Are Wax Melts bad for you?

July 23 2022 – Oh My Melt

In a word - no! It entirely depends on the quality and type of the wax & fragrance oil used! That's the quickest way for us to answer your question. But we're going to explain exactly why - read on!

All wax melts are NOT created equally!


Believe it or not, there is so much difference between different types of wax melts. Even though size, packaging and look might be the same, on the inside, a different story often lies!

This is because the basic 'ingredients' of a wax melt determine if they could have any potential negative effect on you. If we break a wax melt down into it's basic ingredients, and strip all extras out (colour, glitter etc.), then we have left wax and fragrance oil, in most cases.

These two elements fundamentally determine the quality of the melt. There are so many different waxes you can use to make melts, however, most commercially available ones use paraffin wax. Despite it having a very bad reputation, paraffin isn't inherently dangerous.

There is a wide variety of debate with studies contradicting each other; some say it is toxic, others say it isn't.

The most important thing to note is there are (at least in the UK) a wide variety of safety tests any manufacturer must pass before they can sell products, especially those that could be considered as toxic.

It is therefore highly unlikely that these products will have a huge effect on most individuals. Individuals with sensitivity may, however, find paraffin irritates them.

As we didn't want to take the chance, our wax melts are made with a non-paraffin, natural wax blend. We believed this to be the best choice - offering a premium wax at a non premium price!

What do wax melts contain?


At a basic level , wax melts contain wax and a fragrance (either fragrance oil or essential oil). Other additives may be added such as colour, glitter (hopefully biodegradable like ours!) and mica (this should be synthetic due to ethical issues regarding the supply chain in mining mica powder).

Are wax melts safe to breathe?


Again, it depends on what the base ingredient is. If you're using our melts, or other natural melts, then you can be sure they are absolutely not harmful.

If you are using ones made out of paraffin wax, you'd need to understand there have been some reports of harmful chemicals being emitted; but then there are just as many opposing studies. We say play it safe and use natural wax melts, like those available from Oh My Melt.

Are paraffin candles safe?


Burning candles is similar to burning melts, however, in a candle the flame directly oxidises the chemicals. Paraffin wax is used in most commercial candles, especially the 'big name' brands. Some people refuse to buy them due to the worry of health concerns.

Again, if these were dangerous they would be highly regulated - however, where possible, natural wax candles do make a great alternative, without any of the worry.

Are wax melts made with essential oils safe?


Yes - if they are made taking into account the relevant safety instructions. When we create our wax melts, we carefully study the safety data sheet which is legally required for each fragrance oil.

Essential oils follow a similar pattern; the manufacturer should ensure the correct amount is used. Using too much can make the oils 'seep' out of the wax, leading to the melt becoming way too strong.

Fragrance oils are safe as long as they are used in the correct concentration.

Using too high a concentration is something we'd never do, as apart from being illegal, it can cause headaches and skin irritation when you touch the wax due to the strong intensity of the oil (or essential oil) used. Just because an oil is extracted from plants or herbs, it still has the potential to be very strong and irritate the skin, sinuses and cause a headache.

You can enjoy your home fragrance by ensuring you use suppliers who guarantee quality - like us!

Which is better for my health - candles or wax melts?

The answer is simple - candles and wax melts that are made out of natural waxes with premium quality oils are your best bet. That's why we take the time to ensure we do not compromise on this!

Are wax melts safe for pets?

Yes - wax melts made out of natural waxes (such as soy/coconut/rapeseed etc.) are perfectly safe to use arounds pets.

Of course, the main thing is that the burner is out of reach, it is never left unattended, and if your pet becomes sensitive to fragrance, ensure you move them to fresh air, seek medical advice if necessary and do not use scented products around them.

It is unlikely the wax melt is dangerous, rather that there may be a sensitivity to an aroma or chemical which makes the fragrance (just as some humans can't spray certain perfumes on themselves).

Is breathing the aroma from wax melts harmful?

No. Wax melts made using natural based wax, with premium fragrance oils, and used at the correct percentage pose no risk to health, just as spraying fragrance on your skin that you'd buy from your favourite perfume retailer wouldn't.

Why are some wax melts stronger than others?

It's a great question! The answer is that three factors are at play.

The first is the type of wax - some waxes can hold more or less fragrance oil than others.

The second is the total amount of fragrance used - a wax melt made with 1% fragrance is unlikely to be as strong as one made with 10% fragrance.

Thirdly, the actual composition of the oil has a huge effect. Some fragrance oils are made to be intensely strong whilst others are naturally lighter.

This has a large effect on the overall scent and how strong the scent throw of your wax melt is.

Why are wax melts often stronger than scented candles?

This is because a wax melt (when melted), allows the fragrance to be released over heat which allows it to escape into the air. Whilst a candle also gets very hot, some of the oil will be 'burnt up' by the flame. With a wax melt, this doesn't happen, so you get a very concentrated scent! Some wax warmers (such as electric wax warmers) often allow you to choose the heat level and thus to control the level of scent that suits you. Scented candles absolutely have their place, and so do melts!

Why is there soot on the wall from my wax melt?

This is absolutely not normal when using a wax melt that has been made using natural wax (like ours!). It is likely that the wax is made using inferior waxes, or the candle (or tealight) that is being used in the burner is responsible for the soot. It is not normal to routinely get soot from a wax melt (and we've never seen it).

Melts using natural waxes and soy wax should not be leaving soot. Candle wax has more of a tendency to do this, again depending on what the candle is made of and what has been added.

There may sometimes be clear smoking - this is normal, and is the fragrance you see being released from the wax. This is not a hazard. You should, however, ensure there is enough wax in the melter.

Melters should not be operated with low levels of wax in, as they can cause the melter to shatter or the wax to get extremely hot which can be a fire risk. Our top tip is to use quality melts and this shouldn't be an issue. Great quality = great product!

Wax melts are perfectly safe!

Yes! Our tips of using great quality melts, making sure you follow all the instructions and keeping basic safety precautions such as never leaving your burner unattended or operating it without wax in or with too little wax will mean you can enjoy your wax melts. Safe melting is happy melting.