Does The Wax In Candle Warmers Evaporate?

What are Candle Warmers?

Candle warmers are devices that use heat to melt wax in a candle or wax melt, diffusing fragrance without an open flame. They consist of a base that houses a lightbulb and a dish or plate on top to hold the candle or wax. When plugged in, the lightbulb gently heats and melts the wax, allowing the aroma to be released into the air.

There are a few main types of candle warmers:

  • Ceramic plate warmers – These have a ceramic plate or dish on top that sits over a lightbulb. The dish holds a jar candle or wax melt cubes.
  • Oil warmer – Oil warmers are similar but designed for fragrance oils instead of solid wax.
  • Tealight warmers – These hold tealight candles and use the tealight as the heat source instead of a lightbulb.
  • Bulb warmers – These sit directly on top of a lightbulb and hold a jar candle above the bulb to melt the wax.

Candle warmers allow you to experience a candle’s scent without having to light a traditional wick candle. The lightbulb provides gentle, even heating to melt the wax. They are a flameless, safer alternative to burning candles.

Does the Wax Evaporate?

When wax is heated in a candle warmer, some of the wax molecules will transition from a solid state to a gaseous state, a process known as evaporation. However, the amount of evaporation depends on several factors.

As the wax is heated, the molecules gain energy and start to move around more. When the temperature reaches the wax’s melting point, the solid begins to liquefy. If the temperature continues to rise, some of the liquid wax molecules will gain enough energy to break free from the surface and enter the surrounding air as a gas. This is the evaporation process.

However, the amount of wax that evaporates depends on the type of wax, fragrance oils, and the max temperature reached. Most candle waxes like paraffin and soy have high melting points between 120-170°F. This means the wax pool can get quite hot before rampant evaporation occurs. The wax also needs to be exposed to air circulation for the gas molecules to disperse.

Furthermore, wax melts containing fragrance oils evaporate even slower. The oil molecules disrupt the wax structure, keeping more bonds intact and minimizing evaporation. Most fragrance oils max out at 2-5% concentration in the wax, so the majority of the mixture remains wax.

Overall, while a small amount of wax may evaporate when heated in a warmer, the majority of the wax will remain in a liquid state. Proper use by keeping the dish full and avoiding excessive heat minimizes the evaporation substantially.

Wax Melting Point

The melting point of wax plays a key role in how much evaporates when used in a candle warmer. Different types of wax have different melting points based on their composition:

  • Paraffin wax – Melts between 115-150°F
  • Soy wax – Melts between 115-135°F
  • Beeswax – Melts between 144-147°F
  • Gel wax – Melts between 150-200°F

Waxes with lower melting points, like paraffin and soy, will evaporate more quickly in a candle warmer compared to ones with higher melting points like beeswax. This is because more of the wax converts from solid to liquid at lower temperatures, allowing more of it to evaporate into the air.

Ideally, the wax in a candle warmer should melt at 120-140°F. This keeps most of the wax in liquid form to maximize fragrance dispersion, while minimizing evaporation loss. Excessive heat over 150°F will cause even more wax to evaporate. The warmer dish material also impacts this – ceramic dishes retain more heat vs metal ones.

Role of Fragrance Oils

Fragrance oils play an important role in candle warmers. They are added to the wax to provide aroma when the wax is melted by the candle warmer. The fragrance oils evaporate into the air, creating the scented atmosphere that makes candle warmers so popular.

It’s important to understand that the fragrance oils evaporate separately from the wax itself. The wax melts at a certain temperature but remains in liquid form in the candle warmer reservoir. The fragrance oils are volatile chemical compounds that evaporate at room temperature. As they evaporate, the scent spreads through the room.

The evaporation rate of fragrance oils can actually affect how quickly wax evaporates from a candle warmer. Faster evaporating fragrance oils will escape the wax more rapidly, which can cool the wax down faster and redeposit it back in the reservoir. Slower evaporating oils will remain in the melted wax longer, keeping it at an elevated temperature and allowing more wax evaporation over time.

So in summary, fragrance oils evaporate completely on their own, while the wax itself melts and remains liquid. The evaporation rate of the oils can influence wax evaporation, but they are separate processes.

Tips to Minimize Evaporation

While some evaporation is inevitable when melting wax in candle warmers, there are a few tips to minimize the amount lost:

Use Lower Wattage Bulbs

Candle warmers use light bulbs to melt the wax. Opt for lower wattage bulbs around 15-25 watts. Higher wattages may overheat the wax, causing more rapid evaporation.

Monitor Melting Temperatures

Try to keep the wax pool temperature between 120-150°F. Use a thermometer to test this occasionally. Excessive heat causes faster evaporation.

Use Wax with a Higher Melting Point

Waxes like soy, beeswax, and paraffin have higher melting points than wax blends. They evaporate slower when heated. Testing different waxes can minimize loss.

Reusing Leftover Wax

After using your candle warmer for some time, you’ll notice leftover wax pooling at the bottom around the dish. While you may be tempted to throw it away, this wax can actually be reused in a variety of ways. Here are some tips for repurposing leftover wax from your candle warmer:

Straining the Wax

Once your warmer wax has cooled and solidified, you’ll want to strain out any wick pieces, dirt or debris. Pour the wax through a fine mesh strainer and cheesecloth into another container. This will filter out any impurities, leaving you with clean wax ready for reuse.

Remelting the Wax

Next, you’ll need to melt down the leftover wax so it can be repurposed. Reheat the strained wax over low heat in a double boiler. Never microwave or use direct high heat to melt wax, as this can scorch it. Once melted, you can pour the wax into molds or containers to set up again.

Making New Candles

One of the most common ways to reuse warmer wax is by making new candles. You can reuse the wax along with new wicks to create candles in containers or molds. To make the candles, combine reused wax with 10-20% new wax for optimal burn performance. Add fragrance if desired and pour into wick-fitted containers or molds.

With some simple steps, you can give your leftover candle warmer wax new life! Strain, remelt and repurpose it into brand new candles. This cuts down on waste while letting you enjoy more candles from the same wax.

Safety Tips

Candle warmers provide an appealing alternative to traditional candles, but they still require safe usage and maintenance. Here are some tips to ensure proper fire safety with your candle warmer:

Position Away From Flammables – Be sure to place your candle warmer on a sturdy, non-flammable surface away from curtains, paper, and other combustibles. The warmer will radiate heat, so maintain adequate space around it.

Supervise Use – Do not leave a candle warmer unattended for extended periods when turned on. Periodically check to ensure the dish is centered and that no flammable materials have been placed too close.

Allow Wax to Cool – Before moving your candle warmer or pouring out leftover wax, make sure the wax has adequately cooled to avoid potential burns or fire hazards.

Clean Regularly – Dust and wax residue can build up internally over time. Make sure your warmer remains clean and lint-free to prevent potential fire risks.

Replace Components – If your candle warmer plate, bulb, warmer base, or electrical components show wear, damage, or frayed connections, refrain from use and replace those parts immediately.

Use Proper Bulbs – Only use the specified bulb type and wattage recommended by the manufacturer. Higher wattages can potentially overheat and be unsafe.

Following basic safety precautions, inspecting your equipment regularly, and using common sense will help ensure your candle warmer provides a safe and enjoyable experience.

Pros and Cons of Candle Warmers

Candle warmers have become a popular alternative to traditional candles in recent years. Here are some of the key pros and cons to consider when deciding between using a candle warmer or regular candles:

Benefits of Candle Warmers

  • Safer than open flames – With candle warmers, there is no live flame so they eliminate the fire hazard associated with traditional candles.
  • Minimal soot and smoke – Candle warmers don’t produce any smoke or release air pollutants into your home.
  • Long lasting scents – The wax lasts much longer in a candle warmer than when burning a candle, providing more hours of fragrance.
  • Reusable wax – The wax can be reused repeatedly in a candle warmer once it’s melted, unlike burned candles.
  • Even heating – The wax melts evenly in a candle warmer, releasing an even fragrance without “tunnelling” effects.
  • Stylish designs – Candle warmers come in attractive styles from traditional to modern that complement home decor.

Drawbacks Compared to Candles

  • No ambiance – Candle warmers don’t provide the cozy, attractive ambiance of a burning candle flame.
  • Requires electricity – Candle warmers must be plugged in and won’t work in a power outage, unlike candles.
  • Can get too hot – Wax can overheat and scorch if left unattended on the highest settings.
  • Less fragrance options – There are fewer wax melt options compared to the vast scented candle market.
  • Wax drips – There’s potential for melted wax to drip onto surfaces if the warmer isn’t centered properly.

Popular Candle Warmer Brands

Candle warmers have become increasingly popular over the years as an alternative to traditional candles. Some of the top brands for candle warmers include:


Scentsy is one of the leading brands when it comes to candle warmers and wax melts. They offer a wide variety of warmer styles from decorative ceramic ones to travel warmers. Their wax scents are highly fragranced and they frequently release new collections and seasonal scents.

Yankee Candle

Known for their traditional candles, Yankee Candle also offers a selection of electric and candle warmers. Their warmers allow you to use your favorite Yankee Candle jar candles without having to light them. They also have warmers designed specifically for their wax melts.


Sensaria focuses exclusively on candle warmers and wax melts. They have an expansive collection of warmers in fun styles like sunflowers, lanterns, and more. Their wax melts are nicely fragranced and they offer fragrance sample packs.


Walmart carries a variety of candle warmers from brands like Scentsy, Sensaria, and their in-house brand Mainstays. The Mainstays brand includes basic but affordable candle warmers. Walmart is a good option for low prices.

When choosing a candle warmer, it’s best to read reviews and compare product features to find one that fits your needs and fragrance preferences. Most brands allow their warmers to accommodate different wax melt brands.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to some common questions about candle warmers and wax evaporation:

Does the wax completely evaporate in a candle warmer?

No, the wax does not completely evaporate. The heat from the candle warmer melts the wax and allows the fragrance oils to be released through evaporation, but there is usually leftover wax once the fragrance is gone.

How long does wax last in a candle warmer?

On average, wax cubes and tarts will last 4-6 hours in a candle warmer before the fragrance has evaporated. Larger wax melts may last 8-12 hours. The wax itself will remain in liquid form while heated.

Should I throw away leftover wax?

You don’t need to throw away leftover wax! It can be reused by adding more wax cubes or fragrance oils. Some people also make their own wax melts with leftover wax.

Is it safe to touch the wax in a candle warmer?

No, you should avoid touching the hot wax directly. Always use tongs or another tool to remove the wax tart or cube once it has liquified in the warmer. The wax can reach temperatures over 180°F and touching it directly could result in burns.

Why does wax disappear in my candle warmer?

The wax itself does not disappear, but a small portion of it may evaporate over time along with the fragrance oils. Usually only 1-2% of the wax mass evaporates after several uses. The rest of the wax remains in liquid form while heated in the candle warmer.

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