For a while, in my circle of friends, the company that sells tart warmers and scented wax melts was THE THING. Everyone was selling it, buying it and using it. And our houses smelled GREAT.
But as we all shifted to healthier eating habits, we also started questioning what were those yummy smelling melts made of? What was in the air, and what were we breathing in?
While there is no definitive answer to this question, due to the rights the companies have to not disclose the ingredients they put in their products, the general consensus is that they’re most likely made of paraffin wax and scented with artificial fragrances.
What is Wrong With Paraffin Wax?Paraffin wax is a petroleum by-product. It is created during the process of refining crude oil into gasoline.
When it is heated, it releases the toxins acetaldehyde, formaldehyde, toluene, benzene and acrolein into the air, all of which increase your risk for cancer. Burning several paraffin wax candles at a time actually exceeds the Environmental Protection Agency’s standards for indoor pollution. [source]
Dangers of Artificial FragrancesFragrance oils can contain various combinations of asamines, ethers, ketones, lactones, terpenes and thiones. They also often contain benzene and aldehydes.
These chemical compounds take their toll on your health. They can cause cancer, birth defects, disorders of the central nervous system, neurological disorders and allergic reactions. [source]
What are the Alternatives?There is an alternative available that not only isn’t harmful to your health, but actually improves it! Beeswax.
Beeswax emits negative ions when heated and purifies the air. It helps people with asthma, allergies and hay fever by removing contaminants from the air.
You can literally “breathe easier” if you heat beeswax instead of paraffin!
Beeswax also has its own warm, honey-like fragrance. You can add beneficial natural fragrances to beeswax melts with essential oils or food-safe extracts such as vanilla.
Some delicious smelling combinations are:
- Vanilla Latte: vanilla extract with coffee beans
- Pumpkin Spice: cinnamon and clove essential oils with whole cloves
- Lavender Rose: lavender and rose essential oils and dried lavender flowers
DIY: Scented Wax MeltsIngredients
- 2 oz Beeswax, grated (buy here)
- 2 tablespoons Coconut Oil (find high quality coconut products here)
- 20 drops Essential Oils (buy here) or
- 1 teaspoon Food Grade Extracts (make your own vanilla extract here)
- Other inclusions such as dried flowers, spices or coffee beans
- Place beeswax and coconut oil in a glass bowl or measuring cup inside a saucepan. The saucepan should have enough water in it that the water touches the bottom of your glass double boiler, but doesn’t spill out.
- Over medium heat, stir the oil and wax together until they are melted and combined.
- Remove from heat and stir in essential oils or extracts.
- Pour mixture into molds. (find molds here)
- Add inclusions if desired.
- When melts are cooled and hardened, break apart and melt as many as you like in a warmer.
More DIY Recipes from Kelley Baker