Are your wax melts a fire hazard?

Wax melts are everywhere! They’re the trendy way to scent and brighten your home. Almost 75% of my followers use or have used wax melts.

Many people have dozens of wax melts

Where there’s a popular product, there’s always a business opportunity and cottage wax melts businesses are popping up everywhere. But how do you know which wax melts to buy? How do you tell if they’re safe? If you’re thinking about making wax melts, how do you ensure that you’re producing something safe for yourself and your customers?

Let’s talk about how a wax melt is made. First, a wax is chosen and it’s melted down. Most waxes are white, so dyes are mixed in to add colour. We usually like it to smell like something, so fragrance or essential oils are added. The melted wax is then poured into a shaped mould and left to cool and harden.

Heart shaped wax melts from CLP compliant company The One Co Cheshire

But let’s rewind a little to the main area of concern- fragrance and perfumes.

Wax melts should only be scented with a tiny amount of fragrance oil- literally 1oz of fragrance oil to every pound of wax. These oils can be easily purchased online.

There are two main reasons why fragrance oil must be used with care.

1. Wax can only hold a certain amount of fragrance oil before it discombobulates and becomes less like a wax melt and more like wax soup.

2. Fragrance oils are flammable. Different fragrance oils have different flashpoints. This is the temperature something reaches before it will catch on fire. Something with a high flashpoint needs to get to a high temperature before it will catch on fire, and something with a low flashpoint doesn’t take very much heat before it ignites.

Apple Strudel and Butterbeer scented wax melts by CLP compliant and fully insured Flaming Thistle

Buying wax melts from a maker who uses too much or the wrong kinds of oil could put you at risk of fire. Don’t forget this wax melt is going to be sitting directly above an open flame or electrical source.

Believe it or not, the wax melt industry is highly regulated. That means there are clear laws governing makers.

CLP Label on an Angie Davis Makeup wax melt

Anything sold outside of shops, e.g. Instagram, Facebook, or from a workmate, which contains perfumes needs to have a CLP label. CLP stands for Classification, Labelling and Packaging. This rule applies to candles, wax melts, room mists, and reed diffusers too- anything containing perfumes or essential oils.

CLP shows:

  • Product identifiers
  • Hazard pictograms
  • Hazard statements
  • Allergen information
  • Signal words
  • Precautionary statements
  • Supplier information (your business address and contact number)

Not all CLP labels will contain all categories. This is dependent on what they include. A product without hazardous ingredients won’t have a hazard label. Read more about which types of products need CLP labels and what to look for here.

My main safety concerns…

Some wax melt producers are creating their own fragrances by mixing fragrance oils. It’s not enough just to combine the 2 ingredient lists into one long list. When mixing different chemicals a new chemical compound is formed. There is no telling how these will react with one another.

Some are using actual products (Zoflora, Lenor, perfumes) to scent their wax melts. This is extremely dangerous as these products are highly flammable.

Wax melt makers (in fact any cottage business) should be insured. If they are doing either of the 2 things above, or they are not complying with CLP legislation, their insurance will be invalidated, leaving them and their customers at risk.

Look for the CLP label regardless of the packaging

My advice is to check. Ask the business before you make a purchase if they are CLP compliant. If they’re not, just go elsewhere. It is not worth the risk to you and to your family.

The Secret Cleaner x

Some of my posts include affiliate links. If you click on a link and purchase a product, I will receive a small commission.

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