How to Use Up EVERY Last Bit {Food, Candles and Toiletries}

April 14, 2022

Three easy ways to use up the last little bit of SO many items in your home!

I really hate throwing away unused product or food. It's one of my things...and probably stems from the "clean plate club" mindset I still fight in my head as an adult. ;) 

It just bugs me to let things go to waste...I used to tear containers apart just to get the last little bit of lotion inside. (Have you seen how much is left in there?)

Over the years I've found some really easy ways to use up every little bit of food, toiletries and even candles...and am sharing a few today!

Mini spatulas for food, condiments and toiletries.

The first item is such a great little gadget and it's helpful for ALL kinds of things! These tiny little scrapers help to get a lot more use out of so many items: 
mini spatula set for food lotion

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These baby spatulas are too cute and so useful! The larger one has a really long handle and a larger (mini) spatula, and is ideal for getting all of the food out of jars. 

It's great for food in jars or the sticky peanut butter that holds onto the sides and deep corners: 
tiny spatulas for food in jars

The jars look like you licked them clean when you use this little doodad! (They also come in a gray/aqua version if pink isn't your thing.)

The smaller spatula is perfect for smaller containers like lotions and creams. One of the only beauty items I splurge on is this eye cream, because it works and a little goes a long way. 

When the pumper stops working, I know there's plenty still left in there: 
mini spatulas for lotion

I use the little spatula to dig the remaining cream out of the lid and bottle. I can get another week or two out of the product. (And I use this twice a day!)

I LOVE these cute baby spatulas! They have proven to be super helpful around the house. 

These can be used for digging out everything from lipstick and foundation to jelly and coconut oil.

Use up the remaining wax in your candles. 

I hate when our candles stop burning when there's quite a bit of wax left in the container. I've noticed that good, quality candles will burn more evenly and down to the bottom more than others. 

But even that last bit can be used! And so often the jars or vessels are way too nice to throw out. 

There are many ways to remove the wax from the bottom of a candle, but the easiest I've found is to just place it in the freezer for a few hours. 

Once cold enough, the wax contracts and should break away easily: 
easy way get wax out of candle

Usually I just have to tap it on a surface upside down, or you can use a butter knife to cut into it and break it up. 

Remove the old wicks, and then use the remaining hard wax in wax warmers: 
white wax warmer

I love the scent of this candle, and the warmers let off the smell just as well as burning candles. (This plug in wax warmer is similar to mine.)

You can keep leftover wax sealed up for a long time! I used my awesome dissolvable pantry labels so I can remember what this scent is: 
how to use up wax candles

You can also make your leftover wax into adorable wax melts by melting the wax down and pouring it into silicon molds (the smaller ones for chocolates or ice are ideal for this). 

Package them in a cute container and all that wax at the bottom of your candles becomes a really sweet little gift!

And if your candle container is cute, reuse it! I've used candle jars as vases, planters or a decorative place to store small items: 
reusing decorative candles

We have a local candle company that will refill vessels for a discount -- I love that there's no waste! If you can't refill them, think about using them in other ways around the house. 

You'll be able to reuse the whole candle by doing this!

By the way, these little scrapers are AWESOME as well...
scraper for wax or price stickers

They are great for removing price tag residue, dried paint and tons more. You can also use this to remove any remaining stuck candle wax. 

Get the last bit of toothpaste, gels and lotions!

And finally, my last little "use every bit" hack! We've used these toothpaste squeezers for years and I love them!: 
toothpaste lotion squeezer

Slide the on the end of your toothpaste tube and push it as you use it up. It moves all of the paste that would normally stay stuck to the insides towards the opening. 

These are especially helpful as you get closer to the end of the tube. I am able to get every minuscule bit of toothpaste out and I love it! :) 
We use these squeezers for small ointments and lotions as well! 

As long as the end of the tube fits inside, it will squish the product out. 

A few other favorite ways to use up products around the house:

  • Contact solution will get you a few more weeks out of mascara and eyebrow gel. Just put a few drops in and it will moisturize what's left and make it easier to apply.
  • I always add a little water into our soap dispensers when they get to the bottom. Not a ton, but just a bit. Shake them up and you'll get another week or two out of it.
  • Use a few drops of nail polish thinner (not remover!) to make dried up or thick nail polish useful again.
  • I add room temp water to latex paint that has started to dry up. Start with a little and stir to see if you need more. Mineral spirits work as well, but water always does the job for me.

Have you tried any of these tricks? I'd love to hear what you do as well! The products pay for themselves very quickly because you can get so much more use out of everything.

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  1. I just use binder clips for my things in tubes. I already have them so no need to buy anything. I also cut open lotion bottles to get all of it out. There's at least 1/4 of a bottle left inside when it doesn't pump anymore. I hate waste and I'm cheap so win win for me.
    Never heard of nail polish thinner so I'll have to look it up.

  2. We are such kindred spirits! I am also adamant about using up products. No waste in my household.

  3. Kindred spirits. Thanks for some new ideas.

  4. Thanks for the links. I just ordered the spatulas. It drives me crazy to toss out good product because I can't get it out of the bottom of the container.

  5. I'm local to the Indy suburbs as well and would love to know which local candle company will refill containers!!

    1. Unplug Soy refills their containers for a discount! I have reused them over and over!

  6. Thanks for the tips. I also hate waste. Your uses for leftover wax and the candle containers are really great! I use the toothpaste squeezers and I am always cutting open empty tubes to scrape out the rest of the product. Amazon has cosmetic containers in lots of different sizes. They are mostly used by people who make their own cosmetics. I found some 5 gram containers that are perfect for storing those dabs from the inside of the makeup, hand lotion, and other tubes. I use a removeable label (like ones that come with pantry containers or you can even use a piece of Washi Tape) so that I can reuse the container for the next tube that gets cleaned out. I just added the spatulas and scraper to my shopping list.

  7. Some great ideas here! I use Aveeno lotion and there is always a good 2" of lotion left in the bottom of the bottle so I cut the bottle and scrape out the lotion into a small empty plastic container to keep in my nightstand. I use that lotion on my feet before bed!


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