Warming scented wax is a method for releasing fragrances. Wax warmers differ from candle warmers in that this scenting method uses wax melts or tarts, which are pre-portioned pieces similar to the wax used in candles. Here are 10 facts about devices designed to warm wax to help you decide on the most effective and safe way to scent your home or workplace.
1. Wax Warmers Are Used for Home Scenting
Warmers for wax are an increasingly popular method of home scenting. Many people want to reduce the risk of fire associated with candles and air quality issues caused by burning wicks. Warmers that rely on tea lights or other open flames still involve candles and combustion. Look for electric warmers that plug into outlets or run on battery power.
Depending on the design of a warmer, you can put wax melts or tarts in a dish and activate the heat source. Wax warmers may have bottom light, hot plate or overhead designs. Bottom light warmers often feature an electric light bulb in a ceramic or metal container with a bowl on top that holds the wax. Hot plate warmers and overhead warmers are more common candle warmer designs.
As wax melts or tarts heat up in a warmer, these pieces release any fragrances that are mixed with the wax. Based on the formula, scented wax may contain artificial fragrances or natural essential oils. In general, artificial fragrances are more stable and potent than essential oils. Essential oils are preferable for aromatherapy, particularly when paired with beeswax, soy wax or palm wax.
2. Wax Warmers Differ From Candle Warmers
Candle warmers are designed to be used with conventional candles, such as jar candles. Using a heated electric warmer that is designed for candles can reduce the risk of fire associated with open flame. It is still advisable to monitor any hot equipment in use to reduce risks of burns or combustion. Warmers that have built-in timers or devices connected to timer plugs can also help to minimize fire risks.
A wax warmer cannot be used to warm a candle. Wax for these devices comes in pre-portioned cubes or tarts that are placed in a bowl or tray. Wax warmers liquify these pieces to release a fragrance. Most wax melts release scent for up to 10 hours.
Candle warmers will eventually deplete the scent from candles. Once a candle has been used with a warmer, the smell released by burning the wick will be weaker or non-existent. It can also be difficult to control the concentration of fragrances released from a candle warmer compared to a wax warmer or an even more precise scent diffusion system.
3. Some Wax Warmers Are Flame-Free
Warmers for wax can feature several sources of heat. You should be aware of which type of heating element is used in your wax warmer. A tealight warmer is designed so that a lit tealight candle is situated under the wax bowl or tray. Tea lights typically have burn times under four hours.
While tealights should safely self-extinguish when the wick has burned through, it is still advisable to monitor any open flames in your home. According to the National Candle Association, an average of 21 home candle fires are reported every day. Wax warmers that rely on an open flame for heat still introduce chemicals released during combustion as the tealight wick burns. This source of heat is also less powerful and less consistent than electric bulbs.
If you want to reduce your fire risk, minimize soot and have more control over the strength of a scent, you should consider a flame-free warmer. You can choose from warmers that run on batteries or plug into the wall. Many warmer models rely on electric lightbulbs to give off enough heat to melt wax.
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4. Warmed Wax Can Release Scent For up to 10 Hours
Wax that contains fragrance oils or essential oils can release scent for up to 10 hours. The composition of melts or tarts will determine the throw, or spread, of the scent. Other important factors include the quality of fragrance or essential oils, the ideal temperature range for the type of wax being used and the temperature settings of wax warmers.
Fragrance oils that are formulated for candle use are more predictable in terms of scent performance and strength than essential oils. Artificial fragrances also tend to be less expensive and are less likely to cause allergic reactions than essential oils.
Large quantities of natural products are also necessary to render small amounts of essential oil. For example, as much as 250 pounds of lavender are required to make just one pound of lavender essential oil. Synthetic versions of naturally inspired scents may also perform better than essential oils in terms of consistency, stability and throw.
5. Some Warmers Work With Both Essential Oils and Wax
Some warmers are designed to work with both wax and essential oils. If you are interested in using a warmer for aromatherapy purposes, you may want to select a model that has this option. If you decide to put essential oils in a warmer rated for this usage, try mixing a few drops of essential oil with water in the warming dish. You can control the strength of the scent by adding more oil for a stronger smell or more water to dilute the mixture.
Wax warmers are the best solution for wax-based home scenting, as wax diffusers are not available. If you are concerned about exposure to artificial fragrance or petroleum byproducts, you can select wax melts made with essential oils and beeswax or soy, palm or other plant-derived waxes.
Keep in mind that oil and water will evaporate, unlike wax. It is necessary to monitor a warmer during scenting sessions with essential oils and turn off the device as soon as the mixture of water and oil is depleted. A fragrance diffuser is the safest hands-off approach to scenting.
6. The Location of a Warmer Affects Scent Throw
A wax warmer in a part of your home where air currents do not carry the scent may not be as effective as a well-placed warmer. If you are experiencing weak scenting, you should check the heating element, where the warmer is situated and the concentration of fragrance in wax melts.
Wax warmers are most effective for scenting limited areas. If you want to scent your entire home or more than one area of a workplace, you will need more than one wax warmer. It can be difficult to monitor multiple warmers and maintaining scent may require frequent replacement of wax melts or tarts.
The most consistent way to spread scent throughout a structure is to connect a fragrance diffuser to the outflow ducting of a central air system. If you want to use different scents in different rooms or areas, fragrance diffuser units can also operate in standalone mode. Whole Home Scenting diffusers use 300 mL fragrance bottles that can last up to two months on average customer settings.
7. The Heating Element in a Warmer Impacts Performance
Wax warmers that plug into the wall or rely on batteries to illuminate electric bulbs tend to be more effective at heating wax quickly and maintaining temperatures than tealight warmers or other designs that depend on an open flame.
Electric warmers provide more consistent and reliable heat than warmers that rely on candles. This can be helpful depending on the type of fragrance oil or essential oil mixed with wax. Subtle-smelling oils may not release as much scent as premium fragrance oils.
A 40-watt electric bulb is the highest recommended wattage for any wax warmer. Higher bulb wattages shorten the life of the scents released from wax. In general, it is a good idea to account for the strength of warmers and the number of warmers you plan to use in the space you want to scent.
8. Wax Warmer Power Should Correspond to Room Size
A warming bulb wax warmer used in a large space should have a 40W bulb for maximum efficacy. It may be necessary to use more than one warmer equipped with bulbs of this wattage to completely scent a large indoor area.
Wax warmers with bulbs rated between 15W and 35W can be sufficient for scenting smaller spaces. Once again, multiple warmers may be necessary to achieve consistent scent levels throughout a home or workplace. The costs associated with using warmers goes up based on the number of warmers you need to scent a home or workplace and the rate at which you go through wax melts in warmers.
It may take some trial and error to match the right warmer model and heat source with the right wax melts. In general, melts made with artificial fragrances tend to have more throw and scent stability than melts that are made with essential oils.
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9. Wax Composition and Quantity Determine Scent Strength
The composition of melts or tarts can also affect the strength of a scent. While paraffin wax or gel wax consisting of mineral oil and resin can allow for a strong scent throw, many people prefer to use more natural alternatives as mediums for releasing fragrances. Beeswax, soy wax and palm wax are three popular options for use in wax warmers.
The type of wax used in melts or tarts affects the throw of fragrance, as does the composition of scents. Fragrance oils tend to have a wider throw and linger longer than essential oils. Every wax melt has an ideal melt pool temperature range for achieving scent throw. It is important to select the right melts for your warmer.
Generally speaking, the amount of fragrance that is added to wax during the manufacturing process does not directly increase the scent throw or strength of melts. It is more important to use melts that contain a good pairing of wax and high-quality fragrance compounds in a warmer that can reach and maintain the optimal temperature range.
10. Scent Diffusers Are More Cost-Effective Than Wax Warmers
Warmers that are designed for wax are good alternatives to candle warmers, but both of these scenting methods are less precise and reliable than fragrance diffusion. Whole Home Scenting diffusers use specialized fragrance blends that combine safe artificial and natural ingredients for optimal performance.
Diffusers make it easy to set the concentration of a scent and the frequency with which it gets released. Wax warmers are less precise in both senses, as the performance of melts is based on the composition of the wax and fragrance oil mixture and the heating specifications of warmer units.
Scent diffuser systems eliminate most of the guesswork associated with using warmers. You can rely on a diffuser connected to central air or operating in standalone mode to perform in accordance with the system settings. Whole Home Scenting fragrance bottles also only need to be replaced every one to two months, while wax melts or tarts can only release scent for up to 10 hours before requiring replacement.
Deciding Whether To Use Wax Warmers
Warmers for wax are one way to get around lighting candles to scent your home or workplace. Wax melts and tarts are wickless and do not produce soot. The type of wax and fragrances used in these products will determine whether wax warmers release alkanes, toluene or other potentially allergenic and toxic compounds along with scents.
Whole Home Scenting fragrances are liquid formulas made with ingredients that the International Fragrance Association deems safe for use at 100% concentration. Many of these scents combine fragrance oils and essential oils for optimal performance. Fragrance blends for Whole Home Scenting diffuser systems are ultimately more cost-effective and reliable than wax melts and warmers.
These facts about wax warmers can point you toward the best home fragrance solution. A Whole Home Scenting fragrance diffuser works automatically and only requires upkeep every couple of months. Diffusers that can connect to central air or function as standalone units stand out as the most effective way to scent any space.