First, there were bowls of potpourri.
Then there were various plug-ins, smelly cones, and reed diffusers. I admit, I used to keep one of the gel plug-ins in my bedroom, with some sort of Tropical Breeze scent.
It seems that people have a thing for nice smells, and one of the latest that I’ve seen is the little wax melts that you put into some kind of warming device. The wax melts, a pleasant odor disperses, and we’re all happy.
But of course, something smelling of Sugar Cookie or Tropical Breeze is most likely not natural, and artificial fragrances are among the worst of offenders. Fortunately, it’s super easy to make your own homemade wax melts that still smell great and contain no toxic ingredients.
Synthetic fragrances don’t make the best bedfellows. The overwhelming majority are based on petroleum derivatives, and most are never even tested because their actual makeup is “proprietary” so there’s not even an FDA stamp of approval (for whatever that’s worth). Basically, anyone can slap the word “fragrance” in the ingredient list, and they don’t have to tell you what’s in that fragrance.
You might think something that smells nice couldn’t possibly be a problem. But many of the common chemicals found in synthetic fragrances have some nasty side effects. These side effects can include endocrine disruptions, allergies, skin and eye irritation, respiratory irritation. Some have even been shown to be carcinogenic.
The worst part is that fragrances are literally found in almost everything. Because so many things are a nasty chemical soup, manufacturers need to mask that. So they use a sweeter-smelling chemical soup which is often no less harmful.
100% Natural Homemade Wax Melts
The good news is that you can make many of your own fragrance-free products at home. These homemade wax melts are no exception.
Instead of paraffin wax (petroleum-based), we’ll use soy and beeswax. And instead of synthetic fragrances, we’ll use all-natural essential oils. Three simple ingredients and about five minutes of your time.
Start by melting the soy and beeswax together. For best results, you’ll want to use about a 4:1 soy-beeswax ratio, so you can scale the recipe up or down as needed. If you only have one or the other, it should still give you perfectly acceptable results.
For melting, I like to use a glass measuring cup and rest it in a small pan of simmering water. Essentially, a makeshift double boiler. Add the wax to the measuring cup and heat until it’s fully melted.
Take it off the heat and let it cool slightly before adding the essential oils, as heat can degrade them. Add the essential oils (somewhere around 15-30 drops per ounce of wax) and mix well. For something uplifting, use a combination of mints, citrus, and herbaceous notes. In the winter, a mix of cinnamon, clove, and spruce is very nice too.
After you’ve added the oils, pour the wax into small containers to harden. I used a mini-muffin tray, but you can also buy clamshell containers that are specifically designed for this use. Or just pour it into a sheet and break off a chunk when you need it. However you decide to do it, your homemade wax melts will surely brighten the place up, and you can breathe easily (and deeply) knowing that there’s nothing in them that might hurt you.