Wax melts and warmers have become popular as they’re safer alternative to flame-wick candles. I never had a wax melter until I received a pack of Scentsy wax melts as part of a thank-you gift. I picked up a wax warmer at Walmart a couple weeks ago on clearance for $5 and tried them out.
I realized very quickly that I did not like this Scentsy wax scent at all — I’m sure there must be some better ones out there, but the scent I’ve got smells like a cut lemon wafting out of an unflushed toilet bowl. Seriously. I made everyone else in the house smell these too, and they agree that this is awful. (Scentsy fans, I highly recommend that you avoid the scent called “Hello Yellow.” There’s a reason it has this name.)
Anyway, I was pretty disappointed in my first foray into wax melts, but then I tried again and picked up some new, better-smelling melts at the store. I’ve learned that the melts are good for about a week, and then the scent oils seem to burn away and you’re left with almost-scentless wax. The wax melt packaging recommends that you pour the melted wax back into the clamshell packaging to dispose of it. Being frugal, I couldn’t simply throw the wax away. So, we’re reusing it another way.
In preparation for an upcoming scout event, I decided to make firestarters with my two young Cub Scouts. This was fun for them because it was kind of like a craft, it involved recycling, and they also got to play with warm-but-not-hot wax. You’ll need:
- An empty cardboard egg carton
- A couple weeks’ worth of dryer lint
- Any leftover wax melts that you no longer need
The kids divided the lint up and packed each compartment of the egg carton with lint. This activity had a small gross-out factor for them when they realized just how much lint comes off our clothes in the dryer! That led to a discussion of how flammable lint is and why the lint trap must be cleaned after each load. (See, this is an educational craft too!)
Once the carton was packed with lint, we used the wax warmer lamp to warm up each melt. Once the wax liquified, the boys took turns pouring the melted wax over one compartment in the egg carton. Once we used up the old wax from the melts I actually did like, the kids melted all of the “Hello Stinky” yellow wax in the lamp too, pouring it over the rest of the egg compartments. And… that’s it.
This is a pretty old method of making firestarters (I remember it being in my Girl Scout book when I was a kid!) but it’s a good way to use up old wax melts if you don’t want to throw them away, and you’re the kind of person who enjoys campfires, bonfires, or lighting your fireplace. When you’re ready to use these as firestarters, simply break off one “egg” from the carton – carton and all — and use it to start your fire.
They burn extremely well, and you’ll also get to enjoy the last bits of your scented wax (or, in our case, hope the scent burns away quickly and is replaced by the smell of a roaring fire.) Enjoy!