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A guide to reusing glass candle jars

I received a lovely email message from Heather, one of my regular customers this week. Her query was perfectly timed as I'd already made plans to write about the same topic in this week's blog post! ...

Green recycling bin

The question was:

"... I have some empty glass jars from my last order of your beautiful candles and was wondering if you had a return programme for them? They are so beautiful it would seem a shame to waste them."

First of all a massive thank you to Heather for sending in the question, it's always so good to hear from customers with your thoughts, comments and suggestions.


Saving the planet

Sustainability is a big part of the Kalabash ethos which is one of the reasons why I chose to use only recyclable, reusable or biodegradable packaging for the Kalabash range. Plastic is avoided when possible because of how single use plastic can impact the future of our planet. Limiting its use keeps the Kalabash carbon footprint as small as possible.

Plastic free soap packaging

Each component of Kalabash soap packaging is completely plastic free so it can be easily recycled along with your other household waste paper.

Kalabash soap range 7 bars of soaps in black boxes on ethnic fabric background.  Flatlay

The complicated logistics of operating a returns programme isn't possible at Kalabash. But, John Lewis has recently launched its Beautycycle scheme which offers a £5 voucher off in store beauty purchases in exchange for recycling 5 empty beauty products from any brand.

As all Kalabash packaging is fully recyclable, your glass Bath/Body Oil bottles and empty Soy Candles, Organic unrefined Shea Butter and Bath Salts jars can be taken to your local bottle bank for recycling.

I agree with Heather - amber glass containers are very beautiful, too good to waste and should be given a new lease of life.

So, if like Heather, you'd like to re-use your empties and avoid waste, here are a few ideas of what you can do with them.


Preparing your candle jars and other empties

Once your candles have burnt down to about 5mm:

  • Either, place the jars in the freezer over night and then turn the jars upside down and tease out and release the the leftover wax with the back of a spoon

  • Or, pour in some hot water until the container is half full, and

  • Leave the wax to settle on top

  • Once the wax hardened on the surface, simply take it out, wrap it in some newspaper and throw it on the compost heap or into the recycling bin and not down the sink where it can re-harden and cause problems.


How to remove the labels with ease

The labels are made from 100% recycled paper without a plastic coating and can be easily removed:

  • Rinse out your empties with warm water and washing up liquid until any traces of product disappears.

  • Fill a bowl with warm water

  • Add a a couple of drops of washing up liquid

  • Swish the water around with your hands to make bubbles

  • Pop in the jars/bottles and let them soak for about an hour

  • Use the back of a spoon to remove the label and throw it the recycling bin.

  • Let them air dry or pat dry with a lint free cloth

  • Any stubborn glue residue will come off easily with nail polish remover or white spirits.


empty brown amber glass jars no lids flatly in sunshine

7 Ideas for reusing amber glass jars

  1. Plant pots for succulents, place a few pebbles at the base for drainage, fill with soil, plant your succulent/cactus and then top up with pebbles.

  2. A desk tidy for your pen, pencils, paperclips etc, to help keep your working from home space uncluttered

  3. Use on your dressing table/bedroom shelf for makeup brushes, hair bands and hair pins.

  4. Stylishly store matches

  5. Repurpose the small jars as tea light holders

  6. Create a bathroom storage collection with different size jars for biodegradable makeup wipes, bamboo cotton buds or toothbrush holder

  7. General storage around the house: ie., teabags, sweets, small change, spare buttons, the list goes on ...

Any other ideas welcome ....

Please get in touch


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A space where I share my thoughts ideas and tips on DIY beauty, health and wellbeing, Caribbean travel, good books, recipes and behind the scenes at Kalabash.

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