When trying to set a warm and calming ambiance we will often light a candle. After all when trying to relax we gravitate towards things that will comfort us.
We may take a warm bath with candles lit, or meditate. After all, it’s no coincidence that when we meditate we often have a few candles burning to set the mood.
We choose a fragrance that reminds us of a happy time, or a comforting food. (Hello sugar cookies!) Candles smell great, look pretty, and they are awesome to gift to others.
But the up and coming thing in the candle world is the candle warmer. So what exactly is it?
A candle warmer is an electric warmer that plugs into the wall (generally), and it melts a candle or scented wax in order to release its scent.
Candle warmers are meant to be used with jar candles or candles in cups. Taper candles and candles that aren’t large enough to accommodate the accumulated melted wax they make, are not recommended for use with a candle warmer.
Given the model and style, some candle warmers may already come equipped with a bowl for you to place your candle.
Is it better to burn a candle or use a warmer?
Before you ditch your “old fashioned candles”, it’s important to know the benefits of a candle warmer and if the switch would be a good choice for you.
A big plus of a candle warmer is that they are without a flame. This eases the mind of those with young children, and those of us who have pets. (From personal experience when your cat sets its tail on fire, you don’t forget that for quite some time.)
Candle Warmers almost always come with an auto-off feature. This reduces the risks of a house fire, and the less chance that someone or something could injure itself on an open flame.
***This is not to say that a candle warmer doesn’t pose the risks of burning yourself, make sure to read attached warnings.***
In addition to the benefits that accompany the lack of an open flame and fire risk, candle warmers also do not produce soot.
That is a common nuisance that happens with burning candles on occasion, depending on the wick, and the paint/tile you have on your walls.
Candle warmers also help burn your candle more efficiently. This maximizes the amount of candle you get to use, and helps keep the candle fragrant.
How do you use a warmer?
Using a candle warmer is pretty foolproof. You simply select which candle you want to use, is it one already in a glass jar? Or do you need to find a vessel that can be heated to put it in?
Once you’ve selected your perfectly scented candle, you put it on the warmer, and turn the warmer on.
If you find that your candle is not melting adequately or all the way through, you’ll have to return to the drawing board and select another candle.
You can then continue to burn your candle until it no longer emits the pleasant fragrance you have selected.
How long can you leave it on for?
It all depends on the make and model of your warmer, but most candle warmers can be safely left on for around 10 hours.
It’s important to check with the manufacturer of your candle warmer for exact times and length they can be left on for.
Most candles will lose their scent within 4 to 5 hours. So you may find yourself turning off your warmer to replace your candle more often if you leave it constantly running.
Other dangerous hazards that can result from leaving your warmer in include:
- Overheating: Most standard candle warmers (the ones that require a bulb for heating and not just an electric plate) use a lower wattage bulb. You can opt for a higher wattage lightbulb as long as it’s compatible with your warmer. These candle warmers that can be used in a higher setting are generally made from ceramic dishes, hot plates, or lanterns and crocks.
- You should practice caution when leaving these warmers on for extended periods of time. As stated by a leading fragrance retailer, candle warmers are a lot like irons. They are meant to be left on and heated for long periods of times, but you still want to be careful and not leave the device on for long periods of time.
- It’s also important to make sure the area around your candle warmer is clear so that air flow isn’t restricted, which can lead to overheating.
- Wire damage: It’s important to always maintain proper care of your cords, including those on your warmer.
Are there cons to one?
Other than the worry concerning leaving a candle warmer on, (the same can be said for a candle with a flame), the main disadvantage to a candle warmer is the shelf life of your candle.
While your candle can still be burned (as long as the wick is still exposed and able to be lit), the wax of your candle is no longer scented. Most candles are now made exclusively for candle warmers and are often called “wax melts”.
They are blocks or lumps of fragrant wax with no wick that is meant to be warmed or melted on a candle warmer. Once the scent is gone you empty the wax melt, and choose another.
***Wax melts are extremely hot and should be kept out of reach of children and nosey pets*** (Again speaking from experience, harden wax takes a long long time to be brushed and/or cut out of a cat’s fur)
In the long run a candle warmer helps you avoid open flame , and you can invest in different types of “melts” and blend your own scent.
It’s important to choose the best candle method for you, and enjoy the beautiful fragrance it gives off. The positive is that you can find both options at almost any retailer or speciality candle store.
You can check out your local Yankee Candle, Bath and Body Works, Walmart and Target. During these trying times it wouldn’t hurt to relax with a nice book, and a happily scented home.