What is a wax melt
Wax melts are wick-less cubes of wax and fragrance oils that melt in a wax warmer that fill your room with lovely scents, and they’re very easy to make!
You can easily create them using almost any wax combined with essential oils, fragrance oils, and any number of interesting decorations (such as lavender petals or peeled orange) and colours. The popularity of wax melts has increased massively in recent years, they're a perfect addition to homes. As they have no wick, you don't need a lighter to "flame" them. The "melting" of the wax is caused by the heat and/or light from your appliance, such as a candle warmer, tea warmer, or electric burner.
Pros & Cons of homemade wax melts
Easy to use: Wax melts are simple to use, requiring only a wax warmer or burner and a few wax melts to create a pleasant aroma in your home.
Long-lasting: Compared to candles, wax melts last longer and can provide a continuous scent for hours.
Variety of scents: Wax melts come in a wide variety of scents, making it easy to find a fragrance that suits your preferences.
Safer than candles: Because wax melts are flameless, they are safer to use than candles and do not pose a fire risk.
Environmentally friendly: Wax melts are often made from natural ingredients such as soy wax or beeswax, making them a more eco-friendly option than candles made from petroleum-based wax.
Requires equipment: You will need a wax warmer or burner to use wax melts, which may be an additional expense if you don't already have one.
Can be messy: When wax melts, it can become liquid and spill if the warmer or burner is knocked over or moved.
Difficult to control scent strength: With wax melts, it can be difficult to control the strength of the scent, which may be overwhelming for some people.
Need to change out melts frequently: Once the scent has dissipated, you will need to remove the wax melt and replace it with a new one to continue enjoying the fragrance.
Limited burn time: While wax melts last longer than candles, they still have a limited burn time and will need to be replaced after a certain period of use.
What you need to make wax melts
First we need to find some ingredients and equipment.
- -Wax of your choice (make sure it has a high scent throw). I recommend soy wax, but other waxes work too. There are tons of places where you can get these in bulk online; otherwise, they will be labelled at craft stores or art supply stores. Soy wax is the best type for this project, but beeswax is really great too! Of course you can also use other eco friendly waxes. You also need to make sure you're using wax that sets hard and is specifically designed for creating wax melts, certain types of candle wax can be too soft and won't work when you're creating homemade wax melts.
- -Fragrance oils, which can be found online easily. We've got several articles on choosing the best fragrance oils.
- -A large pot (if you choose to make larger batches).
- -Something for stirring the wax as it melts. I recommend using a metal spoon or spatula.
- -A thermometer (or two if you choose to make large batches).
- -Something sturdy for keeping your molds in place while they're cooling. I used a Bundt pan upside down and my silicone mold.
- -Some tongs or another tool to remove wax from the heat.
- -A mold (silicone works best)
- -A notepad to jot down your wax melt recipe - this will help you as you test and trial different scented wax melts.
You can easily find some cheap silicone molds from a lot of craft websites or even amazon. You can also make your own molds using paper cups, muffin pans or plastic plates.
How to make wax melts
First we want to melt some wax in a double boiler . A double boiler is a pot that sits outside of another pot containing water. The idea behind this setup is to have the hot water from the bottom pot heat your wax without melting it. (If you're using essential oils remember to keep them away from any flames.)
We want to heat the wax up until its around 75.c to 80.c (167.f to 176.f) . This is the perfect temperature for pouring it into our mold without having it set right away.
Once the wax reaches this temperate, we will take our pot out of the double boiler. Let the wax cool to between 70.c and 75.c and we will add our fragrance oil, give it a good stir and let it sit for 2 minutes.
After that we are going to pour the melted wax into our mold. (Use caution when pouring, you don't want your wax to spill.)
Now just let this sit for 2 or 3 hours and you should be able to remove your scented candles from their molds! Enjoy. It's best to cure anything wax related, store them for 48 hours before popping them out, it allows the molecules to bind to the fragrance oils better.
Common issues with homemade wax melts
Uneven colouring: If you don't mix the wax dye well enough, you may end up with wax melts that have uneven colouring.
Poor scent throw: If you don't use enough fragrance oil or essential oils, your wax melts may not have a strong enough scent when melted.
Wax not melting properly: If you don't use a double boiler or a heat-safe container and a saucepan to melt the wax, the wax may not melt properly and may become lumpy or grainy.
Wax melting too quickly or too slowly: If you don't use a thermometer to monitor the wax temperature, the wax may melt too quickly or too slowly, which can affect the quality of your wax melts.
Difficulty removing the wax melts from the mold: If you don't use a mold release spray or if you don't wait for the wax to cool and set completely, you may have difficulty removing the wax melts from the mold.
To avoid these issues, be sure to follow the instructions carefully and use high-quality materials. If you encounter any issues, try adjusting your technique or recipe until you find a method that works well for you.
This is just a quick guide to making wax melts at home, it can be fun rewarding and much cheaper than constantly buying them if you're a candle junkie.
Give it a shot and see how you fair!
We've also made several useful articles about candle making and choosing the right candle ingredients.