What Are Wax Melts?

What Are Wax Melts?

Scented wax melts are a flameless fragrance option that's great for creating the most scent in the least amount of time. They’re made of scented wax, which is used with a wax warmer.

If you’re curious about wax melts, read on to find out about the different kinds of wax warmers and wax melts, how to use them, and why they're a great addition to every candle lover's home!

How do wax melts work?

Our wax melt warmer is powered by a small light bulb. Once you add your wax melts to the bowl and switch on the power, the bowl warms up and melts the wax, releasing your gorgeous fragrance into the air.

There are other types of wax warmers available; some are heated by a separate tea light candle, others by a small heating plate, which can also be used as a candle warmer. Candle warmers can be used to melt the last quarter inch of wax or so that’s left in a container candle after it’s burned all the way down, giving you more hours of fragrance from your candle. 

We love our ceramic wax warmer for its soft, flameless glow and sleek design. Whatever type of melter you use, these reusable paper liners are a must!

They make it easy to switch out scents without making a mess. You can swap in a new fragrance anytime, even while the wax is still melted, then wait for the melted wax to harden and pop it out to use later. No need to pour or scrape out your wax melt dish.

When to throw away used wax melts

They'll retain some amount of fragrance for a pretty long time, but my rule of thumb is to only use them for around 24 hours in total. After that, I toss out the old melt and start fresh with a new cube or two. Some will last longer than that, depending on the fragrance, so let your nose be the judge! 

If you're not sure how many cubes to use at once, start with one, wait for it to melt, then see if you want to add more; you should know in about 15 minutes.

Depending on how much fragrance you want, one cube is often enough for a small room like an office or bathroom, and two will typically fill a larger space like a living room or large bedroom.

What are wax melts made of?

Wax melts come in a wide array of scents, but they always include two things: wax, and either fragrance oil or essential oil. But these things can be made with many different materials.

Here are what wax melts are made of and some pitfalls to watch out for. 


The most common types of wax used to make them are paraffin and soy, which are often blended together to create a “soy wax blend.” Sometimes, you’ll see other types of wax included, such as coconut, apricot, or beeswax. 

Paraffin wax is the last choice for many candle lovers. It’s made from a non-renewable resource (petroleum), making it a less sustainable option than soy. Paraffin can also release harmful chemicals like benzene and formaldehyde when ignited, whereas soy wax is non-toxic.  

Meanwhile, soy is a highly renewable and sustainable source. That’s why The Glow Co. uses 100% soy wax. Not only that, but all the soy used to make our soy wax melts and candles is grown in the U.S.

Nearly all of the world’s soy is grown here and in South America, home to the Amazon rainforest — a critical piece of the earth’s ecosystemSoy farming in South America has caused significant deforestation and loss of wildlife habitat, leading to a moratorium on the practice. But that only protects parts of the Amazon.

Soy is still grown on ecologically vulnerable land that’s deforested for farming. That’s why soy sourced from within the U.S. has less of an environmental impact


The more noticeable difference between wax melts is obvious: the fragrance! Just like candles, wax melts are infused with fragrance blends made with combinations of extracts, resins, and chemicals to give them their unique scents.

But some wax melt fragrances are safer than others

Many candle and wax melt fragrances contain phthalates, which are potentially toxic endocrine disruptors (meaning they affect hormone production). Thanks to the widespread knowledge of these problematic ingredients, many brands omit phthalates from their products. 

But there are other ingredients that can be dangerous, like those on the Prop 65 list. You’ve probably seen these labels warning against ingredients that can cause cancer, birth defects, and reproductive harm.

These ingredients — some natural, some synthetic — are part of a very long list first published in 1986 as part of a California public health initiative. 

While you’ll find these ingredients in many home products, you won’t find them in any of ours! All of The Glow Co.’s products are free from phthalates and all Prop 65 ingredients.

Learn more about what’s in our fragrance oil blends at our FAQ page

Are wax melts better than candles?

Both candles and wax melts have their benefits, depending on your lifestyle and budget. Here are some of the reasons you might want to give wax melts a try if you haven’t already.


One important reason many people prefer wax melts over candles is that, unlike candles, wax melts are flameless.

That lovely, flickering glow is also a fire hazard, which is why you should never leave a lit candle unattended and always burn it on a level, fire-resistant surface away from flammable objects, kids, and pets.

This is more of a concern for elders or people with small kids or rambunctious pets, but it can also be hard not to leave a candle unattended. Unless you’re settled in for a TV or reading session, there’s a good chance you’re up and about while you’re candle is burning.

With a wax melter, you don’t have to worry about a wandering flame, dangling objects, or curious kiddos and fur babies.


Have you ever noticed black smoke coming from your candle flame or soot sticking to nearby surfaces? While this is far more common with paraffin wax candles, it can happen to even the most diligent of candle lovers. All it takes is an untrimmed wick, a draft, or too long a burn time, and dark wisps might appear.

Most of the time, this isn’t a problem — especially if you use soy wax candles. But people with asthma or similar sensitivities might want to eliminate it altogether.

If you use wax melts with an electric wax warmer, there’s no flame, and no concerns about soot.


Wax melts are much less expensive than candles, making them a great way to try out a new scent before investing in a larger wicked version. It also makes them perfect for those who like to change up their scents often.

Once you invest in a wax warmer, you can go crazy with lots of different scents without breaking the bank.


Feel like lighting a candle but not sure you can commit to keeping it lit for the three or so hours it takes to prevent tunneling? Wax melts to the rescue!

After you pop one or two cubes into your wax melt warmer, you can leave it on for as much or as little time as you need. Plus, you'll usually notice the scent within about 15 minutes compared to the roughly 30 minutes to one hour it might take for some candles to fill a room. 


Some candles that are just strong enough to fill your living room might be too overpowering in your office or bathroom. That’s why wax melts are a handy addition to your home scent collection.

You can melt as few or as many wax melt cubes as you need for your space, no matter how big or small it is. 

Why should I try wax melts?

Maybe candles aren’t in your budget, you have safety concerns when it comes to open flames, or you’re just curious about new ways to enjoy clean, sustainable home fragrances. Whatever brought you here today, I hope this clears things up!

As always, if you have more burning questions about our soy wax melts, feel free to ask. While you're here, check out the wax melts we have in the shop today.

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