If your wax warmer is smoking, it can cause concern if you are new to the wax melting world. Oftentimes though, it's not a cause for alarm. The "smoke" that you see could be vapor emitting from the wax melt as it releases fragrance oil into the air. However, smoke may also be a sign that your wax is too hot or there could be something wrong with your wax warmer.
Either way, it's crucial to know the possible reasons why your wax warmer is smoking--and whether or not you have to do something about it. In this article, we will talk about what causes wax warmers to smoke and--more importantly--how you can prevent it from happening again.
First, let's tackle the basics.
What is a Wax Warmer?
First things first, what is a wax warmer? Simply put, a wax warmer is a device that warms and melts wax to emit fragrance in the room.
Unlike with traditional candles, you can control how much wax you put in a wax warmer, and you won't have a candle container to throw out afterward. That said, wax warmers are often used as alternatives to candles since they are more eco-friendly and cost-effective.
The Two Types of Wax Warmers
There are two types of wax warmers: tealight and electric.
Tealight Wax Warmer
Tealight wax warmers have a dish on top where you can place your wax melt or fragrance oils. Then at the bottom, there is an opening for your tea light candle. As the flame from the candle heats the dish above, the wax will melt and release fragrance into the air.
Electric Wax Warmer
An electric wax warmer uses a heating element or a light bulb instead of a candle to heat up wax melts. For warmers with light bulbs, the wattages vary depending on the electric warmer you're using. Warmers with heating plates, on the other hand, are often shaped like a dish and can also be used as candle warmers.
You can switch turn an electric warmer on and off anytime you please. Compared to tealight warmers, they tend to be safer and better at maximizing wax melts.
What Are Wax Melts?
Wax melts are small pieces of wax that come in all sorts of shapes, colors, and sizes. They contain fragrance oil, which is released when the wax melts in a wax warmer.
Many people favor wax melts over traditional candles because they last longer and emit stronger scents. Furthermore, wax melts do not emit smoke and therefore burn cleaner than typical candles. Some candle enthusiasts also prefer wax melts over candles because you can mix and match scents with max melts, allowing you to create your own custom fragrance.
If you want to learn more about how wax melts work, you can check out our previous blog post.
What Are The Possible Causes of a Smoking Wax Warmer?
Both wax warmers and wax melts do not and should not produce smoke. If your wax warmer is smoking, here are the possible reasons why:
Wax Melts Are Releasing Fragrance Oil
When you place a wax melt on a wax warmer, the fragrance oil inside it will evaporate. Hence, wax melt smoke is not really "smoke", but is rather fragrance oil vapor. You can tell if it's your wax melt and not the warmer itself producing the vapor if the "smoke" is white.
Vapor is not a cause for alarm. Fragrance vapor does not have any negative effects on human health. So, if you see your wax warmer emitting white smoke, there is no need to worry about it.
The Wax Is Too Hot
Now, if the smoke from your warm warmer is black, you need to extinguish your tea light or turn off your melter immediately. Wax melts smoking black vapor can be an indication that the wax is far too hot.
Black smoke can mean that your wax is burning too hot. Exposure to black smoke can cause acute symptoms like headaches, dizziness, and nausea. Moreover, excessively hot wax can damage your wax warmer and may even be a cause of a nasty burn accident.
When this happens, put out your tea light and let the wax cool down to room temperature before relighting it. It also helps to see if the wick on your tea light is too long. If it is, the flame can be too close to the dish and heat it up too quickly. Trim the tea light wick down and see if that fixes the problem.
You Are Using Paraffin Wax
Paraffin candles are known to produce black smoke while burning. So, if you are using a paraffin candle for your tealight wax warmer, the smoke may be coming from your candle--not the wax itself. Similarly, using paraffin wax melts can also lead to black smoke.
The smoke from paraffin wax contains harmful chemicals, many of which are carcinogenic. To avoid releasing toxic fumes into the air, use tea lights made from soy wax instead. And as always, we recommend sticking with soy wax melts.
How to Prevent Your Wax Warmer From Smoking
Wax warmers and wax melts smoking can produce unpleasant odors and release dangerous fumes into the air. To prevent this from happening, here are some tips that you should keep in mind when using your wax warmer:
Don't Leave Your Wax Warmer On For Too Long
Whether you're using a tealight wax warmer or an electric wax warmer, never leave it on for too long. Otherwise, your wax melts can overheat and produce black smoke. Moreover, your wax melts can lose scent too quickly because the heat is burning the fragrance oil away too fast.
Be especially careful with tealight wax warmers. Even if tealights extinguish themselves after a few hours, the flame still makes for a significant fire hazard. If you're using a tealight warmer, place it far away from flammable objects and extinguish the candle before leaving the room. Don't leave it on for longer than 4 hours. Electric wax warmers can stay on for up to 10 hours, but it is still a good idea to switch it off every time you leave the room.
For more safety tips, learn how to use a wax burner properly in our blog.
Use Soy Wax
Soy wax melts do not produce black smoke, unlike paraffin wax. It is also worth noting that soy wax has a high melting point, meaning it has a lower chance of overheating compared to other natural waxes.
However, if you want to use a wax with a low melting point, we recommend using an electric wax warmer. Unlike a tealight wax warmer, an electric wax warmer will allow you to control the heat.
Clean Your Wax Warmer
Dirt and debris in your wax warmer can also contribute to black smoke. Clean your warmer regularly or before every use to prevent your warmer and melts from smoking. Here's a helpful article on how to clean your wax warmer dish.
Buy High-Quality Wax Melts
Not all wax melts are made equal. Some may have additives that can contribute to smoke, including paraffin wax. Other brands may also add ingredients that emit toxic fumes when burned.
That said, look for high-quality wax melts that are made from safe and eco-friendly ingredients. Here at Devon Wick, our soy wax melts are long-lasting, durable, and highly fragrant--without all the harmful additives.
Find The Best Wax Melts, Wax Warmers, Soy Candles, and More Here at Devon Wick
If you've done everything you could and your wax warmer is still managing to produce black smoke, it may be the perfect time to switch to Devon Wick. In our extensive collection, you can find high-quality wax warmers, wax melts with long-lasting fragrance, great-value wax melt tubs, and so much more!
You deserve a wax warmer that makes your home smell amazing. Choose from a wide variety of designs, shapes, and colors--and get 2 FREE bars of wax with every melter!