Published on February 21st, 2012 | by Jules Yap


How to: ReuseTindra candle glass containers

Tindra candles

Materials: Tindra Candles

I repurpose/reuse Tindra Candles into useful glasses. After burning, I put them in the freezer which makes it easier to remove the remaining wax residue. After a spin in the dishwasher I reuse them as ice cream dishes, wine tumblers, for fruit & yogurt and often for coffee since their thick heavy glass retains heat well.

Tindra candles

Since they are so affordable I’m able to stock up and have plenty on hand for parties and entertaining.

See more of the Tindra candles repurposed.

~ Heather Bullard, California

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The Author

Jules Yap

"I am Jules, the engine behind IKEAHackers and the one who keeps this site up and running. My mission is to capture all the wonderful, inspiring, clever hacks and ideas for our much loved IKEA items".

41 Responses to How to: ReuseTindra candle glass containers

  1. nick b says:

    Genius! Cant believe I through these away in the past! :/

  2. Anonymous says:

    Glass products sold at IKEA will have a icon (a fork and knife) on the article number sticker that indicates whether or not the product is food safe. While IKEA does encourage these glass holders to be reused, they do not have the food safe icon so it is probably best if you reuse these as candle holders and not as cups.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Umm no. Dont use for food! Go to any store and look at each glass container they sell. Most of the time its Clearly labled on bottom of container FOOD SAFE or NOT FOOD SAFE some of them look the same. I would not know which was which (even price was same) unless you looked at the safety sticker. There are chemicals used in some glass not made for food use that ste harmful to our health. This is one upcycle id advise against. Though its your body so do as u wish.

  4. Anonymous says:

    more research shows that most products are made with soda-lime glass. it is the least expensive and contains no toxic chemicals. lead glass is more expensive, so I doubt it would be used to make cheap votive candle holders.

  5. Anonymous says:

    even decorative glass has to be labeled as poisonous if it contains harmful chemicals. it is the law.

    look under section C labeled decorative ware. if it is not labeled as poisonous I would say it is safe to drink or eat from. I have seen these labels on products before. Plus, you probably get more lead from your drinking water than you would from eating ice cream from a leaded glass container. the food is not sitting in the glass for an extended amount of time.

  6. Anonymous says:

    IKEA marks glass that is food safe clearly on the label of that product. Anything that does not have that symbol(tindra candles included)should not be used for food or drink. The glass has limited standards it has to meet without that symbol and in the countries in which it is produced take advantage of that fact to lower costs. So, as usual, at your own risk.

  7. Anonymous says:

    So thats how its done! I’ve wondered that myself having tosses some 10+ in the trash because I didn’t know a good way to remove the wax. I donno if I’d use for eating out of even after a good washing but for holding pens, pennys or cute flower holders they’d look good as.

  8. Mitchum says:

    I emailed Ikea to get their take on it, and here’s what they said:

    Thank you for taking the time to contact us. We are always happy to hear from our customers.

    Unfortunately, because these items are made to hold candles they are not tested for food/drink safety so we can not recommend it.

    Thank you for your interest in IKEA. We do appreciate your inquiry.

    Best Regards,
    IKEA Customer Care Center

    To me, it’s worth paying $10 to buy a set of comparable drinking glasses just so there isn’t a potential of getting lead poisoning. They are nice glasses, but not worth risking my health or life.

  9. Berit says:

    Hackers, please listen to reason, and err on the side of being overly cautious!

    I am hugely in favor of up-cycling home products, but one should never take a container which was not manufactured for food and then use it for that purpose.

    My very favorite drinking glasses were formerly jam jars (Bonne Maman brand)–if I could de-thread them they would be perfection realized. I serve cream and sugar with my tea service in single-serve size Choya Umeshu glasses I decided to keep rather than trash.

    There are many worthy things to upcycle, and many ways to do it, but please do not bring things into food-class use which were not originally there at the time you initially purchased them!

    “Everyone dies sometime.” is no rationale for behavior which is deleterious to health whether it is cigarette smoking or using (in this case only potentially) unsafe-for-food containers.

    Why increase the burden on your body and immune system?

    On a positive note I adore the styling of this hack’s photo. Beautiful choices, and skillfully executed shot!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Lead can be activated in glass (crystal) by substances such as alcohol or strong citric juices. Crystal decanters that hold alcohol have been shown to posses high levels of lead that leak out of the glass over time.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Just an observation, I used these for drink glasses, found they broke far easier than other glasses of the same size/shape.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Usually even in non food containers there will be a warning if the product contains lead. It will have a prop 60 warning sticker. If you are still concerned you can get a lead tester kit. Usually oxidized lead is used in the production of crystal. You are exposed to chemicals in regular dishware, I think your fine using these.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Diana – it is actually dangerous to drink from lead crystal containers, so please think about what you say before you claim something isn’t dangerous.

  14. Anonymous says:

    There are stricter regulations for the manufacture of food safe containers that don’t apply to products that aren’t intended to be used for food storage. Lead, other heavy metals and other toxic additives can leach into food when it’s stored in improper containers. Heating food in containers made of non-food safe material is also not advised. I’m really surprised so many people aren’t aware of this issue. Be careful about what and how you reuse things and educate yourself on food safety.

  15. diana says:

    For cleaning the wax from a glass holder, i also microwave it in 10 seconds increments and wipe it with a paper towel in between, then pass it to the dishwasher. As for the lead or cadmium leaking, I don’t think crystal is unfit for drinking, and yet it’s made with a lot of lead? At least, that’s what I remember from chemistry class.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Last anonymous – Thank You for your excellent explanation. This is the gist of what I was thinking, but being in the field, you are able to provide a much better explanation and expertise. Frankly, I was surprised so many people were completely unaware that glass is not all the same.

    • Anonymous says:

      That anonymous is not able to provide a decent explanation at all. As they said, they’ve no idea what’s in the glass of these candle holders. I’d expect someone who works in the ‘cookware industry’ to demonstrate more knowledge… but that’s just me.

      There are bigger things in life to worry about.

    • Anonymous says:

      that explanation was more than adequate, but that’s just me. the internet is also helpful, for looking up things like glass manufacturing.

      how would you expect someone who isn’t involved in ikea production to know about these specific candle holders? I don’t understand..

    • V says:

      It’s actually an explanation that lacks in any facts whatsoever.

      The truth is glass is incredibly inert. Even when it has lead and other chemicals, it’s very well bound within the material. Glass is not water soluble, and most glass is also fairly acid and base resistant.

      Unless you’re drinking a citric juice that has been sitting in the glass for a couple of months, the amount of dangerous chemicals that could leak into your drink would be so minute that it would be irrelevant. You get more lead in your body on a daily basis from the traffic on the street.

  17. majeral says:

    Unless the glass has cracked there is no reason not to use. They are after all ale to stand up to heat from the candle. A run through the top rack of dishwasher with hot water, soap should do it. I would worry more about how many surfaces you have touched all day with out washing hands.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Actually, as someone who works in the cookware industry, all glass is not made the same. Often glass is made with lead or other heavy metals (e.g. cadmium), and these can often leach out if the material is not manufactured/treated/spec’ed out a certain way.

    While I cannot comment as to whether or not the glass in these candle settings are food-grade or not, it is probably best to not use them at all for food, or to minimize it.

    While lead and heavy metal poisoning may not be something we worry about as adults, a very little lead can go a very long way in the brain of a developing child…

    By the way – that is a great picture you took!

  19. Anonymous says:

    I agree they make adorable little dessert cups.

    Personally, I would never use anything that was not intended for food (especially with children or pregnant women). Obviously, there is glass that is food safe and some that is not (like with “crystal” dishes – some is food safe and some contains high amounts of lead). Like with plastics and ceramics, glass contains multiple ingredients that can vary depending on the intended use. And (although for all I know it does) I would not expect every item that is not sold for food use to contain a warning – is that vinyl shower curtain or window shade really supposed to say do not eat food off of this? But if you are an adult knowing where this came from and making your own decision to use it for food (without checking with Ikea first about the content), then that is your decision. Just don’t sue Ikea if it does turn out to be unsafe. ;)

  20. Julie says:

    How can glass possibly be dangerous for food? How utterly ridiculous! If it was, shops wouldn’t sell … er, glasses for serving drinks in, or for serving knicker-bocker-glories or other desserts.

    You can still get milk deliveries to your door in the UK … in GLASS milk bottles that get collected by the milkman, sterilised and reused daily.

  21. This is a great idea! It’s as though it was designed to be this two-in-one product!

  22. Jens Persson says:

    I tend to put things with wax in water, heat it until the wax melts and floats to the top, after cooling the wax can be removed easily.

    Regarding the danger of wax: if it was dangerous would not people get sick from liking there fingers after touching the wax or from the vapours from the burning candles?

  23. Anonymous says:

    Excellent tip. Thanks for sharing!

  24. Anonymous says:

    Haha people are too funny!!

    This is perfectly safe, and I do it with lots of different candle holders – they just make such great small glasses! Like the picture, I love them for dessert ‘bowls’, especially mousse :)

  25. masey says:

    Glass is not suitable for contact with food? Glass is the one material you can reliably sterilize for food preserving, for scientific/medical experiments…it is non-porous and probably the most cleanable material there is. If you’re worrying about this, you need to RELAX. You have way more chance of getting hurt being hit by a car on your way to work.

  26. Anonymous says:

    I use them as a whiskey glass for years now. Never noticed a toxic reaction or glass fragments in my mouth. Any explanation why these glasses should not be used for food if cleaned properly?

  27. Anonymous says:

    I’ve been doing the same since one year now, it’s just great to see it here too :)

  28. Saskia says:

    Well, if it were dangerous, don’t you think that Ikea should put out a warning? Or does Ikea expect us to just throw the glass away after the candle burned out?

    And I also know a lot of people use the Galej holder for drinking shots, never heard anything about that being dangerous either.. it’s just glass ..

    Back to the hack, great idea with the freezer thing, whole reason I never buy those candles because I don’t know how to clean and reuse them ^_^

  29. Anonymous says:

    Do not use Tindra glasses for contact with food, it’s very dangerous – glass is not suitable for contact with food!

  30. Anonymous says:

    Glas is not dangerous when its cleant in the dishwasher. I use the candleholders as iceglases for a long time now. And other IKEA glas canle holder (forgot the name) as egg-holders. Just turn them upside down…

  31. Anonymous says:

    I also clean mines (wax gets easily dissolved if you put them in warm water with a tad of soap) and use the large IKEA TINDRA tealights in them.

  32. I was going to mention the same thing as Anonymous. I would be wary of using them for food/drink unless IKEA stated they were fit for food. I just clean mine out and use votive candles and tealights in them to re-use them!

  33. fuddled says:

    Great idea! I have six of this used candle-glasses and only have to get the wax out of them. Thank you for this tutorial :)

  34. Anonymous says:

    I second the comment above mine. Are the glass and candle lead free?

  35. Anonymous says:

    Reusing the containers is great. I am not sure I would suggest using them for food though. Some fragrances and/or chemicals in the wax are very toxic and could remain in the glass. I am not sure that would happen with these, but I would be careful.

  36. Anonymous says:

    Wow, thank you!
    I’ve always wondered whether and how it would be possible to reuse the glasses as, well, glasses, but I’ve never thought of putting them in the freezer to remove the wax!
    Great idea!

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