The candle warmer it is more convenient because it is flameless. Unfortunately I don’t quite know if wax cubes I melt are phthalate-free and paraffin-free. Two things I try to avoid.
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Being a candle maker, it didn’t take me long to clue in that the only difference between a candle and a wax melt is the container and a wick. Since I make non-toxic candles, I knew I could make non-toxic wax cubes too. Here’s how.
How to Make Non-Toxic Scented Wax Melt Cubes
There are many ways to make candles. That means there are many ways to make wax warmer melts too. This tutorial will try to cover all of the methods, combinations, and types of ingredients you can use to make candle warmer cubes (including synthetic if that’s what you choose to use.
No judging either way on my end. I’m trying to provide all of the answers to all of the questions before I get them. Think of this post as a Choose Your Own Adventure Wax Warmer Tart Tutorial!
I make my candle warmer tarts leaning toward the large size but you can them as small or as large as you like!You will need:
1. Some type of candle wax
- Soy wax flakes – My favorite because soy candle wax has a lower melting point than other candle waxes I have used, doesn’t smoke or soot, is long lasting, takes scent very well, and has the best scent throw. Scent throw is candle making talk for, “smells pretty when it burns.”
Soy wax is so easy to melt nine times out of ten I melt my candle making wax in the microwave in short 30 second to 1 minute bursts.
- Bees wax flakes – Smell great on their own. A word of caution, it is best to use a scent that coordinates with its natural honey/beeswax smell. Of course you can use beeswax as it is since it is naturally scented.
- Leftover candle wax – Using old scented candle wax to make wax warmer cubes is easer than melting the last bits of candle wax to make a new candle! I don’t recommend using paraffin wax candles for this project. Paraffin wax doesn’t last long, has a hotter melt point, a weak scent throw, and smokes when burned in a candle. Not to mention, if you are trying to avoid using petroleum products, paraffin wax is not the wax for you.
I got to enjoy my Mom’s Homemade Soy Candle a little bit longer after I burned through the wick by melting the candle wax into wax warmer cubes.
- Coconut oil – Has the lowest melt point of the items listed here. It doesn’t add much or any extra scent to homemade candle warmers unlike beeswax which is a plus. In my opinion there are too many downsides to using coconut oil for wax cubes. Coconut oil cubes are sticky and do not fully harden. Coconut oil smokes in my candle warmer so I feel I need to keep an eagle eye on it at all times. The scent throw is so so. I can’t get coconut oil to work well but others have, so I’m including it here as an option although I personally I won’t use it.
2. Some type of wax melt mold (or not) – What I use generally depends upon how much wax I’m using or trying to repurpose. Here are a few suggestions:
- The wax warmer itself – I put repurposed scented soy candle wax bits directly my scented wax melter. I usually do this when I have just a bit of spent wax in the bottom of a candle jar.
After the wax melts and cools the wax will be nice and smooth.
- Ice cube tray – I recommend silicone ice cube trays since silicone holds up to heat better than plastic. However, some folks use plastic ice cube trays without incident. Let your judgment be your guide.
- Plastic condiment cups – To my friends amusement (embarrassment?) I save plastic condiment cups I get with takeout or in restaurants and use them as scented wax warmer tart molds.
I end up these things more often these days because it seems that if I order food without the milk based dressing or condiment the restaurant messes up everyone’s order including mine. If I order it on the side, all of the orders come out correct or at least with the condiments on the side so they can enjoy them. Oh, the unexpected joys of a food intolerance!
- Empty tea light tins – You might only get one reuse out of them since most tea light containers are usually flimsy metal but it is a cheap, easy, and plastic free wax warmer cube option.
- Empty wax warmer cube or tart containers – If you don’t have any empties, you can buy empty wax warmer clamshells from Amazon too.
3. Some type of scent – Again, you have several options to choose from:
- Pre-scented candle wax – Most of the time, I melt leftover scented soy candle wax from a dead candle or one with a wonky wick that won’t stay lit. This is a great way to enjoy every last bit of a scented candle after the wick burns down.
- Bees wax – if you are using bees wax flakes to make candle warmer melts it is already naturally scented!
- Essential oil – Pure essential oils cost a little more but they are made with 100% natural ingredients. Use whatever brand or scent you like. I usually buy my essential oils from Amazon here. I stick with pure essential oils instead of using fragrance oils. Why? See below.
- Fragrance oil - Fragrance oils are made with synthetic ingredients or a blend of natural and synthetic ingredients. They cost less than essential oils but may contain phalates and other nasties I like to avoid. Not to mention I think most of them smell like sickly sweet fake flower crazy old lady house smell. Yuck.
- Do not use extracts to make wax warmer melts like vanilla extract, my DIY lavender extract, or my DIY orange oil extract. Extracts are too heavy to scent candle wax and it will sink to the bottom of your candle candle wax when it hardens. Guess how I know?
4. Heat source and a glass or metal container for melting the wax – Yep, you have your choice here too.
- The wax warmer itself – Pour wax flakes into the candle warmer, turn it on or light it and allow the wax to melt. Melting candle wax chunks scooped out of a spent candle jar will work but it may take a little longer to melt than wax flakes depending upon the type of wax and the size of the chunk.
- Microwave oven – My preferred method when I’m melting old soy candles into new wax warmer melts. Be sure you remove the metal candle tab (if applicable) from the bottom of the candle jar before you melt the wax in the microwave.
I only melt soy wax in the microwave since it has a lower melt point and use 1 minute bursts until the wax is completely melted.
I’ve heard horror stories about paraffin candle wax getting too hot and catching fire when melted in a microwave oven. While I personally haven’t tested it, I won’t because FIRE. In my opinion it is yet another reason to avoid paraffin wax candles.
Tip: If you are not using soy wax beads or flakes (recommended) break the wax into small pieces so it will melt evenly.Warning: If you heat any type of wax above 200 degrees (F) your wax may burn and discolor and may be too hot to handle safely!
- Double boiler on a stove burner – If you don’t have or don’t want to ruin a double burner with candle wax, you can melt the wax use an empty can inside a metal pot filled with water on a stove burner.
5. Candle wax coloring (optional) – If your wax is already colored you are good to go. If not, you can color it using any of the following or not, it’s up to you!
- Slivers of crayon - Coloring candles with crayons can clog the wick but that shouldn’t be an issue since we aren’t using wicks. Soy crayons and conventional crayons work equally well.
- Synthetic candle dye – You may have some of the same issues with the ingredients in synthetic candle dyes as you might with fragrance oils.
- Flutter candle dye - Flutter dyes are as close to a natural candle dye as I can find. The dye carriers are 100% natural wax but the minute colorant ingredients are synthetic. However, they are phthlalate-free, petroleum-free, paraffin-free and meet all the requirements of California Proposition 65 so there’s that.
7. Potholders – To protect you from burning yourself on hot wax. Safety first!
8. Lots and lots of cardboard, old pasta boxes, etc. to protect your work area (trust me on this.)
1. Melt the wax of your choice from using the wax melting method of your choice. Please be careful, hot wax can burn your skin if you are not careful or use potholders to handle the hot wax container.
2. Add a few drops of scent to the melted wax if desired and stir it with the stir stick if applicable.
3. Add coloring to the melted wax if desired and stir it with the stir stick if applicable.
4. Wearing potholders, carefully pour the wax into the wax tart mold of your choice.
You may need to work quickly and carefully after the wax melts. My warmer tarts are started to set minutes after I poured the wax into the wax melt containers.5. Allow the wax to solidify in the wax melt container of your choice.
It shouldn’t take long for the wax to harden depending upon what type of wax you use and how large you make your wax warmer cubes.6. Remove the wax warmer cubes from the mold, pop it in your warmer, and get ready to melt!
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