Lynsey loves giving thoughtful gifts year-round, and she enjoys passing inspiration onto others.
A wax melt is a safer alternative to heating oils in your oil burner. Wax melts and tarts are used to fragrance the home and are often more cost effective than scented candles, as the scent is usually stronger.
A melt is a solid piece of wax that you place in the oil well of an oil burner or specifically made wax warmer. Wax melts can come in a variety of shapes and sizes. You can get single use melts, where you just pop one in the burner, and you can also get larger tarts, where you break off the required amount.
The tarts are quite handy as you can fragrance more than one room with these. There are a variety of fragrances available, from traditional scents to more seasonal and unusual ones. You can find more ideas about potential scents by checking out my Top 10 Favourite Yankee Scents.
What Type of Burner Should I Use for Wax Melts and Wax Tarts?
You can use wax melts in oil burners, where a candle is placed under the
oil well to heat and release the fragrance.
Similarly, you can get electric wax warmers that do the same thing but
without the flame, so these are a safer option.
There are a lot of different designs and options for wax burners, so take some time to look for one that fits in with the colour schemes and decoration of your own home. I have lots of different types of burners for each room—a skull in one room and a dragon in the other! Our home is not exactly traditionally decorated.
You can also use the tarts while candle-making for a much subtler version of the scent. Or, put a sprinkling of the wax into a candle, as long as it is not too close to the flame, and the scent will infuse mildly with the candle as it burns.
How to Use Wax Tarts
Lots of people will advise you to use the full tart, unwrap it and place it in your oil burner or tart warmer. Not only is this poor value for money, as the scent burns away quite quickly and intensely, but it also makes for a very strong smell, which can be quite overwhelming.
With that in mind, I generally cut a small hole in the wrapper and then crush and sprinkle a small amount of the tart (about the size of your thumb's fingertip) into the well of my oil burner. Not only does this mean my wax tart lasts longer, but I can also have the same scent filling more than one room in my home in a pleasant and not overly scented way! I usually have three burners on the go over the house—bedroom, lounge and bathroom, and the scent travels everywhere else anyway.
Remember, you can use candle heated oil burners or electric warmers. So even if you're nervous about candles, you can still use wax tarts.
When the scent has run out, you can either soak up the wax when it is still liquid—this will be very hot, so be careful—or you can push the solid wax out of the oil well the next time you use the burner. Timing is key, though. Heat the wax only for a few seconds, and press down on one side of the solid wax, and it should slide out.
The safest way would probably be to use some sort of implement to spoon the wax out. It should lift from the ceramic fairly easily.
How to Use Wax Melts
Wax melts are very similar to use as wax tarts, but as they are usually much smaller—you can put a full melt into your burner. Just be sure that the well in your warmer will hold the full melt in its molten form.
Whether using tarts or melts, be sure to be careful, as you will have hot wax that can cause injury. Ensure you practice good candle safety.
Where to Buy Wax Melts and Tarts
As the popularity of wax melts has grown, it is now easier than ever to buy them. I always prefer to buy any scented products in an actual store firstly, to be sure that I like the scent—particularly with the less explanatory names.
I'm quite sure I would be happy buying something like "fresh cotton" online, but "Christmas treats" may be a little harder to figure out.
Luckily, there are a lot of companies who now produce wax melts, and this means they are often found in supermarkets and gift shops. You can also get them at specialist candle stores, like Yankee Candle.
If you are unable to find a store that stocks wax melts but are desperate to try them, you'll be pleased to know that there are a lot of online retailers stocking all of the well-known brands, as well as other stockists making their own! A quick search on eBay or Amazon will usually throw up a few great bargains, especially on wholesale or job-lots!
If you are looking for something more specific, you can go to the brand's own website, where you will find a full description of the scents and products available. A quick Google search on the shopping results page will then give a list of websites that you can buy your chosen items, along with a handy price comparison.
Candle Safety Tips
When using wax melts, it is important to remember some safety tips. Mostly just common sense, but still worth mentioning, I think.
- Keep your oil burner out of reach of children.
- Don't keep your burner too high, unless you have easy access to steps to extinguish the candle. The burner will get hot, and you may drop the candle, wax and burner on yourself.
- Do not fill the wax to the brim of the burner—this makes it too easy to spill.
- Do not dip fingers into the wax. It may seem like a cool party trick, but the wax heats to high temperatures and can cause burns.
- Practice normal candle safety. Keep the flame in a clear area, free from combustibles. Remember that the heat can travel.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2015 Lynsey Hart