purposes in a country like the USA. For instance, you will often find candles on a dinner date or atop birthday or anniversary cakes. The purpose of this is purely aesthetic, which is a different topic for another day. But for today, the focus is on the impacts these candles may be having on the environment.

In this light, this post will be considering if candles and candle jars are recyclable and if candles are bad for the environment. We will also consider if you can put candles in the recycling bin and the proper ways to dispose of old candles. Because we don’t want your old candles to go to waste, we will add a piece of extra information on the things you can do with your leftover candle wax.

Without a doubt, this post will be filled with a lot of information that you cannot afford to miss out on. For this reason, we simply ask you to sit back and focus your attention on the subsequent paragraphs. We do not doubt that it will be worth your time.

Are Candles Recyclable?

Candles are still relatively in great use today, so it is only fair that we consider whether you can recycle them or not. This would inform how we use the candles and whether we need to toss the candles in the recycling bin.

Unfortunately, candles are not recyclable in the various recycling stations around you. The reason is often that they don’t come in large quantities for the recycling station to spend considerable resources or time recycling them.

This is why you will often find out that many recycling companies exclude candle wax in the list of things you can put in your recycling bin. But then, is this the end? Well, let’s find out together.

The good thing about candles is that you can do the recycling at home yourself. What you will need is enough time to spare for recycling. Below, we have briefly touched on the things you have to do to recycle those old candles.

Steps to Recycle Candles at Home:

1. Gather Used Candles: This is the first step. Since the process of recycling used candles is a bit long, you would need as many used candles as you can lay your hands on. If need be, you can purchase used candles from dollar stores or get them from friends and colleagues.

2. Separate The Candles: We all know that candles do not come in the same color and scents. This is why you need to separate them according to their colors and scents. Doing this will ensure that your recycled candles turn out in the appropriate color and scent.

3. Cut The Candles: The next step is to use a butter knife to cut the used candles into small pieces. After this, you should buy a long candle wick and a candle holder if you don’t have the ones you can use.

4. Get A Large Saucepan: Recycling a candle requires melting the wax, so you would need a saucepan to achieve this or any other metal container that can hold the wax while it melts.

5. Melt The Candle Wax: Here, what you have to do is put the saucepan on the stove and turn on low heat. Then, pour the small candles into the saucepan when it is hot. Continue to stir until the candle max, until everything has thoroughly melted. You may have to stir this for about forty minutes. The goal is to ensure that there is no longer candle chunk in the saucepan.

6. Ready The Candle Holder And The Wick: While you still wait for the candle wax to thoroughly melt, you should ready your candle holder and the wick. Here, what you have to do is put the wick vertically in the middle of the candle holder. You will need a pencil or a straw placed over the candle holder so that you can ensure the wick is in the center. Also, ensure that the wick is touching the bottom of the candle holder.

7. Strain The Melted Wax: You would need to strain the melted wax with a mesh strainer. This is to eradicate any particles or wick pieces still inside the meted wax. Doing this is simple; simply pour the melted wax through the strainer into another pan, and you would have eradicated the particles and tiny wick that might still be there.

8. Pour The Melted Wax In The Candle Holder: This is the final stage. Here, you have to carefully pour the melted wax into the candle holder so that the center’s wick does not shift to the side or get pulled down. You should only pour the melted wax to the point where there is enough wick on top for lighting the candle. To make it turn out better, you can add some dye and scent to the melted wax and stir evenly.

After all these, allow the candle wax to solidify. This can take about an hour or two, and you can use it for whatever you wish.

Can You Recycle Candle Jars?

Considering candles without equally considering candle jars is an incomplete task. For many reasons, candle jars are often necessary parts of candles. This is why we need to see if they can also be recycled, or we just have to toss them away after they have served their purpose.

Unlike candles, you can always recycle your candle jars in the recycling station. However, this is not everything you need to know. Since candle jars are made with different kinds of glass materials, there might be difficulties recycling some candle jars. If your candle jars are standard container glass (soda-lime), then you have nothing to worry about.

However, if it is made of borosilicate glass materials, it may not be easy to recycle them. This is because these kinds of glass materials have been specially made so that their melting point is way higher than the standard glass materials. Hence, it might pose a problem for the recycling station where they mix it with other glass materials.

Where you happen to have borosilicate glass materials, you might want to consider checking with the recycling company to know if they accept that kind of glass materials before tossing them in the recycling bin.

Are Candles Bad For The Environment?

The environment is important to all of us, so it is only reasonable to consider if the various things we use affect them. In this light, we are taking a look at whether candles are in any way bad for the environment. Let’s find out together.

As much as we all love the sight of candles and their brilliant fire, the bad news is that they are bad for the environment. Although a lot of efforts are being made, particularly in the USA, to standardize the materials used for the production of candles, but, one way or the other, the environment is still feeling the effect of these candles.

For instance, many candles you gladly purchase in the stores come from paraffin wax, an oil refining byproduct. This paraffin wax contains alkane hydrocarbons, which melts between forty-seven degrees Celcius and sixty-five degrees Celcius. Aside from this, when you burn some of these candles, their fumes contain carcinogenic chemicals. They also release carbons into the air, which ultimately pollute the atmosphere.

This aside, the wicks in many of these candles have also been specially made and contain lead and some metalcore, which, when burned, release toxic chemicals to the environment.

No doubt, this shows that candles are bad for the environment. The way to go is to find an alternative to some of these candles.  But the problem is that many of these candles are not easily accessible since many of us have stocked them up only for emergency uses.

Can You Put Candles In The Recycling Bin?

Putting candles in the recycling bin may sound like a good thing to do, but this is not the right way to go. The reason is that you can hardly find a recycling station that accepts candles for recycling in your locality. So, putting the candles in the recycling bin may just be like creating extra work for the recycling officers because they would need to go through another round of sorting them.

But then, why would you want to put your candles in the recycling bin where they end of wasted when you can recycle them yourself? Above, we have already explained the process of recycling your old candles in detail. It is left for you to create some time and recycle those old candles.

What Can You Do With Leftover Candle Wax?

If you think about it, there is nothing that should go to waste in today’s world. If you are careful and patient enough, you will always find things to do with that old stuff. For leftover candle wax, the story is not different. There are different things you can do with them. Below, we will provide a list of the useful things you can do with your leftover candle wax. If you are ready, let’s jump at it.

  • Like we said above, you can recycle them yourself. This should be the first thing that comes to your mind anytime you think about what to do with leftover candle wax.
  • Start or sustain a fire.
  • Lubricate your door hinge or sticky drawer.
  • Use it as a sealant for your letters. This would require that you melt it before it can seal your letters.
  • Use it to seal the frays of your shoelace.

How To Dispose Of Old Candles?

If you have been confused about disposing of your old candles, you don’t need to be anymore; you have come to the right place. Here, we will briefly touch on the ways to dispose of your old candles. Let’s take a go at it.

1. Donate Them: If you have old candles that can still burn for some time, you can donate them to charity homes. Many charity homes would need them, and if they don’t, they may sell them to get funds to keep the charity going.

2. Gift To Loved Ones: This might sound odd, but it is something your loved ones will be grateful for. You can gift them your old candles for use during their anniversary or date.

3. Sell Them: You can also sell your candles and make some money. Some local stores need candle wax and are willing to purchase your candles. This can be a sideway to make some extra cash.

4. Upcycle Them: You can upcycle your old candles and use them for other things. Above, we have already provided you with the things you can do with your leftover candle wax. So, you should have no problems with that.


Using candles brings back cherished memories and helps us magically construct a utopian world we want to be in. As beautiful as this is, it is also important we construct a better environment for ourselves. And this is only possible where we begin to take proper care of the candles we use.


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About Rinkesh

A true environmentalist by heart ❤️. Founded Conserve Energy Future with the sole motto of providing helpful information related to our rapidly depleting environment. Unless you strongly believe in Elon Musk‘s idea of making Mars as another habitable planet, do remember that there really is no 'Planet B' in this whole universe.