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Author Topic: Looking For Ideas To Remove Beeswax From Spent Container Jar Candles  (Read 176 times)

Offline JackInCT

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Hi, I’m a novice beeswax candle maker.  I’ve completed the burning of my first candle, and wound up with at least 20% of it that was not consumed; I would like to reuse this for my next candle.

My problem is how to get the “residue” out of the container jar that I used (I used a Yankee Candle 22 oz jar).  I froze it, and that did loosen most of it up (for some reason the very bottom did not pull away from the glass), but it’s one frozen block of wax [running from the very top of the neck to its bottom].  The jar’s mouth is a smaller diameter than its body and I cannot just pop out this wax “block”.

So has anyone developed a technique to get the old wax out of a container jar?  Since it’s glass, my attempts using brute force [after freezing] (with a knife, etc.,) were limited since I didn’t wish to crack the glass (or worse create a stress fracture that would break during the next wax pour).

Thanks.

Offline Kathyp

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Re: Looking For Ideas To Remove Beeswax From Spent Container Jar Candles
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2010, 12:50:32 pm »
set it in a pan of very warm water, or warm it with a blow dryer.  the glass is heat resistant, so any way that you can melt the wax should allow you to remove it.
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Offline JP

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Re: Looking For Ideas To Remove Beeswax From Spent Container Jar Candles
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2010, 01:06:08 pm »
I would do as Kathy suggests, place it in a pot or bowl in hot water.


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Offline Bee Happy

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Re: Looking For Ideas To Remove Beeswax From Spent Container Jar Candles
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2010, 01:55:17 pm »
if you heat and cool the glass slowly it wont crack.
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Offline JackInCT

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Re: Looking For Ideas To Remove Beeswax From Spent Container Jar Candles
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2010, 11:27:29 am »
A ‘Thank You’ to the people who answered my question.

I have some feedback re technique for any others with a similar problem.  Please keep in mind that this “feedback” is for a first time try that has not stood up to the “test of time” re my experience level.

I opted to use the warm water technique.  I immersed the jar into water [about 2"] in a pot that I heated on a “medium” setting on top of my household kitchen stove; as an extra measure of a safety precaution, I elevated the jar on an old biscuit cutter ring to keep the jar from being in direct contact with the bottom of the pot; I also made sure BEFORE I started that the water level was NOT so high that the container would float.

The wax melted perfectly UP TO THE WATER line; above that, the wax refused to “budge” [and as an extra measure of prudence, I opted NOT to increase the burner setting any higher].  I timed this out and even after an hour, no joy!

IF I had to do it all over again, I would make the pot water level up to just below the rim of the jar, and find something heavy enough that it would weigh the jar down and keep it from floating, i. e., I am 100% sure that at a water level that high, it would float.

Again, anyone who has comments re a more efficient, or better way of doing all of this would be appreciated.

Offline luvin honey

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Re: Looking For Ideas To Remove Beeswax From Spent Container Jar Candles
« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2010, 03:20:13 pm »
Here's mine: Turn it into lip balm!  I noticed when making balm that oil + beeswax cleans up easily. It wipes out or melts. Plain ol' beeswax is a pain in the patootie to get out. So, now when I'm using a container strictly for beeswax and am ready to clean it out, I spray with it any type of food oil and then heat it a bit in the microwave. It blends enough to turn into "balm" and cleans up easily. Good luck and let me know how it works for you!
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Offline JackInCT

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Re: Looking For Ideas To Remove Beeswax From Spent Container Jar Candles
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2010, 04:48:50 pm »
Reply to Luvin Honey Comments which were: Here's mine: Turn it into lip balm!  I noticed when making balm that oil + beeswax cleans up easily. It wipes out or melts. Plain ol' beeswax is a pain in the patootie to get out. So, now when I'm using a container strictly for beeswax and am ready to clean it out, I spray with it any type of food oil and then heat it a bit in the microwave. It blends enough to turn into "balm" and cleans up easily. Good luck and let me know how it works for you!

Thank you.  I hope that you will find this at least a little bit on the humorous side:  Although it is ONLY the end of March, at Christmas, I have my heart set on sending out candles this year instead of cards.  I have a supply order arriving with various molds that I need to perfect using re sending out candles suitable for 'public consumption', including any and all possible safety issues [via test burns which includes the wick size-type issues] (I have no idea what I could do that would create a safety hazard, but that's even more important than "presentation" [defined as eye-catching eye candy]).  So using YouTube, iVillage, etc., craft ideas, I'm trying to forge something unique ranging from the packaging (to include surviving the USPS handling), to the opening of the candle package "box", and of course the candle itself re shape, color, fragrance, design, etc.,.  I have even gone to the length of ordering a wax seal making gizmo to embed my name in my "product" so that family will be FORCED to "see" me every time they light one of my candles.  Your lip balm idea is viable, but I just don't know when I will be able to get to it.

Offline luvin honey

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Re: Looking For Ideas To Remove Beeswax From Spent Container Jar Candles
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2010, 05:05:46 pm »
Hi Jack--I'm not suggesting you MAKE lip balm for sale. I am suggesting you spray your stuck-on beeswax with oil, heat it up, and chemically create a new substance (like balm) that is easily REMOVED from your container, which is the help you were looking for, right?
The pedigree of honey
Does not concern the bee;
A clover, any time, to him
Is aristocracy.
---Emily Dickinson

Offline JackInCT

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Re: Looking For Ideas To Remove Beeswax From Spent Container Jar Candles
« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2010, 09:04:13 pm »
Yes, you're quite right.  In retrospect, my ORIGINAL idea of recycling as much of my "test" candles wax as can be done if for no other reason than to keep the costs of my "experimental" candles down was an overreaction, i. e., buying new containers just to have mint condition ones re "evaluating" the end product for suitability has to be balanced with just what I should be doing with the "spent" wax and the used containers.  My first candle (plain beeswax) had several ounces left over (as it turned out when I weighed it after I removed 90% of it via the jar in the water method); part of my rethinking is that future candles will have dyed added, as well as fragrance and that wax will be unsuitable for any further "tests" and the non-consumed wax will have to used for ideas such as your lip balm.  IF you hadn't taken the time to mention your technique, that wax would have likely gone unused since I would have presumed that it served no further useful purpose (unless I wanted to create the candle equivalent of potpourri).  Thanks again.

Offline Sparky

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Re: Looking For Ideas To Remove Beeswax From Spent Container Jar Candles
« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2010, 09:27:32 pm »
Has anyone tried to microwave any wax ? If so what were the results ?  :?

Offline luvin honey

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Re: Looking For Ideas To Remove Beeswax From Spent Container Jar Candles
« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2010, 01:11:28 am »
The microwave is the only way I melt it. I stick it in glass measuring cups and do about 4-5 min for 2 or so oz of beeswax for soap and lip balm.
The pedigree of honey
Does not concern the bee;
A clover, any time, to him
Is aristocracy.
---Emily Dickinson

Offline JackInCT

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Re: Looking For Ideas To Remove Beeswax From Spent Container Jar Candles
« Reply #11 on: March 23, 2010, 11:14:42 am »
Allow me to raise the issue of whether using a microwave oven that will ALSO be used for household food is a good idea.  Included in my question is also whether beeswax that has added fragrance (AKA scent oil), dye, etc., gives off (OR COULD) "fumes" that "adhere" to the interior walls of the microwave, and creates some kind of a hazard, or a potential for one, when the microwave is also used with food items.

Offline luvin honey

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Re: Looking For Ideas To Remove Beeswax From Spent Container Jar Candles
« Reply #12 on: March 23, 2010, 12:22:16 pm »
I'm using my microwave for beeswax, something from untreated hives and something I "accidentally" consume in lip balm all the time. I definitely wouldn't want toxins in my microwave, but I consider my beeswax fairly pure, at least as pure as the other things in my life :)
The pedigree of honey
Does not concern the bee;
A clover, any time, to him
Is aristocracy.
---Emily Dickinson

Offline marksmith

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Re: Looking For Ideas To Remove Beeswax From Spent Container Jar Candles
« Reply #13 on: April 19, 2010, 04:17:00 pm »
I have put jars into a pot and totally covered them w/ water.  Bring to a boil, the wax will come to the top.  Let cool and you will have a wax film on the top of pan (easily removed if still warm) and totally wax free jars.  Just make sure when you get it warm enough the tops of the containers are below the wax line.  Make sure the openings are 'up' when you do this so the melted wax can flow to the surface.
Mark Smith - Elkton, OR