How to Use Wax Melts? All You Need to Know

by Anne B. Robinson

If you’re into home fragrance and tried it all, from candles to sprays and everything in between, you’ve probably heard of wax melts.

They’re a relatively new addition to the home fragrance family, but they’re gaining popularity for their advantages to traditional candles.

They’re essentially a candle’s safer, more versatile alternative. So keep reading if you’re curious about how to use wax melts!

What Are Wax Melts? Types of Wax Melts

A wax melt is a scented piece of paraffin, soy, rapeseed, or coconut wax.

Wax melts come in different form factors, from chocolate-bar-looking cubes to more fun shapes like hearts and bears.

The Difference Between Wax Melts and Candles

Unlike a scented candle that requires a wick and burns with a flame, a wax melt is heated and melted to release the fragrance into the room’s air.

How to Use Wax Melts?

Wax melts might be a bit fussy to figure out but ultimately straightforward to use. Follow these steps to make the process easier and get the best experience out of your wax melts.

Step #1

To use a wax melt, first, you need to get a wax melt burner. These burners have different models and operate in different ways. Ultimately, they heat the wax melt slowly and gradually to release the fragrance.

wax melt burner

Electric wax burners either use a light bulb to heat the wax, a heating plate, or a built-in ceramic heater. You can also get wax burners that use a tea light as their means of heat production.

If you’re using a wax melt to avoid the flame of a regular scented candle, electric wax burners are your go-to choice. If you don’t mind a tiny tea light that will extinguish itself in about 4 hours, you can add that to your options as well.

Step #2

Line your wax burner dish with a reusable liner, or skip this step if your burner comes with a silicone dish for easy cleanup.

Put a cube (or heart or bear) of your wax melts into the dish and plug in your burner. It takes a few minutes until the wax fully melts and the fragrance fills the room.

If you’re a bit adventurous, you can experiment with mixing scents that can go together. Our favorites are citrus and herbs for a cozy, wintery vibe, or multiple floral fragrances that go well together for a fresh spring feel.

If your burner comes with a timer, it’s best to set it, so you don’t leave the burner running for longer than you need. If not, just set a timer on your phone so you don’t forget to unplug or put out the burner.

Step #3

Once you’re done with your wax melt for the day, unplug the burner or put out the tea light.

You should leave the whole set-up to cool completely and the wax to harden before moving the burner to another room.

How to Use a Wax Melt Without a Burner?

If you don’t want to buy a special burner, you can treat your wax melt to a bain-marie.

This method involves heating up some water in a bowl till it boils, putting a slightly smaller bowl on top, then putting the wax melt in the smaller bowl.

The steam from the boiling water will melt the wax gently without scorching it, and the scent will be released just like in a regular burner.

How Long Does It Take to Replace Wax Melts?

You can reuse the same wax melt over and over until it stops producing fragrance. Most brands specify the number of hours before your wax melt loses its scent.

When your wax melt loses its fragrance, it’s time to change it with a fresh one. Using a liner will make the process much easier, but even if you don’t, you can take care of it.

Just turn on the burner for a few seconds to slightly melt the bottom of the wax puck, then slide it out of the dish.

If you’re using a silicone dish, just leave the wax in its hardened state and pop it out. Then, you can wipe the dish with a paper towel and you’re good to go.

You can use baby oil on a paper towel to clean up the melting dish. However, you should avoid using harsh chemicals that can damage your dish and burn off with the wax in future melts.

How to Use Wax Melts Safely?

Make sure you practice good judgment about where to place your wax burner. Keep it away from the reach of children and pets because it will be filled with very hot, melted wax within minutes of operation.

It’s also critical not to touch the outside of the burner while it’s heating the wax melt since the whole body gets hot. If you want to move it, leave it for a couple of hours after you unplug it before you touch it.

You should also make sure the electric cord can’t be snagged away while it’s on, as it will send molten hot wax flying everywhere. Nobody wants that on their furniture or carpets!

What Are the Pros and Cons of Wax Melts?

As an avid fan of the scented candle, you may be on the fence about transitioning to wax melts. Well, wax melts have their pros and cons, and we’ll list them below so you can make a decision.


  • Don’t require an open flame and don’t produce smoke.
  • You can mix and match scents by using multiple melts at once.
  • Wax burners double as beautiful decor pieces or night lights.
  • Using soy, rapeseed, or coconut wax melts is pet-friendly.


  • Require a separate melting device.
  • The risk of melted wax spilling.
  • Electric wax burners can be dangerous around pets and children.
  • Not as many scents are available as with scented candles.

To Wrap Up

Wax melts are an interesting new addition to the world of home fragrance. They’re similar enough to scented candles without the unpleasant smoke or open flame hazards.

Using wax melts is a new experience, especially since they require a warming device. However, it can become a favorite daily ritual as you can mix and match what scents you’ll use each time.

Just make sure to follow a few safety steps to avoid any unpleasant accidents. After all, anyone with a pet knows how inquisitive they can be!

Once you get the hang of using wax melts, you’ll start suggesting them to anyone you know. Or maybe, make a holiday gift set with a wax burner, liners, and a selection of fragrances for your loved ones in the next holiday!

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