How to make wax melts, tarts, or cubes.

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Wax melts, tarts, or cubes, are scented chunks of wax. They are placed into tart warmers, also called tart-burners, where the heat gently melts the wax and releases the fragrance.  The scent lasts anywhere from several hours to several days.  When the wax melt is exhausted, the remaining wax is discarded, and a new chunk of wax can be added to the tart warmer as desired.

In this tutorial we’ll show you how to make scented wax melt cubes. We’ll be making the tarts inside of a 6-cavity clamshell package.  The clamshell packaging doubles as a mold in this example. This convenient packaging allows individual cubes to be broken off as needed.

Tart Molds

Clamshells can be creatively labeled on the front for gift-giving, or retail display.

Clam shell cavities

Each mold has 6 cavities, allowing individual chunks to be broken off as needed.

Wax Selection: Almost any kind of paraffin or soy wax will work for this. Avoid waxes that are really soft or sticky, as they will be difficult or messy to remove from the tart mold packaging. Harder waxes are generally easier to remove from the molds. Choose waxes with a melting point of 145F or less so that the cubes melt easily when placed into the tart warmer. The following waxes all work well for this:

Soft waxes, such as IGI-4627, IGI-4630, or IGI-6006, are poor choices by themselves because they will adhere to the clamshell mold, and be difficult to remove. These soft waxes will also tend to “flow” and become messy when the clamshells are stored in an upright position at warm temperatures.  However, the softer waxes can be strategically mixed with some of the harder waxes to impart properties such as increased scent throw, increased fragrance loading potential, lower melting point, or single-pour characteristics (reduced wax shrinkage while cooling). Your climate and expected storage conditions should play a role in your wax selection.

In this tutorial, we selected a 50/50 mix of IGI-4630 and IGI-4625. The IGI-4630 is a soft container wax that has excellent scent throw and minimal shrinkage, but it is too soft by itself to mold into cubes.  IGI-4625 is a harder pillar wax, intended for molded candles. The resulting blended wax is firm enough to make it easy to break off cubes as needed, but also possesses some of the single-pour characteristics of the soft container wax, minimizing the need to do re-pours.  The procedure would be the same for other waxes, or wax blends.

To calculate how much wax you will need (or how many tart molds), expect 1 lb of wax to fill about six of the 6-cavity Break-Away Tart molds.

Add fragrance at 3-9% by weight. For a typical objective of 6% fragrance load, that comes out to about 1 ounce of fragrance oil added per pound of wax.

Items You will need:

 

Step 1.  Measure your wax with a scale. To keep the math simple, we used a pound of wax.

Measuring wax with a scale.

Using a digital electronic scale to measure the amount of wax.

 

Step 2. Using a double boiler, or other wax melting setup, melt your wax to 175F.

double boiler

Double Boiler: Indirect heat is used to melt the wax for safety reasons.

Wax melting

Wax melting within Double Boiler set-up. A pool of water surrounds the pouring pitcher.

Monitor your wax Temperature.

Always monitor your temperatures with a thermometer. For this project, our target temperature is 175F.

 

Step 3. Remove the wax from the heat source and add dye, if desired.  Mix thoroughly.  We used liquid dye, but chips work equally as well.

Liquid dye

Here we are coloring our wax with liquid candle dye.

mixing dye

Mixing the dye into the wax.

 

Step 4.  Add fragrance oil as desired. We added 1 ounce of fragrance oil to our pound of wax, to achieve a 6% fragrance load. Mix thoroughly.

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Stir well after adding fragrance oil.

 

Step 5.  After adding dye and fragrance, your wax should be cool enough to go ahead and pour (150-160F) into the molds. You do not want to pour while the wax is too hot, as it can melt the tart mold. Try to pour as cool as reasonable, but also try to keep the temperature about 15-20 degrees F above the melting point of your wax. This will help to avoid jump-lines or other cosmetic blemishes.

Pouring wax into tart mold.

Pour wax carefully into the break-away tart mold/clamshell.

 

Step 6. Allow to cool, and enjoy.

Tarts cooling off

Allow the tarts to cool for an hour or two before handling.

Tart warmer with melting tart.
Why do some wax melts seem to last longer than others? The temperature of the tart warmer is the single biggest factor to influence how long a wax melt will produce an effective scent throw. Some tart warmers get hotter than others. Tart warmers that get really hot will produce a higher intensity fragrance, but the fragrance will dissipate much sooner. Tart warmers that don’t get as hot tend to produce a less intense, but longer lasting aroma. Therefore, it is a tradeoff of intensity versus endurance.


22 comments on “How to make wax melts, tarts, or cubes.
  1. Renee says:

    I just wanted to shout out a resounding thank you! Not only informative but the links built in as to where to acquire the wax, scents, type of thermometer ect and astounding. The imagery is beautiful and helpful. I am an aspiring candle maker and will be using this page like a Bible of sorts to create my 1st wax tarts.

  2. Margaret Spencer says:

    Going to try this.I buy Scensy cubes and they are good but expensive

  3. Jenny says:

    Thank you for posting this. Could you blend the IGI-4630 and the GW415 Soy Wax together without any problems?

  4. Jason says:

    how many 6 tart containers could you make with say 1lb of wax? I’m trying to cost out how much it would be to make these and then sell them.

  5. Rachael says:

    I was wondering… what’s the best way to clean the pouring pitcher? I feel like I’ve tried a few different ways to clean that (and the thermometer) but they still are waxy and smell like the last batch of clamshells I poured. Tips and tricks?

    • chelsea says:

      Hi Rachel,

      The best way to clean a pouring pitcher is to wipe it out with a paper towel while the wax is still liquid. If there is still a thick residue, you can re-heat the pitcher until it melts and wipe it again. A little bit of residual scent should not affect the next batch since it is such a small amount.

  6. Dave says:

    Hi. Made a batch following your instructions but the fragrance oil did not mix with the wax. Just seperated out. What did I do wrong?

    • chelsea says:

      Hi Dave,

      If your fragrance oil is not mixing with the wax, your wax may not be hot enough or the oil you are using may not be designed for use in wax. Make sure you are using fragrance oils specifically for wax candles and tarts, and adding the oil between about 170-180 degrees F.

  7. martie says:

    Thank you so much for this how-to. Your instructions are excellent and the photos you provided are a wonderful bonus.

  8. Donna says:

    I am using advanced soya for the first time.Hot scent throw is very poor.Can you please tell me what temp best to heat to?And at which temp to add FO?I am using 8ml of oil to 100g of wax.
    Many Thanks.

  9. Ashley says:

    Love this tutorial! Quick question as I’m new to this project. I would like to start making wax melts with essential oils. Do you know how many drops would be used for 1 pound of wax? Also,is a certain wax I should use. I currently use 50/50 of a paraffin wax and a soy wax. I’m looking to make these as a “healthier” alternative. Thanks for all the input and hlp so far! I’m excited to see where this journey takes me!

  10. Rebecca says:

    I’d love to make these using beeswax, is that possible?

  11. Eileen says:

    Where can you buy all the supplies for this?

  12. rebecca rash says:

    I am a beginner and have always wanted to make candles. so many you buy in the store smell good when you open them but have no smell after being it. I am tired of wasting good money and being disappointed. thank you for the information and its something I feel I can do at home.

  13. anita says:

    I’m new to this melting wax tart thing… but customer service was very helpful to me… I look forward to dealing with y’all

  14. Helen says:

    Hi,

    I want to know what colour that green is on the pictures?

  15. George says:

    I made some candles and used the wrong wick. Just wondering if I could melt the wax and make tarts or would the fragrance go away when I melt the wax?

  16. Shelley says:

    I am going to be making my own tarts as soon as the molds arrive that I ordered.Your instructions are simple and easy to understand.Thank you

  17. Abdu says:

    Thanks for ur tutorial

  18. Reida Cox says:

    If I make a bunch at one time can I put the rest in freezer or stay at room temp always. Also can I mix fragrances to come up with my own,like 2or 3 fragrances mixed at once?
    Thank you.

    • chelsea says:

      Hi Reida,

      You can put the tarts in the freezer to cool, but if they stay in the freezer too long, they may crack. You can experiment with mixing fragrance oils to create your own custom scents.

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