Updated: Sep 16, 2021
Wax melts have become increasingly popular in recent years, but for those who are new to the humble wax melt, what are they, how do you use them, and why might you choose them over a scented candle? We will explain all!
Wax melts are made by melting wax and adding fragrance oil, or essential oils, in a similar way to making candles, but instead the mixture is poured into small moulds to set. Melts are designed to be melted in a wax warmer/melter. As they melt, the fragrance oils are warmed and release their scent. Melters can be either electric, with a low powered light to warm the dish above it, or they use tealights to warm the dish above. It is important to ensure that melts are only used in melters designed for wax melts, and not in oil burners, which are usually much smaller and have a shorter distance between the heat source and dish. Oil burners get too hot for wax melts and can be dangerous, not to mention they burn off the fragrance too quickly. It is also important to only ever use a standard 4 hour tealight in a melter as larger ones are dangerous.
Although there is nothing quite like a candle, with its atmospheric flickering glow, wax melts have several advantages over scented candles. The wax reaches a higher temperature in the dish of a melter than it does in a candle's melt pool, which means more of the scent is released into the air, and yet because there is no hot flame in direct contact, less of the oil is actually burned off. This means that melts give an exceptional 'scent throw', which is also long lasting. It is also much easier to scent your room/house 'on demand' with melters, since there is no need to worry about extinguishing candles too soon, potentially causing tunnelling of the wax. When you have had enough, or the scent has filled the room, simply switch off your electric melter, or extinguish the tealight, and relight again whenever you want. The same melt can remain in the dish and be remelted as many times as you like, and only needs to be removed once the scent has faded or if you fancy a change!
Another key difference between melts and candles is that it is the amount of oil in the melt that determines the strength of the scent given off, rather than the concentration (warning: here comes the science bit...). So if you had one 10 g melt with 5% fragrance oil, and one 20 g melt with 2.5% fragrance oil, they should - in theory at least, other factors are are play - deliver the same amount of 'scent throw' when melted, since they both contain 0.5 g of oil. This feature of melts allows greater flexibility over the strength of fragrance given off, depending on your preference or size of room. If you have a very small room, you may wish to cut your melt in half since this may be more than enough to fill the room with fragrance. Alternatively, if you are using the melter in a very large room, you might want to use two melts at a time for a stronger fragrance, if your melter dish is big enough. You can also 'top up' as the scent from the first melt begins to fade, by simply adding another to the dish. Some melts come as snap bars (which look a bit like chocolate bars) so that you can decide how big a piece to use.
Like candles, it is possible to create melts using fragrance oils (synthetic chemical fragrances) or with essential oils. In our case we offer both! Our Essential Collection melts are perfect for those looking for a naturally fragranced product - we don't use any additives, dyes or synthetic fragrances. And because we use only therapeutic-grade essential oils our melts provide a truly aromatherapeutic experience. Meanwhile our scented collection melts are made with exceptional quality fragrance oils and offer strong and long lasting fragrance. And at only £4.95 for a pack of 6 melts they are also a really cost effective way to try out a new fragrance before investing in a candle of the same.
One of the things we love so much about melts is they really can be such an eco-friendly option with minimal waste, especially if using an electric melter. Our melts have minimal packaging and are sold in small compostable bags. We don't use plastic clamshells, pots or molds, we don't use unnecessary dyes or glitter, just wax and fragrance. And as one small 20 g melt will fill your room with beautiful fragrance for 8-12 hours, they are super economical too.
Finally of course, another benefit of melts is that you can opt for an electric melter, which means you can have an entirely flame-free experience, so you can enjoy the fragrance of a scented candle without the hazard of a flame, which can be ideal for those with disabilities or those with small children.