All About Wax Melts - FAQ

General Info This Website Review Service

Learn all about wax melts in this FAQ, what they are and how they're used, definitions, how to use this website, how we perform wax melt reviews, and more!

Wax melts are basically wickless candles! Just put a wax cube or two into a wax warmer, and as the wax melts and releases the scent into the air, your room or house will smell fantastic within about 20 minutes.

Wax melts are safer than candles because there's no flame and no glass to break, healthier because there is no soot, easier to store because they're very small, and in general they're cheaper. With wax melts, it's easy to blend scents — just put one or half a cube of each scent into the warmer (although with candles you can simply burn two candles of different scents).

Candles provide ambience with their warm glow (although many wax warmers also come with lightbulbs), they can be used for lighting during a power outage, and they're more popular than melts (so there are more candle brands and scents than wax melts). Candles can be less of a fuss, with no messy wax to handle or warmers to clean — just light it!

Wax brands fall into one of three categories: Retail, Vendor, and Direct Sales.

Retail Wax
Retail wax melts are brands that are sold in large and chain stores, and national gift shops. These include ScentSationals, Better Homes & Gardens, Goose Creek Candle, Sonoma (Kohl's), Living Colors (at Big Lots), Tuscany Candle, Yankee Candle, and many more. Retail wax is also wax made by large companies that might only (or mostly) be sold online (like Hanna's Candle), but because they're large companies and the wax is generally made in a factory rather than someone's home, they are considered retail.

The biggest benefit of buying retail wax is that if you buy it from a brick & mortar store, you can sniff it before you buy it. That way you're only buying scents that you like. Buying wax melts from a store provides instant gratification... no waiting for your order to ship, or shipping fees.

Vendor Wax
Vendor ("Indie") wax melts are made by individual vendors. They're often made in someone's home, or maybe a small shop, and they're either sold online or locally at flea markets or small neighborhood shops. There are thousands of wax vendors, and just like retail melts, the quality varies widely, from poor to excellent, and everything in-between

When you buy vendor wax, you're supporting a small business and dealing with the owner personally. Also, many independent wax vendors get very creative with their scent blends, so often you can find scents that you would never find in a retail store. On the other hand, if it's not a well-known company, you don't know if they're reputable or if their wax melts are any good. Some wax vendors take a very long time to ship, because they're making the melts on their own and might be doing it part-time.

Vendor wax can be found on websites such as Etsy, Amazon, eBay, Facebook, and more. Popular vendors will often have a strong social media presence, and a good place to start is on Facebook. Just do a search for wax melts. You can join wax melt groups and ask questions to find out which vendors have the best melts.

Direct Sales Wax
Direct sales wax is sold by commissioned salespeople, and consists of brands such as Scentsy, PartyLite, Pink Zebra, and Jewelry in Candles. Usually the only way you can buy these wax melts is through a rep. You can find reps in your area on the websites, but a good rep doesn't need to be local, since they will ship your wax. Direct sales wax tends to be quite expensive, and the quality varies as much as retail or vendor wax. Just because it's more expensive doesn't make it better; remember that these companies have to pay commissions to their salespeople, so the price of the wax includes that overhead.

"Throw" is how far the scent reaches ("throws") when it's melting. What influences the wax throw the most is the wax itself, whether it's the type of wax used (paraffin tends to perform best, while soy tends to not perform as well, although a lot of wax is made with a blend), or the quality of the scented oils used, or the scent itself (some scents are just inherently light throwers), the particular batch, or the age of the wax and how it's stored (high quality wax can last for years if kept in a cool place away from natural light, and if any holes or breaks in the clamshell are taped over). However, external influences also play a large role in the throw, including room size, room shape, room temperature, open windows and breezes, air conditioning and heat, traffic in the room, location of the warmers, and the type and wattage of the warmer in which it's melting.

There are no "standard" throw scores for wax melts, so we use scale of 0 to 5. Most people prefer a strong to bold throw, but some people prefer a milder throw for, say, a bedroom or baby's room, especially if it's a strong scent.

ScoreDescripHow Far Scent Travels Old Score
(before 11/1/22)
1Weak Less than 3 feet away0.00 and 1.00
2Mild Several yards away, small room (< 30 sqft)2.00 and 2.50
3Medium Medium room (30 to 100 sqft)3.00
4Strong Large room (100 to 300 sqft)3.50 and 4.00
5Bold Entire floor or house5.00

You can have a strong scent that doesn't throw well, or a weak scent that does throw well. Strong scents are usually in the bakery category, such as cinnamon based scents, as well as some peppermint, citrus and pine scents. Other scents may be lighter, such as florals and vanilla scents. In general, strong scents throw well and light scents don't throw as well, but there are often exceptions. A particular cinnamon scent might be strong on cold sniff (the scent of the wax before it's melted), but when melting you can barely smell it from a few feet away. Or a particular light floral may not hit you in the face when you walk into the room, but it has a very subtle fragrance that wafts through the entire house.

A wax warmer is what the wax gets melted in. Just put 1 to 2 cubes of wax in the tray (one should be enough), and turn the warmer on. There are two general types of wax warmers: tabletop warmers (which sit on a desk or table) and wall warmer (smaller warmers that plug directly into a wall without a cord).

There are 3 main types of tabletop warmers: tealight warmers, bulb warmers, and hot plate warmers:

Tealight warmers don't use electricity; they use small tealight candles to provide the heat. Tealight warmers are very cheap because they simply house the tealight and wax. The throw may vary more with tealight warmers than other types, because the heat is more susceptible to temperature fluctuations in the room, breezes, traffic, etc. Plus the addition of a flame makes then less safe than other types of warmers.

Bulb warmers use light bulbs to provide the heat.

Hot plate warmers use a heating element. These warmers distribute the heat the most evenly.

Warmers come in a variety of styles and colors, and you may find that one type does better in a room than another.

Warmer wattage and how it affects throw
Warmers generally range in watts from 13W to 30W. Most tabletop warmers are 20W or 24W. Wall warmers use a small 15W bulb. Tabletop lightbulb warmers use light bulbs between 10W and 30W, but usually 25W.

Usually the wattage is not disclosed on the package, but will be listed on the bottom of the unit next to the volts and Hz measurement, for instance "110-120V AC. 60Hz. 20W". Unfortunately this sometimes means removing the unit from the package to find out the wattage, although sometimes you can just open the bottom of the box without having to remove the entire unit. You'll need glasses to find it though, as the writing is often very tiny and is usually an inscription that's hard to read.

In general, the lower the wattage, the less scent you will smell, but the scent will last for a longer time. With a higher wattage warmer, the throw may be stronger, but the high heat will burn off the scent faster so the scent may not last as long. The "sweet spot" is 20W.

Does surface area affect throw?
Surface area (how wide the tray is) can also affect throw. A warmer with a larger tray will generally provide better throw. But a larger tray also means that you'll have to use more wax so that the entire bottom of the tray is covered (which is why wax warmers that double as candle warmers may not be a good choice).

How many cubes of wax should you use in a warmer?
Start with one cube and work from there. One cube is usually enough, although some people use two cubes. Two cubes may last a little longer than one cube, since the wax pool is deeper so it doesn't burn off as quickly. But too many cubes can actually hinder the throw, as it makes the wax pool too deep so that the middle of the wax doesn't get hot enough.

Can I mix different scents?
Of course, and experimenting with scent blending can be a lot of fun. You'll find that if you mix 1 cube of each, often one scent will overthrow the other, so you might have to change the proportions for certain scents. And sometimes more than one scents in the same warmer can cancel each other out, so putting the two cubes in different warmers seems to work better.

What about those small plug-in wall warmers?
Small plug-in wall warmers tend to give off the least scent because the trays are tiny, plus they're often only 15W. And they come with a top with holes in it. The top is for safety, to keep pets and children from getting into the hot wax. However, the top really limits how much scent gets released, so if child or pet safety is not an issue, keep the top off.

The wax you bring home from a shopping trip, as in, "Take a look at my amazing haul!"

The wax you own, as in, "My stash is getting out of hand!"

Wax you want to get rid of (sell).

Short for "clamshell", which is the rectangular plastic package that most wax melts come in. Wax melt vendors often provide their wax melts in different shapes and formats, including scent shots (small round plastic containers of wax), shapes, loaves, and more.

An entire tray full of wax melts. A wax melt tray is the plastic tray that wax melts sit in on the shelf at stores like Walmart. They hold 8 to 12 wax melts, depending on the size of the tray and clamshells. The word "sleeve" and "tray" are used interchangeably. It means all of the wax melts in that tray (usually the same scent), as in, "I love that scent so much, I bought an entire sleeve!"

Do you own or work for a wax melt company? Our FREE Review & Promotion Service can help you get more customers!
Join Facebook Group

Facebook Facebook Group YouTube Twitter Instagram Pinterest
HOMEMain SearchSimple SearchHelpTerms
© Scented Wax Melt Reviews