Can You Use Wax Melts In An Oil Burner? (Safety And Advice)

People who love scenting their homes are often left confused by the choice of products available. Between wax melts, reed diffusers, oil burners, and scented candles, it can be difficult to know what to buy and how to use them all properly and safely. Many people think that their wax melt burner is only designed to use a certain brand of wax melts, but this isn’t true (the reps often like to push this so that you keep on buying their expensive wax melts). But what about oil burners? Can you use wax melts in an oil burner?

In short yes you can use wax melts in most oil burners or warmers. However for the sake of safety it also best to check the operating instructions or with the manufacturer of your specific oil burner before using a wax melt in it.

A photo of my oil burner with a wax melt beside it
Most oil burners will be absolutely fine when using wax melts instead but you must check first.

While some oil burners will be able to take wax melts, others can’t. When you buy an oil burner, it should say on the packaging whether you can use wax as well as oil or whether only oil should be used. This is because wax heats at a higher temperature, potentially making it incompatible with specific oil burners. The last thing you want is for your oil burner to overheat as this is a fire risk.

What is an oil burner?

Even though it is called an oil burner, or an essential oil burner, the device doesn’t actually burn any oil. There are different types of oil burners. Some require a tealight to be placed underneath the dish, while others are electric. 

When the oil is warmed, it evaporates and creates a strong scent in the room. You don’t actually want the oil to burn at all. If it does ignite, this is a fire hazard and, because it’s oil, you should never try to put it out with water. Instead, use a fire extinguisher, sand, or baking soda.

If you would like to see the oil burner that I recommend then have a look at this one from Amazon.

How to use an oil burner

Fill the oil burner’s bowl with water and put in a few drops of your favorite essential oil. Next, place a tealight under the bowl. If you’re careful, you can place a lit tea light or you can use a match to light it once it’s in place. 

After warming up the dish, the heat will release the essential oils into the air of your room. Even though the tealight is small, you should never leave it unattended. What’s more, never let all of the oil and water evaporate from the bowlbecause the tealight will continue to heat up the bowl and it might crack.

What is the difference between an oil burner and a wax burner?

An oil burner, also known as an oil warmer, is a device that has a small dish to hold oil. Below the dish, as described above, there is a tealight. A wax warmer can look exactly the same as they work in the same way only, instead of using oil in the bowl, you would place a solid wax melt that liquifies with the heat from the candle below. 

A wax melt typically contains fragrance oils rather than essential oils, so the scent might be different. Also, essential oils have known properties as opposed to fragrance oils, which are man-made synthetic oils. 

It is also possible to find low-heat electric burners that are suitable for both oils and wax melts. 

Will wax melts work in an oil burner?

Typically, it is a tealight that heats the oil in an oil burner. Oils don’t need a lot of heat to evaporate and create the scent. Wax melts, on the other hand, need the bowl to reach a certain temperature for them to liquefy and release the fragrance. 

Many people wouldn’t think of putting wax melts in an oil burner because they are designed for oil, not wax. However, many oil burners are ok for use with wax melts too and so you save money because you don’t need to buy a dedicated wax burner.

Both oil burners and wax burners work in the same way so provided you have checked the manufacturer’s information, you won’t need two separate burners. A good-quality oil burner will be able to accommodate fragrance oils, essential oils, and wax melts (though not at the same time!).

Typically, all low-heat electric warmers are fine to be used for both oils and wax melts. 

If you’ve checked that you can use wax melts in your oil burner, all you need to do is place a wax melt into the dish, light a tealight underneath and enjoy. Be careful to ensure that the dish is clean of any oil and water before placing the wax melt into it. 

If you would like to read more information about wax melts, what they are and how to use them check out my helpful guide.

Is it safe to use wax melts in an oil burner?

As mentioned, you will need to check your individual oil burner to see if can be used with wax melts. If it specifies to be used with oils only, then I’m afraid you’ll need to stay away from the wax melts, otherwise, the burner might get too hot and be a fire hazard. 

The reason some oil burners can’t be used with wax melts is that they won’t have been tested this way during manufacturing. To be approved for wax melt use, they need to pass more safety checks. 

If you can’t find the instructions for your oil burner, it’s best not to take risks so instead, use a designated wax burner.

Using an oil burner for wax melts

If you know that your oil burner can be used for wax meltsthere are still some things to be mindful of. 

The burner will take around ten minutes to reach the right temperature for the wax to melt. Once it begins to melt, you’ll start to smell the scent. 

When you’re using wax melts, the wax doesn’t evaporate like oil. It continues to be molten until you extinguish the flame. A wax melt will usually continue releasing scent for up to twelve hours while a tealight typically lasts four hours. This means you can go through three tealights with one wax melt. When you have exhausted the scent of the wax melt, you need to blow out the tealight and wait for the wax to cool slightly but not until it’s completely hard. This makes it easier to remove.

The great thing about wax melts in an oil burner is that you can burn it for a few hours, blow it out and leave it before relighting it and you don’t have to add more wax until it’s run out of scent.


Even though you might love wax melts and their fragrances, you should always make sure that your oil burner is safe to use with wax melts. Safety should always be the priority over the scent you want in your home. Even though many oil burners can be used with wax melts, not all can. Never take risks when open flames or electricity are involved. Once you’ve checked your oil burner is good with wax melts, sit back and relax in the beautiful fragrances it releases.

Andrew Scents and Aroma