Can You Melt Candle Wax Without A Double Boiler?

A double boiler is a technique that uses two pots, one nestled inside the other, to provide gentle and even heat for easily melting materials like chocolate, wax, butter, and delicate sauces. The bottom pot holds simmering water, while the top pot sits above but does not touch the water. This allowsIndirect heat from steam to slowly and safely melt ingredients in the top pot without scorching or burning. The dual chamber setup helps regulate temperature.

Double boilers are commonly recommended for melting candle wax, as they allow wax to fully liquefy at the proper temperature without overheating. However, it is possible to melt wax without a classic double boiler setup. Alternative methods just require more care and attentiveness when applying heat. This article explores some effective ways to safely melt candle wax using common household items.

Alternate Heat Sources

If you don’t have a double boiler, there are a few alternate heat sources you can use to melt candle wax:


One of the most convenient options is using a microwave oven to melt wax [1]. The microwave allows you to melt small amounts of wax quickly without any extra equipment. Be sure to use a microwave-safe container and melt the wax in short increments (30 seconds to 1 minute) to avoid overheating. Stir between increments to help the wax melt evenly. The downside is that microwaves can create hotspots that scorch or discolor wax.


You can melt wax in a heat-safe container or pot directly on the stovetop over low heat [2]. This allows you to melt larger amounts, but requires close monitoring to prevent burning. Use a thermometer and keep the temperature under 180°F. The indirect heat helps avoid scorching. Make sure your pot or container is large enough so wax doesn’t boil over.


A standard oven can work to melt wax if you’re careful. Place the wax in a oven-safe container and set the oven to the lowest temperature, around 170°F. Monitor closely and remove once melted. The indirect heat prevents burning. However, the oven can be more difficult to control and you’ll need to avoid wax fumes while melting.

Water Bath Method

An easy way to melt candle wax without a double boiler is to create a makeshift water bath with two bowls. Place a bowl of wax chunks or flakes into a larger pot or bowl filled partway with water. Heat the water to a simmer, being careful not to bring it to a full boil. The bowl of wax will sit above the water, melting from the steam. This water bath method works similarly to a double boiler, using the indirect heat from the hot water to melt the wax.

The key when using a water bath is to make sure the bottom of the wax bowl isn’t touching the hot water, only hovering above it. The steam will slowly melt the wax without scorching it. Stir the wax regularly as it melts and be patient during the process. It may take 15-30 minutes for all the wax to fully melt depending on the amount. The water bath prevents the wax from overheating while providing gentle even heat.

According to How to Make Candles, the water bath technique helps speed up the cooling process when making candles by dipping molds in water [1]. This gradual melting process also prevents air pockets and bubbles from forming in the wax.

Solar Melting

One alternative way to melt wax without a double boiler is to harness the power of the sun. Solar wax melters use mirrors or lenses to focus sunlight onto a container holding wax, allowing the sun’s rays to provide sufficient heat to slowly melt the wax.

solar wax melters use sunlight to gently melt wax.

An ideal solar wax melter setup consists of an insulated box lined with a dark metal melting pan, with a glass top to let sunlight in. The box should be situated in direct sunlight on a sunny day. Additional adjustable mirrors can help focus more sunlight onto the wax to be melted. Locating the melter on a platform that tracks the sun’s movement can further improve efficiency.

Some considerations for solar melting include checking the weather forecast for sunny days, allowing time for the wax to melt slowly over several hours, and monitoring the melt temperature to avoid overheating. Thinner wax sheets or small volume melts work best. Overall, solar melters provide a free, eco-friendly way to melt wax using renewable solar energy.1, 2

Electric Wax Melter

There are specialty electric wax melters designed specifically for melting candle wax without needing a double boiler. These melters allow you to precisely control the temperature to melt wax safely. Popular options include the Byoowndiy Wax Melter which features a 150 oz capacity and temperature controller for $69.99 (

Many candle makers recommend electric wax melters over the double boiler method for their accuracy and control. According to Reddit users, specialty melters like the Digiboil and Makesy melters provide very precise temperature control ideal for candle making ( The key features to look for are capacity size, temperature settings, pour spout, and budget.

With prices ranging from $50-$150, electric wax melters provide a safer and easier alternative to the double boiler with precise temperature control perfect for handling candle wax.

Melting Small Amounts

When you just need to melt a small amount of wax, such as old candle stubs or wax shavings, you can try these methods:

Use a tin can set inside a pot of water to create a simple double boiler. The can keeps the wax from scorching as the water gently heats it. Be sure the can is shorter than the pot so boiling water doesn’t splash in (Harlem Candle Company).

Place the wax in a heat-safe glass or metal container and set it in a warm oven (170°F – 200°F) to melt slowly. Keep an eye on it so the wax doesn’t get too hot. Remove it once fully melted (Village Craft and Candle).

Put the wax in a microwave-safe container and microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring between each, until melted. This works best for small amounts of wax. Caution: wax can superheat and boil over if left unattended (Supplies for Candles).

Use an old spoon to melt wax shavings or small stubs over a tea light or votive candle. Hold the wax above the flame and drip the melted wax into a heat safe container. Work slowly to avoid burns or scorching the wax (Village Craft and Candle).

With proper care, small amounts of candle wax can be safely melted without specialized equipment. Using indirect heat sources and monitoring the wax will help prevent accidents.

Melting Safely

When melting wax, it’s important to exercise caution as wax is flammable. Directly heating wax runs the risk of overheating and catching fire. According to one Reddit user, “it’s not a great idea to directly heat wax, and a double boiler set up is better because it slows the heating rate, and makes it less likely to catch fire.”

If melting wax directly on the stove or in the oven, use low heat and don’t leave it unattended. Stir frequently to prevent hot spots. Remove from heat source before all wax is completely melted to allow residual heat to finish melting. Wax can easily overheat once liquid, so stopping early prevents this.

One Blade Forums user recommends: “Put it on the stove on low, and heat it up till its almost melted and take it off to let it melt fully.” This gradual heating allows better temperature control.

Make sure to melt wax in a container placed inside another heat-safe container, never directly on a heating element. This creates a buffer to prevent scorching and fire. Monitor the double boiler water level to ensure it doesn’t boil dry.

Work in a well-ventilated area since melted wax produces flammable vapors. Don’t melt near open flames or heat sources. Have a lid or baking soda on hand to smother fires. Consider an electric wax warmer for added safety.

With proper precautions, wax can be melted safely without specialized equipment. But a double boiler provides the most control and minimizes risks.

Storing Melted Wax

Once your candle wax is melted, you’ll want to store it properly for later use. Here are some tips for storing melted wax:

Pour the melted wax into a heat-safe glass or metal container with an airtight lid. Glass canning jars work great for this. Make sure the container is clean and completely dry before pouring in the wax. Allow the wax to cool and harden completely before sealing the lid. Store the container of hardened wax in a cool, dry place away from direct light and heat sources. A basement, closet, or cupboard works well. According to candle supply retailers, temperatures should stay below 28°C for best results [1].

If storing for more than a few weeks, consider placing a piece of wax paper directly on the surface of the wax before sealing to help prevent oxidation. Don’t let anything touch the wax surface that could transfer scents or oils. Keep the wax in solid form, not melted, during storage. Melted wax can pick up dust and debris which will affect your candles. With proper storage, melted candle wax can be kept for many months and remelted as needed for candle making and other projects.


Melted candle wax can be reused in many fun and creative projects. Here are some ideas for projects using leftover wax:

  • Make new candles – Re-pour melted wax into new jars or molds to create candles in different shapes and sizes (
  • Wax melts – Pour melted wax into silicone molds to create wax melts for warm, home fragrance (
  • DIY crayons – Add color pigments to melted wax and pour into crayon molds for homemade crayons.
  • Wax seals – Pour a small pool of colored wax onto envelopes or letters, then stamp with a custom seal.
  • Decorative objects – Pour melted wax into molds to make candle holders, vases, bowls, and more.
  • Painted wax crafts – Brush melted wax onto glass jars, vases, or other objects to create textured, painted effects when dry.

With a little creativity, leftover candle wax can be transformed into many new DIY projects to enjoy.


In summary, there are several effective methods for melting candle wax without using a traditional double boiler. As covered in this article, you can melt wax in a simple pot of simmering water, use an electric wax melter, or even harness the power of the sun. While a double boiler is often considered the ideal setup, it’s reassuring to know you have alternatives.

The key benefits of a double boiler remain its gentle, even heat and built-in safety features. However, with proper care you can achieve similar results using household items. The water bath method mimics a double boiler through a makeshift setup. Electric wax melters provide adjustable, targeted heat. Solar melting utilizes free solar energy, when conditions allow. Even melting small amounts right in a tin can work in a pinch.

With some clever thinking and caution, lack of a double boiler doesn’t have to stop your candle making or wax projects. However you choose to melt your wax, be sure to do so safely and never leave melting wax unattended. Always store melted wax away from heat sources. The possibilities are many, with or without a double boiler.

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