Bits and Bobs

I was thinking it might be nice to have a place where people could share little habits or “hacks” that they use frequently that might not be common knowledge or common practice…little life tidbits if you will.

To start with an anecdote - since graduating undergrad, moving out of dorm housing, and moving into places where I was allowed to burn candles I have accrued…many, many candles. I have some candles that are either sort of generic scents or candles I know I’ll be able to buy again if I want to, but I have a growing number of candles that are, for one reason or another, essentially irreplaceable. Brands that I’ve only seen in one specific store, candles that were exclusive to a subscription box, candles that have some sort of emotional meaning…and these I have a difficult time using. I’m a very sentimental person, and the thought of using up something that’s special in those ways is pretty difficult for me. But with current events, I’m working from home more and finding myself really wanting to use these candles for a little extra comfort. Which brings me to my “hack” for hanging on to these candles while still getting to use them…which I just came up with tonight, as I finished off a subscription box candle that I really loved.

Part 1: Emptying the Jar
I like being able to re-use jars and candle containers, which means needing to clean all the wax off the inside. The method I found to do this was to boil water and (carefully!) pour it into the mostly-empty candle container and let it sit. The boiling water will melt the remaining wax, which is less dense than the water and will float. As the water cools, the wax hardens on top of the water. Once the water is fully cool and the wax solid, you can poke at the disk to either tip it up and pull it out, or crack it into pieces to fish out (depending on the shape of your container).

Depending on the amount of wax that was left, it may take a couple rounds of boiling water to remove the wax. After the last round, while the container is still warm, I empty the last round of water and wipe the inside with a paper towel to remove any residue inside the container.

Part 2: Rescuing the Wax
Now that you’ve emptied the container, you’re left with some chunks of wick-less candle wax. If you want to keep using it, you could put it in a wax warmer. Or! If you’re ridiculous like me, you can break those large chunks up into smaller chunks and put them into a small container (like a little glass bottle), pop a label on them, and have a little olfactory keepsake.

Here’s the one I did tonight. I didn’t quite pay attention to the warning the came with the candle and I let it burn too long…so follow those instructions and you’ll end up with a bit more wax to hold on to.

Do you have projects to save the last scraps of a favorite fabric? Some way to store tickets or preserve flowers? I’d love to hear the small, every-day habits you all might have!

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When I knit more often, I liked leaving pieces of the yarn out on my balcony - birds would come get them in the spring to use in their nests, and the nests I could see were so cute!

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I do this! When I buy hanks of yarn from Kelbourne Woolens, they use extra scraps to tie up the bundles to keep them neat while in storage - kind of like wool twisty ties. I untie these scraps and leave them out for the birds to claim. I think the mice might steal them as well…

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