Home fragrances – I love them. However, I have a recurring problem. I’ll use a product for a couple of weeks, fall in love with the scent and then my asthma will flare up. I did something that seems so obvious now – checked the label. I found ingredients such as ‘octahydro tetramethyl naphthalenyl ethanone’ which are known to exacerbate symptoms of pre-existing asthma. 1 Worse, you’ll find these in insect (particularly moth and fly) repellents.
So I decided to make my own wax melts from here on in – years ago, I used to love candle making and had experimented with all natural scents so I blended a few of my favourites and made a batch of pumpkin spice. It it the one of the simplest crafts I have ever done and I’ll never buy another home fragrance product again! I’ve already used up the little batch I made so I am looking forward to the weekend to make up a few festive samples (I think they’ll make excellent Christmas gifts). If it’s something you’re interested in, this is how easy it is.
I made sure to source soy wax that came from organic, non-GMO plants – a lot of companies use soy wax as a selling point, saying it is less harmful than paraffin and while this may be true, the vast majority of these companies are using genetically modified soy beans that have been treated with pesticides and herbicides. I figure if you’re going to go to the effort to make your own products, do it as best as you can.
I made 2 6-sectioned clamshells with 150g wax
Melt the wax over a pan of water (in a heatproof jug) that has been boiled and is simmering – this will take approximately 15 minutes.
Take off the heat, check temperature – when it is around 55 degrees Celsius, add desired fragrance – if the wax is any hotter than this, it can burn off some of the fragrance. You can add up to 10% of the weight of the melted wax in fragrance (this is the part that is totally to your own scent preference).
Stir the mix for 2 minutes before pouring into moulds (I used clamshells).
Rest for a minimum of three hours to set.
I actually allow mine to cure for a full week – the longer you leave them, the further the scent will throw.
So simple and satisfying.
- Kumar P, Caradonna-Graham V M, Gupta S, Cai X, Rao P N, Thompson J. Inhalation challenge effects of perfume scent strips in patients with asthma. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol 1995: 75: 429-33. Also, Millqvist E, Bende M, Lowhagen O. Sensory hyperreactivity–a possible mechanism underlying cough and asthma-like symptoms. Allergy 1998: 53: 1208-12.