Can You Melt Wax For Wax Melts In The Microwave?

Wax melts are scented wax cubes or pieces that are melted to fragrance a room. They have become extremely popular in recent years as an alternative to scented candles. According to market research, the global wax melts market size was valued at USD 750.8 million in 2022 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 8.7% from 2023 to 2030 [Source]. Wax melts provide an affordable and long-lasting way to make a home smell nice. Unlike candles, wax melts do not have a wick and do not require a flame to release fragrance. They are simply placed in a wax warmer which gently heats and melts the wax, letting the scent permeate the air.

To use wax melts, the unmelted wax cubes or pieces must first be melted into liquid wax. This raises the question – can you melt wax for wax melts in the microwave? The microwave provides a convenient and fast way to melt wax, but there are some important factors to consider to melt wax safely and effectively.

Can You Melt Wax in the Microwave?

Yes, you can safely melt wax in the microwave with some basic precautions. The microwave provides a fast, convenient way to melt wax for candle making, wax melts, or other craft projects. However, certain types of wax can pose risks if microwaved improperly.

When melting wax in the microwave, it’s important to use a microwave-safe container, melt the wax at a lower power level, and heat it in short intervals to prevent overheating. With care, the microwave allows melting wax quickly without needing a double boiler on the stovetop.

Microwave-Safe Waxes

Certain types of wax are safe to melt in the microwave, while others may pose safety risks or become damaged by the heat. The most common microwave-safe waxes include:

  • Soy wax – Made from soybeans, this renewable and eco-friendly wax melts evenly. It’s commonly used for candles, wax melts, and cosmetic waxes.1
  • Paraffin wax – Derived from petroleum, paraffin wax is affordable and melts smoothly. It’s found in a variety of wax melt products.2
  • Beeswax – Made by honey bees, natural beeswax can be gently melted in the microwave in short bursts. It has a lovely honey aroma.

Other potential options include microcrystalline wax, a mineral-based wax, and certain vegetable-based waxes like palm wax. Always check the product instructions to ensure your specific wax is microwave-safe.

Microwave Power Level

It is important to use a lower microwave power level, around 50%, when melting wax to avoid overheating the wax. Microwaves can generate hot spots if the wax is heated too quickly at high power. This can scorch the wax, creating a burnt smell and affecting the quality of the wax. Heating the wax at 50% power allows it to melt gradually and evenly without getting too hot.

The lower power setting gives you more control over the melting process. As the wax melts, you can pause the microwave and stir the wax to distribute the heat. Reheating at intervals on low power prevents the wax from bubbling up and making a mess inside the microwave.

Refer to your microwave manual to determine the 50% power level timing. Start with 30 second intervals, stirring in between. Increase the time by 10 seconds each interval, until the wax is fully melted. The total melting time will depend on the amount and type of wax used. But maintaining a lower power around 50% is recommended for safe, effective melting.

Microwave-Safe Containers

person wearing oven mitts and carefully removing a glass container of melted wax from the microwave

When melting wax in the microwave, it is crucial to use the proper containers. Metal containers should always be avoided as they can spark, catch fire, or melt in the microwave. The safest options are glass or microwave-safe plastic containers.

Glass containers such as Pyrex are ideal for melting wax in the microwave. Glass is microwave-safe, heat resistant, and easy to clean. Small glass containers, jars, or measuring cups work well. Be sure to leave room at the top of glass containers as wax can bubble up when heated.

Microwave-safe plastic containers are another good option, but care should be taken to ensure any plastic is rated as microwave-safe. Look for containers labeled as microwave-safe or BPA-free. Microwaveable silicone molds or trays designed for melting wax are readily available and convenient to use. Avoid any plastic containers not specifically labeled for microwave use.

Regardless of the container used, it should be just large enough to hold the amount of wax being melted. The wax should not fill more than half the container to allow room for expansion as the wax melts. Following proper microwave-safe protocols for containers helps ensure safe, effective wax melting.

Melting Time

The melting time for wax in the microwave will vary depending on the amount and type of wax you are working with. As a general guideline:

  • For 4-8 ounces of wax, microwave for 1-2 minutes at a time, stirring in between, until completely melted. Melting 4 ounces should take 1-3 minutes total and 8 ounces will likely take 3-5 minutes (Source).
  • For 1-2 pounds of wax, microwave for 2 minutes at a time, stirring after each interval, for a total of 6-10 minutes until melted (Source).
  • Soy wax or vegetable waxes may melt a bit faster than paraffin wax.

Go slowly, microwaving the wax for short intervals. This prevents overheating and gives you a chance to stir the wax and ensure it melts evenly. Monitor the wax as it melts and adjust the time up or down as needed based on your specific microwave.

Avoiding Hot Spots

One of the risks of melting wax in the microwave is the potential for hot spots to develop. This occurs when the wax melts unevenly, leading to parts becoming extremely hot while other areas remain solid. Hot spots increase the chance of the wax overheating and potentially catching fire.

To prevent hot spots, it’s important to stir the wax frequently while microwaving. According to The Wax Chandler (, you should stir the wax every 30 seconds to 1 minute. This helps distribute the heat evenly throughout the wax, avoiding any section getting too hot. Many recommend microwaving the wax in short 30 second bursts followed by stirring.

Vigilantly stirring and checking the wax temperature is key to melting wax safely in the microwave and avoiding dangerous hot spots.

Safety Tips

When melting wax in the microwave, it’s important to exercise caution when removing the container after heating. The wax and container will be extremely hot right out of the microwave, so it’s crucial to wear heat-resistant gloves or mittens when handling it. Remove the container slowly and carefully to avoid spilling or splashing the hot wax, which could result in serious burns. Set the container down on a heatproof surface, never directly on a counter or tabletop that could scorch or melt. Allow the wax to cool and solidify partially before handling again.

It’s also not recommended to microwave wax that already has fragrance oils added. Heating fragrance oils to high temperatures can cause them to burn, creating unpleasant smells or even toxic fumes. Only melt plain wax in the microwave, then stir in fragrance oils after the wax has partially cooled. When adding fragrance oils, pour them slowly and stir constantly to fully incorporate without overheating them.

Storing Melted Wax

Properly storing melted wax before pouring it into wax melt containers is important to maintain fragrance quality and avoid contamination. The key best practices are:

Store melted wax in an airtight, sealable glass or metal container, like a mason jar, to prevent fragrance loss from evaporation. Avoid plastic which can absorb fragrance oils (

Allow the wax to fully cool and solidify before tightly sealing the storage container. This prevents moisture buildup inside.

Keep melted wax stored in a cool, dry, dark place away from heat and light which can degrade wax and fragrance over time ( An ideal temperature is around 15-21°C.

Only store small batches of melted wax at a time, enough for 1-2 uses. Frequently “top up” your storage container with freshly melted wax to maintain fragrance strength.

Scoop out wax only as needed for pouring to minimize air exposure. Wipe container rims clean before resealing.

Avoid double-melting already melted wax as this accelerates fragrance loss. Melt down flakes or blocks of wax instead when replenishing your storage supply.


In summary, you can safely melt wax in the microwave to make wax melts if you follow some key guidelines. Use a microwave-safe wax like soy, beeswax, or paraffin wax. Melt the wax at 50-70% power, stirring periodically. Pour the wax into a microwave-safe glass or ceramic container, leaving room for expansion. Heat the wax for 1-2 minutes at a time, checking frequently to prevent overheating. Store melted wax in an airtight container and use caution when handling, as wax will be extremely hot right after microwaving. Follow these tips, and you can successfully microwave wax for wax melts at home. Doing it safely prevents accidents and equipment damage. Overall, microwaving wax can be a fast, effective approach for DIY wax melt making.

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