Wax melts are scented molds of wax that can be melted in the home to create enticing aromas. Making them from home is cost-efficient and enables the ability to customize the scents that are being released as well as the potency of the smells. Wax melts go by many names including candle melts, candle tarts and wax cubes. Whatever name you choose, they will be sure to add a fresh, pleasing aroma to any home.
Ingredients You'll Need
- Double boiler or hot plate
- Weight scale
- Hard wax of choice (paraffin, soy, beeswax)
- Candle-safe fragrance oil
- Candle dye
Deciding on Wax Type
There are specific types of soy wax, beeswax and paraffin that work best for making wax melts. Types that will produce the best results are hard so that the wax isn't too sticky to remove from the molding, as this creates a mess.
The waxes should also have a melting point of 145 degrees Fahrenheit or less so that they will be able to melt in a tart warmer.
The chemical makeup of each wax should also be considered because it will be burned, releasing the chemicals inside the wax. Paraffin is formed from the process of refining oil and can release cancer-causing chemicals, as shown in an American Chemical Society study from 2009. An option like 100 percent beeswax provides air-purifying qualities that may be more desirable than paraffin. Soy waxes are cleaner than paraffin as well, with no toxins or pollutants emitted by being burned.
Melting the Wax
Take the weight scale and measure out 1 pound of wax to be melted. Place this wax in a double boiler. A double boiler consists of a large pot of water with a pouring pot inside so that the temperature of the smaller pot never reaches past 212 degrees Fahrenheit.
Place the double boiler on a stove or hot plate and melt the wax until it reaches 175 degrees Fahrenheit. Pay attention to the water in the bottom pan and add more as the water level lowers. Keep the thermometer inside the liquid wax when it starts melting to make sure it doesn't surpass the necessary temperature.
Remove the wax from the heat source and add the desired fragrance and dyes. The wax should still be around 160 degrees Fahrenheit, so pour it into the heat-safe molds and let cool for about two hours before using.
The main reason that wax tarts are melted is for their invigorating scent. Choosing the right fragrance is important to prevent any toxic chemical inhalation and adding just the right amount enables maximum scent without becoming overpowering when melted.
The best fragrances to use are candle fragrances, as they are specifically made for being melted with wax. Essential oils and perfume are extremely volatile to heat because they generally have low flash points. They can also release harmful formaldehydes that are known carcinogens.
After your wax has been melted and taken off of the heat, add the candle-safe fragrance of choice. The recommended fragrance amount for 1 pound of wax is approximately 1 ounce, but up to 10 percent of the total weight of the wax can be added and still throw the scent well when burned. Soy tarts distribute scents more evenly than paraffin or beeswax, so take this into consideration when deciding on wax type.
Selecting a Dye
Once the wax is melted and fragrance is added, a dye can be added to achieve a desired color. You might think coloring wax is easy by adding crayons; however, crayons are not suitable for wax melting as they are chemically made to resist heat. It takes quite a lot of heat to melt a crayon, so specific candle dyes are best for adding color.
Dye chips produce a light color in soy and paraffin wax and generally require more to reach the desired color. Liquid dyes can produce broad shades of colors depending on the amount added. Dye blocks produce the largest range of shades, so these are recommended to achieve vibrant colors in any kind of wax.
Tips for Melting Wax
- Always use a double boiler to prevent overheating the wax.
- Watch the wax constantly and never leave the room when it is being melted.
- Do not go over 10 percent fragrance load as the wax will not absorb past 10 percent.