Can wax warmers catch on fire?


Have you been considering the purchase of a candle warmer? They are an excellent way to keep your candles lit and healthy, but as with any heating device, there is always risk involved. Is this also true for wax warmers? This article will explore all possible risks associated with using them as well as whether or not it would make sense to buy one!

It’s unlikely for wax warmers to catch fire since they release fragrance without flames. Leaving wax warmer for extended amounts of time or overnight will not cause it to catch fire, however, it might overheat and can be a trip hazard. Lastly, the waxes used on a wax warmer are combustible but are not flammable.

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As someone looking into buying a wax warmer or two as gifts, I started wondering if they were actually dangerous in any way. After all, who doesn’t want their scented candles burning evenly without wafting off from one side of a room like some kind soul trying out flight paths before takeoff on Christmas Eve night? 

How long can you leave a wax warmer on?

The amount of time you can leave the wax warmer on depends on the type of wax warmer you’re using:

  • For instance, if you’re using a tealight wax warmer, you can leave it on for four to eight hours. You can also turn it off once the candle stops giving off its scent.
  • On the other hand, electric wax warmers allow you to leave it for prolonged periods, but no longer than 10 hours. As with the previous option, you can also put it out once the fragrance has stopped. 

Please note that although the above information is the average time, it also depends on the manufacturer. The overall time you can leave the wax warmer also depends on its heat strength. Furthermore, a candle or wax melt is likely to lose its scent after four-six hours on the warmer. You may consider turning off the device before this happens so you can replace the wax with a new one.

I recommend checking the package to confirm for how long the specific device you’ve acquired can be left turned on to avoid potential accidents from happening.

Can wax melts catch fire?

Although the wax used for manufacturing wax melts is combustible, it is unlikely to catch on fire during normal usage since it needs to be in its gaseous state in order to become combustible.

Paraffin wax, the material used to produce most candles and wax melts nowadays, is extremely combustible when vaporized. However, as mentioned, this material is categorized as combustible instead of flammable.

Hence, its flashpoint is over 100ºF or 37.7ºC, meaning that although it is still possible for it to catch on fire, it will only do so during very specific situations.

Some manufacturers prefer using soy wax instead of paraffin wax. Although it is a healthier, eco-friendly option, it doesn’t remove some of the dangers commonly associated with melted wax. So, unlike paraffin wax, soy wax requires higher temperatures to become combustible: it only happens when it’s heated at a temperature higher than 450ºF or 232ºC.

With that being said, it is unlikely for a Scentsy warmer to catch on fire. In fact, an experiment revealed that, even if the device gets considerably hot, it is not enough to start a fire.

Are Scentsy warmers safe to leave ON all the time?

Although Scentsy warmers eliminate the fire risk as they don’t use a flame to function, that doesn’t mean that they’re 100% safe. These devices are not burners. Instead, they melt the wax away so it can give off its fragrance. You can leave your Scentsy warmer operating as long as you want if you’re at home, but if you’re going to be outside overnight, I recommend disconnecting it from the power source. 

Scentsy warmers are still prone to causing problems, and overheating is among the most common ones. However, water spills can cause electrocution, and there’s always the risk of wire damage.

Thus, it’s very recommended to place the Scentsy warmer in a dry, safe area where kids or pets cannot reach it. See below for more information about how to use your Scentsy warmer safely.

Can you leave a wax warmer on overnight?

As mentioned previously, you can leave a wax warmer working from eight to ten hours without problems. Thus, it can be safe to leave them working overnight, but there are a few things to take into account, such as the possibility of overheating and trip hazards. Another issue to consider is that wax melts (or alternatively, candles) only last from four to six hours; then, you must replace them.

Risks of leaving your wax warmer on overnight

Here I mention some of the reasons why leaving a wax warmer overnight may not be the greatest idea.

  1. Overheating risks

Leaving your wax warmer ON all night increases the risk of overheating. Most of the time, it is more due to isolation and lack of airflow instead of a mechanical problem. Try to make sure to put your wax warmer in an area with enough airflow, away from other objects that may block the airflow from it.

If the device is overheating, it causes the plate to be extremely hot. If it hasn’t escalated into a bigger problem, you’re likely to overlook the issue and get burned. Additionally, if the plate gets too hot, it can affect the glass candle jar and crack or boil the wax – if not both simultaneously. 

  1. Trip hazard

A wax warmer is a small electric appliance, so it needs a wire to be connected to the power source. Suppose the wire is too long and the room is not illuminated appropriately during the night. In that case, there is always the possibility of overlooking the wire and tripping on it as a result.

  1. Electrical wire harm

A wax warmer’s wire also occupies a considerable part of the device’s interior. As a result, this wire gets hot as the wax warmer continues operating. So, if you leave it working all night, it’s possible that the wire will get disproportionately heated; eventually, it will melt and cause a short circuit.

New wax warmers shouldn’t have this issue, but if you have an older device or have purchased a pre-used one, I recommend checking the wire for potential problems. 

  1. Electrocution

When you’re using a wax warmer, there is always the risk of electrocution – especially if you’ve spilled water on the surface it is placed in. So if you’re going to leave the wax warmer on overnight, please place it in a dry, ventilated area to avoid any potential accident.

For how long should you burn wax melts?

There isn’t an exact or optimal time to burn wax melts. Furthermore, it’s complicated to give an exact answer, as there are different elements that take part in the process.

With that being said, I can say that you should burn wax melts until it stops giving off its fragrance, which can be from 6 to 12 hours, based on the manufacturer’s recommendations. The industry average is about 10 hours, but it also depends on the usage you give it.

For instance, leaving a wax melt cube burning for about one or two hours a day is enough to produce a pleasant fragrance that will persist for several hours; then, you can turn it off for a while. Of course, doing this will also increase the wax melt’s longevity, but it all depends on your preferences.

Some people prefer leaving it burning all day, while others leave it only for a few hours. As long as you enjoy the scent, you can give it the usage you want. Most wax warmers come with an auto-off function, which decreases the overheating risk and ensures the candle’s longevity.

Can wax burn without a wick?

Wax cannot burn without a wick. That’s because the solid wax does not burn; it only does so in its gaseous state. When you try to light up a candle, the area surrounding the wick will start melting immediately due to the heat. As the flame continues burning, the now liquid wax will be drawn into it due to the wick’s capillary action.

Then, the wax vaporizes as a result of the heat. This vapor is the wax in its gaseous form, which then serves as “fuel” to keep the candle flame alive. It’s a cycle that finishes once it burns the whole candle wax away.

Should my wax melt smoke?

Wax melts do not produce smoke but vapor instead, although it depends on the manufacturer. If your wax melt is giving off smoke, it is likely due to the wax warmer overheating or maybe because the wax you’re using has a lower melting point that is not compatible with the device you possess. 

If your warmer produces smoke or a burning smell, please disconnect it immediately. It is likely happening due to an overheating issue.

On the other hand, wax melts produce the vapor while they’re in use.  Don’t worry. This vapor is completely normal – it’s just how the wax releases the scent.

Are Scentsy warmers a fire hazard?

Scentsy warmers are not a fire hazard. In fact, it should be safe to use most of the time as long as the device isn’t near flammable material or liquids. These devices do not burn the wax but “warm” it instead. Due to this, the wax won’t release any harmful agent into the air.

Some people may get alarmed after watching the Scentsy warmer release “white smoke.” If you notice it, don’t worry. It’s completely normal. The warming process causes the device to release vapor, which is responsible for the scent you perceive. Some waxes release more or less vapor, but that depends on the warmer you’re using and the manufacturer.

Using your Scentsy warmer safely. 

It is true that Scentsy warmers don’t use a flame to comply with their purpose. However, heat is still present, and it uses electricity to function. Hence, it is prone to accidents. You can reduce the risk of unpleasant situations by following the guidelines written below.

  • Please place your Scentsy warmer in a safe place, away from flammable material.
  • Scentsy warmers need the right bulb to function appropriately, based on the model. These devices always have the bulb information in a tag you can find on its cord. Alternatively, you can also read the bottom of the devices to check out the wattage requirement. All mini-warmers work with 15-watt bulbs. 
  • Although it is safe to keep your Scentsy warmer on at all times, it would be best if you turn it off if you’re going to leave the house overnight. Think of it as another small appliance, like a lamp. 

Are wax warmers safe?

Wax warmers are a safer option than traditional candles, but you should know that there aren’t precise answers when it comes to burning wax safely at home. With no open flame, the fire hazard is diminished considerably. Although we’ve mentioned overheating as one of the main problems of wax warmers, new models are incorporation an auto-off feature.

Also, wax warmers diminish the fire hazard as they don’t need to use a wick, and therefore, they don’t produce soot or any other harmful materials that could be dangerous to one’s health. Plus, a wax warmer will melt the wax evenly. Contrary to this, lighting up a candle the traditional way won’t melt the wax that’s furthest from the wick.

Wax warmers safety tips

Wax warmers are safer than traditional candles, but that doesn’t mean that they’re hazard-free. Below you can find some safety tips you can use if you’d like to enjoy your candles’ scent safely.  

  • It’s always recommendable to read the instruction manual before you start using the wax warmer. This way, you’ll become more familiarized with the way it functions if something happens in the near future.
  • Before plugging the wax warmer into the power source, please check if the power outlets match the voltage specifications from your device. Connecting your wax warmer with unmatching requirements may cause property damage or harm to you and your loved ones.
  • Don’t leave the wax warmer unattended, especially if you’re leaving the house overnight. Bear in mind that although wax warmers don’t use a flame to function, heat is still present. Thus, accidents are still likely to happen. So always remember to unplug it before leaving the house.
  • Make sure to place the wax warmer in a safe place where your children or pets cannot reach it. 
  • Both the device and the melted wax are hot enough to cause burns. Hence, please make sure that the wax warmer has cooled off before eliminating the used wax.
  • Stop using the warmer if it’s giving off a burning smell or if there is smoke presence. The device is probably overheating, or the wax is not compatible with it due to a considerably lower melting point.
  • You shouldn’t keep your wax warmer near liquids. Bear in mind that it is an electric device. Even if you’re dealing with a grounded appliance, it may produce a revolting shock when touched with damp hands. Accidents happen from time to time, so if you happen to spill a liquid into your device, unplug it immediately.
  • If your wax warmer has caught water somehow, don’t use it until you’re sure that it is completely dry. 

As an extra, another determining factor regarding a wax warmer’s safety is the type of wax melt you use:

  • Paraffin wax is the most common candle and wax melt material, but as a byproduct of oil, it releases toxins that are harmful to one’s health when they’re inhaled. Therefore, I do not recommend paraffin wax if you have babies or children.
  • Although soy wax is a healthier option, it may not be the safest choice as most soybeans are genetically modified and have been harvested with pesticides and other harmful chemicals nowadays. It doesn’t happen all the time, though – so if you’re lucky enough to find 100% organic soy wax, you can go ahead and use it without worries.
  • There are plenty of other materials that are safer to use than paraffin wax. These include all-natural beeswax and coconut oil. In addition, you can also find melts made of essential oils if you’d like a healthier experience – and lovelier smells. 

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