Gel melts are chunks of transparent wax made from petroleum by products. They are infused with essential or fragrance oils that fill the air with scented aroma when melted in a wax melt warmer. These melts are health-friendlier because they do not produce soot or flame that are toxic to health.
Wax melts are created as a safer alternative to scented candles. Although it doesn’t give you the romantic atmosphere that candles create, if your primary need for these products is the aroma, wax melts are your best option because they are wiser health choices and safer to use.
In this article, we will learn what gel wax melts are and also how to use them. We will also see if gel wax melts are toxic and how to safely use gel melts.
If you would like to know more about wax melts in general then check out this guide that I wrote, it will tell you what wax melts are and how to use them.
WHAT ARE WAX MELT WARMERS?
To heat gel wax melts and other types of wax melts, a wax melt warmer is needed. A wax melt warmer is an appliance that is used as a heat source to melt the wax slowly, filling the room with a scented aroma in five to ten minutes.
The wax melt warmer could use electricity or tea candles as a heat source. The electric melt warmer has a small built-in light bulb of 25-15 watts or ceramic heater which is placed below the wax melt to provide the heat needed to melt the wax.
This, compared to scented candles, is safer because it is handy and not an exposed flame like a candle so there’s no risk of fire and air contamination from soots.
If you would like to know the differences between electric wax warmers and tea light warmers and which is the best check out this guide.
ARE GEL WAX MELTS TOXIC?
Although there are concerns raised on the safety of using gel melts because of their chemical makeup, there’s no proof that gel melts are toxic to health. In fact, they are considered safer than gel candles because wax melts do not have wicks, and so, they do not burn but melt when heated in the wax melt warmer.
Therefore, gel melts are soot-free and do not release Volatile Organic Compounds as candles do. The wax only acts as a carrier of the aroma. Also, with melts, it is easy to regulate the intensity of the scent because wax melts come in small chunks. You can break off as many as you want, and even do a mix of flavors.
Since gel melts are soot-free and flame-free, they do not pose any threat to health and are not toxic. Therefore, you do not have to worry about lung problems from accrued inhalation of soots. Gel melts are more advantageous than candles.
WHY GEL MELTS ARE SAFER THAN CANDLES
Gel melts do not burn but require electricity to melt so they are flame-free. This means there is no soot produced, and so, no risk of inhaling toxic chemicals that are released when candles burn.
Speaking of soot, if you would like to know which waxes produce the least soot have a look at this post that I wrote.
Although, wax melt warmers that use tea candles might be a health concern. To be on the safer side, use electric wax melt warmers.
Also, you can easily manage the strength of scents since they come in small chunks of different shapes and sizes. The amount of gel melt you put in the warmer will determine the strength of the aroma dispelled.
HOW TO SAFELY USE GEL MELTS
Honestly, gel wax is the most fragile wax, which is why you need to use them carefully. Here are some safety tips to follow when using gel melts.
- Do not use glass wax melt warmers. Gel wax heats up when they burn so using a glass wax melt warmer is quite risky as it could explode if the wax overheats. Use a ceramic wax melt warmer instead
- When using tea candles as a source of heat, choose candles that burn for less than four hours. Bigger candles will burn too close to the gel melt, making it heat faster which can cause a fire outbreak. Also, make sure you constantly watch the candle while using it.
- Do not buy wax melt warmers that are less than 10cm in height. Using such warmers will shorten the distance between the heat source and the gel melt, causing an increase in the melting time of the wax.
- Be careful to choose gel melts that use fragrance oils with less polarity. Gel wax is composed of 95% mineral oil and 5% polymer resin, the fragrance oils have to be soluble to be a compatible fit. There are no non-polar fragrance oils but isopar solvents are now used to lower the polarity level.
- After heating the gel melt, wait for it to cool before removing it. Gel burns at a higher temperature than other wax so it will take longer to cool and trust me, you don’t want to get burnt by gel wax.
- When using gel melts infused with essential oils, be careful to choose the ones that are health friendly for children and pets if you live with them. Some essential oils pose health risks when it comes to children and pets. Seek medical advice when selecting gel melts.
WHAT BETTER OPTIONS ARE THERE?
If you are still skeptical about using gel melts because of their chemical makeup, or because of the rigors involved in safely using them, you can opt for safer wax melt options. Other wax melts that are considered safer than gel melts are soy wax melts, vegetable wax melts, and beeswax melts.
These waxes are gotten from natural sources so they are the safest options to go for. They burn slower and are eco-friendly because they are natural. Using these wax melts could be the safest form of scenting because they are economical and healthier.
After learning the pros and cons of using gel melts, you can now decide if gel melts are the best choice for you or not. If you do not feel you are careful enough to follow precautions when using gel melts, you should probably abstain from it.
If you are really keen on ensuring there are no health dangers, go for other natural melt wax like beeswax and soy wax. They are eco-friendly and healthy to use. Whatever your choice is, one fact remains that wax melts are much safer than candles.
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