6 Easy Ways to Reuse Bath & Body Works Candle Jars at Home

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Want to know how to reuse candle jars after the wax melts down? Follow these tips!

Upcycle Candle Jars From Bath & Body Works

Here’s how to reuse your old candle jars and give them a brand-new purpose!

Those empty candle jars that are too pretty to toss won’t collect dust any longer with these easy ideas on how to reuse them!

Once the wax melts down, it’s easy to get them cleaned up so that they can serve a greater purpose around the house! Plus, we love helping to save the planet with frugal upcycling tips.

Bath Body Works Candles

I’m addicted to buying all the yummy-smelling Bath & Body Works candles, and I quickly noticed a collection of empty jars gathering in my home.

Instead of tossing my old candles in the trash, I thought, why not turn them into something handy like containers for small bathroom supplies, beauty products, craft supplies, or pantry storage – the options are endless!

Cleaning them out can be difficult, but I know just the trick! 😉

freezing candles to remove wax easier

The secret to cleaning glass candle jars is to freeze them for at least a few hours. Then you’ll be able to use a butter knife to crack the wax easily and remove it. The metal wick at the bottom will also come off easily – just get under it with a butter knife and wiggle it off. Voila!

breaking up candle with knife

Trash or save the excess wax, it’s up to you! As an idea, you could also save it and place the wax in your favorite wax warmer. I can smell the leftover pumpkin spice already!

Removing the labels is easier than you’d think, too!

How to remove a label from a candle jar - repurpose bath and body works candles - upcycling ideas

The best approach to take is to first soak the jars in hot soapy water. Then they will usually come off pretty easily. If there’s still a little wax residue inside the glass, place it in the microwave for a few seconds to help melt and it will be easier to wipe clean.

Hip2Save reader, Barb, suggested an alternative cleaning method. She puts boiling water in her jars and the heat makes the wax break down and rise to the top. When cool, it’s easy to remove the floating disk of wax!

using goo gone to clean candles - how to clean and reuse candle jars

Hip tip for reusing your candle jars: For removing super stubborn adhesive residue, consider using acetone, Goo Gone, or when all else fails, spray it with WD-40 and let sit overnight. It should magically come off in the morning!

If you’re looking for a more all-natural approach and plan to place edibles inside of your jars, one of our readers suggested using lemon essential oil to get any remaining glue off. 🙌

Here are some fun ideas for re-purposing your jars:

1. Make beautiful bathroom apothecary jars.

hand holding heavy duty glue and clear glass knobs - upcycle a candle jar

To create some pretty apothecary jars for my bathroom, I glued some inexpensive clear glass knobs to the top of metal candle covers. Also, to make sure that the knobs stand the test of time, I used some heavy-duty e6000 craft glue.

bath and body works candle jars repurposed as storage

I’m so happy with how they look on the bathroom counter! 😍 I chose to add cotton balls and Q-tips to mine, but you can add any small bathroom necessities that you want. Plus, it doubles as some pretty gorgeous home decor.

“I have been doing this for a couple of years. I painted the candle jars after they were cleaned so they match the décor in my bathroom and in my bedroom. They hold tampons, Q-tips, earrings, small samples of creams, and one on the dryer for my scent booster pebbles!” – Angela 

2. Use them for small, sealed food items.

bath & bodyworks candles as food storage

While we don’t recommend using these containers for open food items, you can still fill them with smaller food items that you want to keep on display, such as sugar packets at your coffee station or individually wrapped candies for your guests.

“After running them through my dishwasher a few times and making sure they’re sanitized, I put packets of sugar, creamers, and stevia all in jars in my coffee station! I even added some cute vinyl labels using my Cricut to give them a little custom touch and make them look even more decorative.” – Jess

Hip tip for reusing your candle jars: In order to get rid of the candle fragrance before placing your food items into the jars, readers suggested trying some of the following tricks:

  • Run them through the dishwasher.
  • Soak them in vinegar and baking soda.
  • Place wadded-up newspaper inside to absorb the smell.
  • Leave the lids off to air them out.

how to reuse bath & body works candle jars - how to reuse old candle jars - holiday candy in an old candle jar

3. Place craft accessories to display and use.

how to repurpose old candle jars - bath and body works candles

If you’re reading this post, chances are you’re big into crafting like me! If you want a decorative and fun way to display all your favorite craft supplies, you can hang up some of our favorite floating shelves and fill them with your repurposed jars – they’ll look stunning with so many colorful buttons, ribbons, and whatever else your craft room has in store.

“I use them to hold craft items like buttons, safety pins, sea glass, etc. I have mentioned numerous times to Bath and Body Works employees that they should start an in-store recycling program with a discount incentive. It’s a shame they aren’t reused more often!” – Julia

“My husband and daughter are artists and they put decorative sand and rocks in them. They also use them to hold paintbrushes, sharpies, blades for matting, etc.” – Rosa

repurposed bath and body works candle - upcycling ideas

4. Use them as table centerpieces.

bath and bodyworks jar flower arrangement

Do you have a special event coming up soon? We’re always looking for frugal ways to make milestone moments even more special while staying on budget. Consider reusing your candle jars as vases for fresh flowers at your wedding, graduation, baby shower, or any special occasion you have coming up.

how to reuse bath and bodyworks candle jar - use as a vase

“I used them for centerpiece vases for fresh flowers at my daughter’s graduation open house. Looked great. Crisscrossed clear floral tape across the top to hold the flowers up.” – Steph

“We collected used candle jars to use as part of centerpiece decor for our daughter’s bridal shower and wedding. We filled them with sand, added small seashells and paired them with additional tealight votives for simple decor at her shower. I have three daughters so I continue to save these in anticipation of using again for more weddings and hopefully for future baby showers!” – Sherri

“I’ve made many really neat things for fundraisers with refurbished BBW jars & lids. Even snow globes! Wish I could show a pic of one I just finished. The one I have done had modgepodge painted inside the jar then sprinkled with glitter. Lid has elephant design with trinkets and sparkly paints. Endless possibilities!!”
– Christy

5. Place all your makeup brushes in them.

How to reuse a bath and body works candle - makeup jars

Having the perfect storage solution for all your makeup makes life so much easier when you’re getting ready in the morning! Plus, with these Bath and Body Works candles, you’ll likely just need one jar to have enough room for all your essentials.

6. Store all your hair accessories.

How to reuse bath and body works candle jars - jars for beauty accessories

Hair ties come and go in our house and having a place to store them all will ensure you’ll never be trying to hunt one down during your morning rush again! You can also consider throwing in some clips, bobby pins, or whatever else you have trouble finding when you need to get ready!

“I love this idea! I am going to use these to store my daughter’s ponytail holders on her bathroom sink. The knobs Lina shared above also make them look so much prettier!” – Heather

Stop buying these household items ASAP!

About the writer:

Lina has a Bachelor's Degree from Northern Arizona University with 11 years of blogging and photography experience having work featured in Today.com, Martha Stewart, Country Living, Fox News, Buzzfeed, and HGTV.

Join The Discussion

Comments 77

  1. Crystal

    I reused some of mine for facial cleansing wipes, love the idea with the kids ♥️, I’ll have to add that, thank you.

    • Crystal

      Lids not kids. Lol

      • Sofi

        No no definitely meant kids

  2. Jen

    Another way to remove leftover stickiness from labels- use coconut oil and a little baking soda (adds a tiny bit of abrasiveness). I’ve used it after buying picture frames from places like Tjmaxx when they put the price sticker right on the glass!

  3. frugal lady2

    Hi. thanks for post. A little off topic: I want to know what others are doing in re- purposing empty BBW soap foam bottles. I asked the store one time if I can donate to them so they can reuse and was told just to throw them away which I think is an environmental waste. Any info is much appreciated!

    • Heidi

      I re-use them! I put about an inch of liquid Dawn (or any other fun smelling dish soap) in, fill the rest with water and shake.

      • Peane

        Dawn, rubbing alcohol and water= dawn power wash

    • Amber

      I buy bulk hand washing liquid and cut it with water.

      • Amber

        Also use for dawn in the kitchen.

    • Heather W

      We save them for a terracycle program. Maybe see if your area has something similar. http://www.terracycle.com

    • MelissaB

      I reuse the bottles for hand soap as well, but I have also started to do the same with my body wash! You just can’t do this with body butter body wash or the exfoliating kind. My body wash is lasting so much longer now! I also only put about 1-2 inches of body wash and then add water and shake. You sometimes have to shake it a couple times when you first fill the bottle.

      • PrincessMom

        That’s a great idea! I’m going to have to save the next one to empty out and give this a try 🙂

    • Sarah Currence

      I paint mine with a homemade chalk paint recipe using plaster of paris. Made them look like concrete and terracotta. I refill them with dawn platinum and a little bit of warm water then shake it for a foamy handwash that kills germs. Perfect for 2021!!
      Also I agree with it feeling so wasteful.. Stores and brands should give huge discounts to people willing to reuse packaging. If they had dispensers and sold concentrated tablets for the purpose of refilling stations that would be amazing!!

      • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

        Thanks for sharing about using paint! I have use Talenti brand ice cream containers to mix chalk paint but never thought of glass. Good idea!

    • Gia

      That is a great question as I am about halfway through my soap bottle as well, I believe I will use it as a toothbrush holder and I will see if I can send the pump in to terra cycle. You should look it up it is the company that glow recipe uses to recycle their non-reusable packaging. Hope this helps, let me know if you come up with a better idea!

    • Mel

      Just add about an inch of another B&BW gel (moisturizing) soap & fill the rest with water! This makes that gel soap last so much longer!

  4. frecklelily

    I give the candle jars to my daughter. She paints scenes on them and then we put a tea light candle on them. You can also remove the wax by pouring boiling water in the jar. Let cool and the wax will float to the top. I bought some wicks on amazon and glue 3 into the jars, melt the wax, and pour them in. The end effect is different layers of different waxes.

  5. Gigi

    All super amazing ideas guys!! I’ll try a few with my daughter since I have tons of free time now!! Thank you!

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Sure! Thanks Gigi!

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Oh that’s a fun idea – thanks!

  6. Mel

    I watched a YouTube video the other day where the girl coated the inside of the jar with modge podge (I believe matte finish) and used glitter to make a pretty jar for her makeup brushes. She added some plant rocks? to the bottom first so they stay upright.

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Oh cool. I like that!

  7. Debbie Zarate

    I love reusing the glass jar from bath and body but the lids get rusty and tarnished how can I prevent this from happening. I use them in the bathroom for Q-tips and face pads

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Bar keepers friend brand cleaner is great for removing rust.

    • PrincessMom

      If you brush clear nail polish (top coat) over them it’ll prevent that. Just a thin coating but you must coat the entire thing because any part left exposed will still rust.

      • willowcat

        That’s what I’ve heard, too! I’m about to do that on the bottom of a metal soap holder.

        • willowcat

          Oh… I just read to the bottom of the post – someone said they use wash tape – that could be pretty, also!

        • JoAnn C

          Wouldn’t it be easier to just spray it with Rustoleum – a clear coat?

  8. Heather W

    I have saved a few of the more decorative lids but got rid of the candle jars in moving. Any crafty ideas just for the lids?

    • Cheryl

      You can use them as coasters!

    • idlg

      also coasters under furniture, using some of mine for carpet protectors under the rails of Grandmothers hospital style bed railings.

    • AliciaE777

      I wanted to add cork on the inside and make a coaster out of the lids

  9. Shayla

    Any suggestions on camouflaging the lids that say bath and body works? I like the finish but the words distract from the look once I add a decorative knob.

    • Kblackmon

      I was looking for a way to hide the words on the lid too. Any suggestions appreciated.

      • willowcat

        Just thinking out loud… but what about cutting pretty scrapbook paper to fit, then coating in Modge Podge?

  10. Rachelle P

    I was able to remove the wax just fine but now I am stuck with the metal part that holds the wick in place. It won’t budge. Any suggestions as to how to gently remove them without breaking the jar?

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      I used a butter knife to wedge under it and it should pop off. Hope that helps!

    • caroline

      actually there is an easier way to remove the leftover in the jar. Leave it outside when it’s raining. The jar will collect the water, then later on, the leftover will float up. then it’s easier to pour it out of the jar. Don’t ask me how I knew. 😛

  11. jennifermagindupont

    I reuse the plastic soap bottle with 1/2 dr bronners castile soap 1/2 distilled water. Makes the best foaming hand soap and body soap!

  12. Teah

    You know what might be cute is to paint them with a paint/sand or paint/baking soda mixture (I think there was a post before on doing that to vases) to give it a pottery look, and plant succulents in them.

  13. Kay

    Great places to get pretty knobs for $10 or less: Big Lots, Home Goods, Marshall’s, TJ Maxx, Ross. This post has come out multiple times in the past. Since reading the first one, I’ve been saving my candle jars n buying knobs. I also use washi tape. I’m still waiting for inspiration to pull out those knobs n make pretty jars. I’ve used some as gifts n put wrapped candy in.

    • Irene (Hip Sidekick)

      Thanks for the tip, Kay! How fun to save candle jars for upcoming projects. These are so pretty.

    • Jenn

      Hobby Lobby has a huge selection of decorative knobs too.

  14. Rebecca

    Has anybody been able to find knobs with a flat bottom? I’m finding ones with the long thread and not sure how to remove. Thank you!!!

    • rebeccaaronsen

      Amazon has them!

    • Ellise

      Hobby Lobby has lots of choices! Wait until they are 50% off, too.

  15. Tammy

    I put bacon grease in them!

    • Irene (Hip Sidekick)

      Great idea, Tammy!

  16. Emily

    How do you get the smell of the candle out of the lid?

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      You can soak it in soapy water with vinegar, run it through the dishwasher as a few suggestions. It can be stubborn sometimes.

    • Ellise

      Someone suggested wiping around inside the lid with alcohol. When it dries, wash with soapy water.

  17. sarahreibold

    I love these ideas!!! Thank you so much!

  18. Barb H

    An easy way to clean the Jays is to put boiling water in them. The wax breaks down and rises to the top. When cool, there’s just a disk of wax floating on top that you just lift out and toss. I then throw the glass in the dishwasher for a good wash. Easy!

  19. Linda

    Where do you get the covers ?

    • Jennifer (Hip Sidekick)

      The candles come with lids already. If you are talking about the knobs you can pick them up at craft stores, garage sales, and hardware stores.

  20. KL

    Truly just curious… If the jar has been washed thoroughly and sanitized, why can’t you put unpackaged food in it? I’m thinking it would be perfect for things like chocolate chips or candy.

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      I think you can! However, the ring on the lid is pretty difficult to get the smell off of. I would say use your own judgement and do as desired 👍

      • Jypsymama

        I’ve tried every tip listed for getting the smell out of the lids and nothing has worked! I thought a few days running through the dishwasher would surely take away the smell. I put individually wrapped mints in the jar, covered with “clean” lid, checked in the morning and the mints tasted like the scent of the candle. Any other ideas to remove the smell from the lids?

        • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

          DARN! Thanks for the update. ❤️We’ll keep an eye out for any other methods that may get rid of the scents in the lids!

  21. NikkiLLM5

    I really like #1 & 2 since I’m about to get my first cricut machine! I’m so excited! I can’t wait to read all your crafting pages! Thank you!!!

  22. Brenda

    I used my jar to hold my ponytails. But I left the label on because it looks nicer it doesn’t look as messy.

  23. Christy

    I’ve made many really need things for fundraisers with refurbished BBW jars & lids. Even snow globes! Wish I could show a pic of one I just finished. The one I have done had modgepodge painted inside jar then sprinkled with glitter. Lid has elephant design with trinkets and sparkly paints. Endless possibilities!!

  24. Asma

    Some of the bbw candles have a stained color and when I clean then, some color is coming off, how can I get it fully off?

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      I am unsure but maybe other readers can chime in! Sorry! Another option may be to spray paint them?


    I used to repurpose candle jars when they still had paer labels. How do you get the new labels off? They seen to be adhered in a way that cant be soaked or scraped off.

    • Trish (Hip Sidekick)

      Great question, Janice! I have had success using coconut oil and baking soda for removing the new sticky labels. I peel the label off first and then use this mixture and a Brillo pad to scrub off the rest of the sticky residue. Hoping this might be helpful! 💕

  26. Brandy

    BBW has recently partnered with Terracycle and you can recycle items in store!! You will also receive a coupon when you bring items in!

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Awesome! Thanks for the heads up on that, Brandy. We’ll be sure to check it out! 🤗❤️

  27. Janice

    Has anyone tried repurposing them for craft shows? I’m working on some now for this fall’s craft show but not sure how to price them. Any suggestion price for Q-Tip, Cotton Ball set?

  28. chris

    To remove the remaining candle wax you could also pour rubbing alcohol into the jar to cover the wax. Let it sit a bit. Pour the alcohol out and the wax should just pop out.

    • Trish (Hip Sidekick)

      Thanks for sharing this helpful tip, Chris! 🥰

  29. Tamara

    Just pop the used candle jar in the freezer over night. Pop out the wax and the metal wick holders with a butter knife. Use the wax in a wax melter or another candle. Super easy and fast. Rinse with hot water.

  30. Jillerbean

    Sink of hot water, scoop of OxiClean free, soak jars and the labels will peel off or float off. Never fails.

    • Jessica (Hip Sidekick)

      Thanks for sharing your helpful tips for removing the labels, Jillerbean! I’ll have to try this out the next time! 🤗

  31. Carolynn

    It was fun to read all these ideas! I actually spray paint my jars, glue the lid on the bottom to make it a little more decorative, then fill it with floral foam and faux florals. A friend and I set up apartments for refugees and these are the perfect size to decorate small bathrooms or to place by the kitchen sink in these apartments to make them more welcoming. I collect empty BBW jars from friends too, so I’ve been able to make dozens of these now. I was ready for some new ideas and found your post. I love the idea of the knob on top. I will make some of these next. Thank you!

    • Trish (Hip Sidekick)

      You’re welcome, Carolynn! Glad you enjoyed these ideas! 💕 Thanks for sharing how you repurpose them to decorate the apartments you set up! SO creative! 🙌

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