How to Melt Candle Wax (AVOID These Mistakes)

You’ve decided to make candles (good choice), and now you’re wondering how to melt the wax.

This short article will teach you simple methods to melt your candle wax and what mistakes you should avoid to prevent accidents.

Let’s begin and get you on your way to making candles!

How to Melt Candle Wax

You can melt candle wax in many ways, like on a stovetop, hot plate, microwave, wax melter, or heat gun. Of course, you’ll also want to practice safe handling of your candle wax so you can focus on making candles and not cleaning up accidents. Let’s begin with safety tips, and then we’ll get straight into how you can melt your candle wax.

Safety Tips & Mistakes You Should Avoid When Melting Candle Wax

  • Never leave the wax unattended.
  • Do not pour wax down the drain.
  • Do not pour hot wax into a hot container on the burner. This may start a fire.
  • If you have a wax fire, don’t use water. Smother the fire with a damp cloth or lid. If the fire is too big, use a fire extinguisher.
  • Use gloves to protect your hands, and take caution when handling a hot pot or pour pitcher.

Double Boiler (Recommended)

melting soy candle wax using double boiler method

You can use a double boiler to melt candle wax on a stovetop or hot plate. We use a double boiler in the how to make a soy candle article.

The double boiler will allow you to evenly melt the wax while having more control over the temperature of your wax compared to other methods.

  1. Place your wax into your pour pitcher, which should be water and heat-resistant.
  2. Place the pour pitcher into a pot of water 2-3inches high and bring the water to a boil. Once the water is boiling, you can turn down the heat to a simmer. You don’t need a vigorous rolling boil. You only need steady heat to melt the wax.

    If the water evaporates, add more water as needed (be careful not to get water in the candle wax).
  3. Place your thermometer in the pour pitcher to monitor the temperature. Gently stir wax before measuring temperature for a more consistent reading.
  4. Remove your pour pitcher when you’ve reached the desired temperature of your wax.

If you have a large pot, you may be able to safely hang the pour pitcher by its handle on the side of the pot.

If your pour pitcher is making contact with the bottom of the pan, you can use a spacer like a metal cookie cutter to prevent your pour pitcher from making direct contact with the bottom of the pan.

Melting Candle Wax on a Hot Plate

We discussed using a double boiler on a hot plate, but you can also put your pour pitcher with candle wax directly on the hot plate.

A hot plate is great for convenience if you have a dedicated candle-making room without access to a stovetop or don’t have all the materials for a double boiler.

For more control over the temperature of your wax, the double boiler is still the preferred method, but if that’s not an option putting your pour pitcher directly on the hot plate will get the job done.

Since you now have direct contact with the heat source, you may need to stir the wax more often to avoid any hot spots. But ensure to avoid vigorous stirring, which can create air bubbles in the wax.


If you don’t have access to a stovetop or hot plate, you can head to the microwave to melt your wax.

It’ll be more difficult to melt the wax evenly and reach the melt point of your wax with the microwave, but hey…we want to make candles and sometimes we need to make do with what’s available.

  1. Make sure you have a heat-resistant microwave-safe container.
  2. Put your wax into the container and microwave for intervals of 60 seconds.
  3. After each interval, stir the wax and use your thermometer to monitor the temperature.
  4. Repeat until you reach your desired temperature.

Heat Gun

The heat gun is not something you will use like the other methods for melting wax, but it is a handy tool to repair imperfections on your candle.

You can easily control the temperature and target specific areas of imperfections to melt.

You can use the heat gun to repair surfaces, buried wicks, and container adhesion issues.

Start with a low setting and at a distance from the candle.

Try not to make direct contact with the wick.

Don’t point the gun for too long in one spot. For example, if you’re repairing the surface, you’ll want to move the heat gun around the candle evenly and not for a prolonged time in any spot.

Continue until you have melted the surface of your candle. Depending on the imperfections, you may only need to melt a thin layer of your wax. Use a toothpick to help break up any wax on the sides of your container.

I recommend grabbing a heat gun right away.

Wax Melter

Wax melters are used for melting down large quantities of wax.

Great for when you’ve moved on to producing large quantities of candles and have grown out of the double boiler method.

The wax melter is only for melting the wax. You’ll then want to section off the wax you need into a pour pitcher, where you can then add fragrances, dyes, or whatever else you need for your specific candle project.

Wax melters are typically electric with temperature control that you can adjust based on what kind of wax you’re melting. You can check out our best candle wax article for the different melting points of waxes.


Melting your candle wax with the double boiler method is the recommended way to go. It’ll give you an even melt with more control over the temperature of your wax. This can be done on either a stovetop or a hot plate.

If you don’t have the materials for a double boiler, use your pour pitcher directly on your hot plate. Although you may have to babysit your wax more closely, it’s still a great option that’s convenient and portable as well.

When you’ve decided to make candles in bulk, it’s time to start looking into a dedicated wax melter to melt large amounts of wax at a time.

And if you don’t have access to a stovetop or hot plate, look into using a microwave. It can be much harder to get the desired results, so move onto a stovetop or hot plate whenever possible.

And finally, the heat gun is a handy tool for repairing imperfections in your candles. From resurfacing your candles to fixing problem areas or repairing wicks, it’s a tool you’ll find yourself leaning on more often than not.