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How to Make Wax Melts with Herbs and Natural Ingredients

Wax melts are a popular way to fill your home with fragrance, but they are often made with artificial scents that can be irritating. Herbal melts are a natural alternative made with soy wax, essential oils, and herbs. As the scented cubes of wax are melted on the top of a wax melt warmer, they release aroma and allow for the ritual of using herbs while safely keeping the dried plant material away from a candle flame. Wax melts are easy to make at home and make a great handmade gift idea.

How to Make Herbal Wax Melts

Ready to make wax melts? This post will cover…

What is a Wax Melt?

A wax melt is a scented square of wax that can be melted in an electric-or candle-heated ceramic vase to release the scent of the wax. Wax melts and warmers are a way to get all of the fragrance and warmth of a candle without the flame.

The beauty of warmers is that you can use botanicals and dry herbs to decorate your projects without the worry of them catching fire. The electric options also keep your home safe from flames if you have young children or pets.

homemade Herbal Wax Melts in a paper bag

How to Choose a Wax Melt Warmer

A wax melt warmer looks like a decorative ceramic vase that has a dish set on top. The base can either have an opening for a tea light or votive candle or house the electrical components to heat the upper tray.

Wax cubes are placed in the top dish and gently warmed so they melt. As they melt they release the fragrance.

Herbal Wax Melts in Electric Warmer

A wax melt warmer is not to be confused with a candle warmer, which is an electrically heated tray that you set a container candle on to warm it and release the fragrance.

Here are some great wax melt warmers you can find online:

Using Essential Oils to Scent Wax Melts

Many commercial wax melts and candles are scented with artificial fragrance which is why I choose to make my own. Candles and wax melts are often made with fragrance oils because they offer the most consistent and reliable scent, in addition to being less expensive.

They have been formulated to be heated to high temperatures and added to molten wax without evaporation. Fragrance oils also come in a wide variety of lab-created scents like strawberry and green apple that are pleasing and not available as essential oils.

But when it comes down to it, I prefer natural scents of essential oils as the artificial fragrances tend to give me headaches.

Essential oils are natural but it doesn’t mean that they also won’t cause a reaction. Essential oils are the concentrated volatile oils extracted from thousands of plants squeezed into a tiny bottle, meaning they are very powerful.

It is important to be safe when using essential oils by choosing gentle oils, oils that you and your family don’t react to, and oils that have been approved by your health care professionals.

A good way to test for scent-sensitivities, it to smell the oils. If you don’t like the smell, then you should avoid it, even if it has some benefits that you think might be good for you. Trust your senses. The nose knows.

Close up of Herbal Wax Melts

How to Make Wax Melts

You can easily make these at home by melting flaked soy wax, stirring in essential oils and herbs, and then pouring the wax into heat-proof molds to set. The following covers two methods for making wax melts (in the microwave and in a double boiler) and shares some recipe ideas from my book, Make & Give Home Candle Making.

Also, see this resource list for all the supplies you will need to start candle and wax melt making at home: Home Candle Making Supplies and Resource Guide.

Melting Soy Wax Flakes in the Microwave

Microwave Method

Microwave melting can be tricky as it is harder to control temperature. If you choose a wax that is labeled as appropriate for the microwave it will have instructions included that will help you avoid cooking and burning the wax. Here are the steps I use to melt wax in the microwave and how to avoid burning it.

Equipment

Make it!

  1. Weigh microwaveable soy wax for wax melts in a heatproof container with a pour spout.
  2. Weigh the scented essential oil in a paper cup. Prepare the herbs in advance of using the microwave so you are ready to add them as soon as the wax has melted.
  3. Melt in 20-second intervals to be sure to melt as opposed to cook the wax. The first few times you set the timer for 20 seconds, you may be tempted to set the timer for longer as you will see little change. But, after a few tries, you will see that the wax quickly turns from a solid to a liquid in the microwave. Overheating the wax can cause it to burn and it smells terrible, so set intervals and check the wax frequently.
  4. When the wax has fully melted, stir in the essential oil and half of the dried herbs.
  5. Pour the wax into a flower-shaped mold. Choose a mold used for soap making or candy making to be sure it can handle the heat of melted wax.
  6. Sprinkle the remaining herbs onto the top of each melt and allow the herbal wax melts to dry completely before popping them out.
Herbal Wax Melts Recipe

Double Boiler Method

Making soy melts in a double boiler is much easier to control and will ensure that the wax melts evenly.

Equipment

Melting Wax for Wax Melts

Make it!

  1. Set up a small double boiler using a heatproof glass jar to hold the wax and a metal bread pan filled part way with water. Stir the wax frequently until it is fully melted.
  2. Weigh soy wax and essential oil.
  3. Bring the wax to the specified temperature for adding dye or scent oil (i.e.: 160°F—see the instructions that came with your wax). Add in scent and color (if using) and stir until completely mixed.
  4. Pour the wax into a silicone ice cube tray.
  5. Allow the wax melts to dry completely before popping them out of the mold for use.
Citrus Wax Melt Cubes

Herbal Sleepy Time Wax Melts Recipe

These herbal chamomile, calendula, and lavender wax melts are the perfect way to send you to dreamland, as the calming scent of herbs will fill the room and relax you as the wax melts. Packaged with a wax melt warmer, they are a lovely self-care gift for a friend that could use a restful night.

Herbal Wax Melts with Lavender and Calendula

There are some herbs that wake you up and others that quiet you down. Herbs like lavender, chamomile, calendula, hops, mint, and passionflower are calming for the nerves and quieting for the mind. Using these herbs before bed can help to promote an easier time falling asleep as well as better quality of sleep.

Making this recipe allows the wax, oils, and herbs to melt together at a safe temperature without the risk that the herbs will catch fire.

Materials

Makes twenty-five 0.3 oz (9 g) wax melts

Make it!

  1. Make the soy wax melts according to the instructions in either the microwave or double boiler method.
  2. Fill a wax-lined window bag with the herbal wax melts and label it with letter stamps. Use some floral stamps to further embellish it. Move the melts around so that they show their pretty faces in the window.

Citrus Celebration Wax Melts Recipe

Citrus celebration wax melts are the perfect housewarming gift. The festive scent is both cheerful and uplifting and will give any home a refreshing, energizing feel. The bright and cheery aroma of citrus is fresh and lively, but also very calming.

Close up of Citrus Wax Melts

Use citrus-scented melts to make your home smell fresh, clean, and welcoming. Give a pretty wax warmer along with some homemade citrus wax melts topped with lemon, lime, and orange zest.

An ice cube mold is a perfect size for these wax melts. You will want to make enough to give away and keep some for yourself, too.  Pro tip: just don’t use a grapefruit scent before a dinner party, because it is said to curb the appetite!

Materials

Makes twelve 0.5 oz (15 g) wax melts

Make it!

  1. Make the soy wax melts according to the instructions in either the microwave or double boiler method.
  2. Fill a Mason jar with citrus wax melts and pair it with a small tea light wax warmer. Wrap both the Mason jar of wax melts and the wax warmer with a tea light in a clear cellophane bag tied with a satin ribbon.
Citrus Celebration Wax Melts

Frequently Asked Questions About Wax Melts

How to Make Wax Melts Last Longer

If the fragrance isn’t as strong as you would like it, use a reliable brand of essential oil to add more when making your melts.
 
Fragrance load is how much scent oil the wax will hold. A common fragrance load for soy wax is one ounce of scent per one pound of wax or a 6.25% ratio.
 
You can increase or decrease the ratio depending on how strong the scent is. Use 6-8% for a subtly fragrant oil and 8-10% for a strongly scented one
 
Be sure to check the maximum on the wax you are using if you plan to go higher than the one-ounce per pound rule. Adding more scent than the recipe calls for may end up being too much oil for the wax to bind with, leaving you with excess oil at the top and bottom of the wax melt.

Can You Reuse Wax Melts?

It depends on how long you burn them. Typically, a cube should last between 6-12 hours depending on the size of the cube, the temperature it burns at, and the quality of the wax.

The melted wax will not evaporate but the fragrance will. You can reuse your wax melts until you no longer notice a fragrance.

Are Wax Melts Safe to Leave On?

As long as you’re home, you can leave your wax melts on for as long as you like. They can scent a room pretty quickly, so it’s up to you if you want to keep them burning or turn them off to make them last longer.

Whether it’s an electric wax warmer or a classic warmer, never leave the burner unattended while it’s being used.

More Candles and Handmade Gift Ideas

How to Make Herbal Wax Melts in the Microwave

You can easily make homemade wax melts with just a few simple items! These wax melts are made with all natural ingredients including essential oils and herbs.

Equipment

  • Microwave
  • Heatproof container with a pour spout
  • Silicone molds – I like these flower shapes or cubes

Supplies

Instructions

  • Weigh out the soy wax in a microwave-safe bowl. Then weigh the essential oils in a paper cup.
  • Melt the wax in the microwave for 20 seconds at a time. Stir between each time.
  • When the wax has fully melted, stir in the essential oils and the herbs.
  • Pour the wax melt mixture into silicone molds and sprinkle some herbs on top. Then allow them to dry completely before using.

Comments

  1. Thank you for this, I have been wondering about how to make my essential oils last longer when using the candle warmer (I usually do some essential oil in a little water) and I think this may be the trick! I have flaked beeswax on hand. I am assuming I could use that in place of soy wax?

    Reply
  2. Thank you for this Stephanie Rose. I’ve pinned this. Can you tell me what kind of scale I need to get to weigh the oils?

    Reply

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