A wax warmer is an electrical device that has many uses. But the prior use is that of melting wax without lighting an open flame. Contrary to candle warming devices that use scented candles stored in jars, this device can be used to melt wax tarts and wax melts specifically.
Although this device does not use an open flame it still uses heat. The heat is supplied via an electricity socket where the cord of a wax warmer has to be plugged in for it to be turned on and used.
Temperature is an important issue for any wax warming device and thus it is important to know how hot is normal and acceptable when it comes to a heated-up wax warmer.
How hot does a wax warmer get?
The melting point of wax is between 115 – 154 Fahrenheit or 46.11°C – 46.11°C. The range accommodates different types of wax that have different chemical compositions and thus varied melting points. The wax inside a wax warmer is consistently melted using a very steady supply of heat to it.
The type of wax used for the wax warmer has an important role to play in determining how hot the device will get. To start with, it has to reach the optimal temperature to start melting the wax then it has to maintain a consistent heat for the wax to melt and for the scent to be released. In this process, the maximum temperature that a wax warmer can reach is 500 Fahrenheit or 260°C.
However, the temperature of 500 Fahrenheit is an extremity and is not a regular occurrence because most wax warmers are equipped with an auto-shut-off feature that will turn the heating off when a certain temperature is reached and once the device cools down a bit, it will start heating again automatically.
Wax warmers are used for a variety of purposes such as home scenting, melting wax for skin-care purposes, candle making, etc and most of these require the device to maintain high and consistent amounts of heat as the wax needs to stay molten.
Different types and their temperature
Although wax warmers come in many types of designs and structures, the hot plate wax warmer and a wax warmer lamp are the most frequently bought ones.
Although both of these are wax warmers, they do not consume similar amounts of energy, and neither do they generate the same levels of heat.
Hot plate wax warmer
This uses a small pate similar to that of a coffee cup warmer to melt the candles. Since this uses conduction technology, the amount of heat generated is more than any other type of wax warmer and so is the energy consumed per hour of usage.
Hot plate-type wax warmers use about as much as 40 watts to heat wax and if the amount of heat generated on an hourly basis is calculated it is about 110 degrees Fahrenheit or 43.33 degrees Celsius. This is of course for the first hour as the heat level increases and may reach as much as 500 degrees Fahrenheit
Wax warmer lamp
In a wax warmer lamp, the heat supply comes from above and is in contrast to a hot plate which warms the container storing the wax tarts from below. A small light bulb is suspended using a holder over the candle. The heat from the lighted bulb causes the wax to melt. This also doubles as a lamp which is why many buy it for their homes.
Wax warmer lamps are mostly used for personal home scenting usage as the heat generated here is much lower as compared to hot plate wax melts warmer. The bulb that powers this mechanism is usually a 25 Watt bulb and the speed at which this warms the wax is not suitable for the other usages of wax.
The reason why this is preferred by many homeowners is because of its low energy consumption and slower speed of melting the wax tarts which also prolongs its life span all the while releasing the scent mixed within.
Can wax warmers catch on fire?
A wax warmer should not be catching on fire because the whole point of not using an open flame is to minimize the risk of a fire hazard. However, there always remains an “if” situation where a faulty product may backfire and cause a fire.
However, if used cautiously a wax warmer is not likely to catch fire. This is precisely because the device does not use the traditional method of an open flame to melt the candle.
Overheating is also another reason why a perfectly fine wax warming device may suddenly break down and one of its internal parts may catch fire. Heat is a corrosive element and excess amounts will always damage surfaces.
The parts of a wax warmer are not exactly built for heavy-duty fire-resistant iron so it is safe to assume that an overheating may burn the coil or cause the wires to catch on fire.
If there are exposed metal surfaces on the device then leaving it on and unattended will heat the metal and cause scalded skin if touched carelessly. There is also the chance of wax spewing outside the jar and onto surrounding surfaces which will damage the surface.
Are wax warmers a fire hazard?
No, wax warmers are not a fire hazard because they do not use an open flame or a traditional method of burning to warm the wax.
That being said, it is still an electrical device that deals with hot molten wax and overusing or misusing it, although it may not cause a fire but can surely cause a short-circuit or a burnt coil or at the worst severe scalding on skin.
Wax must always be dealt with caution because it can store large amounts of heat within itself. The burn you get from hot molten wax dripping on your skin will be far greater than if you touch a hot surface or hot water. Molten wax will also leave an ugly blemish on the affected area.
Thus, it is always good to be cautious when using a wax warmer because it is after all an electrical device.