Definitions

THROW
How far the scent reaches. So if you melt wax in a warmer and you have to stand within a couple of feet to smell it, it has poor throw. But if you smell it throughout the whole house, that's fantastic throw!

SCENT STRENGTH or INTENSITY
How strong the scent itself is. You can have a strong scent that doesn't throw well (for instance, smells incredible on cold sniff but can barely smell it when melted), or a weak scent that does throw well (not much scent on cold sniff, but really comes alive when melted). Ideally you want a strong scent that throws well, although certain scents like that can give some people a headache.

COLD SNIFF
The scent of the wax in the package before it's melted.

WARMER
What the wax gets melted in. There are two general kinds: tabletop warmer and wall warmer.
  • Tabletop warmers sit on a table.
  • Wall warmers plug directly into a wall without a cord, like a nightlight.
There are 3 main types of tabletop warmers: tealight warmers, lightbulb warmers, and hot plate warmers:
  • Tealight warmers don't use electricity; they use small tealight candles to provide the heat. Tealight warmers are the cheapest, and you can even find them at your local Goodwill.
  • Lightbulb warmers use lightbulbs to provide the heat.
  • Hot plate warmers use a heating element. Hot plate warmers are the most common and distribute the heat the most evenly.
Warmers come in a variety of styles and colors, and you may find that one type does better in a room than another.

TRAY
The part of the warmer that the wax sits in.

WATTAGE
Warmers range in watts from 13W to 30W, and there may be some with less or more wattage than that. Most tabletop warmers are 20W or 24W. Wall warmers use a small 15W bulb. Tabletop lightbulb warmers use lightbulbs between 10W and 30W, but usually 25W.

Usually the wattage is not disclosed on the package, but will be listed on the bottom of the unit next to the volts and Hz measurement, for instance "110-120V AC. 60Hz. 20W". Unfortunately this sometimes means removing the unit from the package to find out the wattage, although sometimes you can just open the bottom of the box without having to remove the entire unit. Lower wattage units often tend to cost less than higher wattage.

How does wattage affect scent throw? In general, the lower the wattage, the less scent you will smell, but the smell will last for a long time. With higher wattage warmer, the smell may be stronger, but the high heat will burn off the scent faster so the scent may not last as long. The "sweet spot" is 20W (like the popular Glade warmer).

Surface area can also affect throw. A warmer with a larger tray will generally provide better throw, although it may not be a noticeable difference. A larger tray also means that you'll have to use a little more wax so that the entire tray is covered. And then there are trays that look large, but they have a small lip at the bottom that reduces the surface area.

Small plug-in wall warmers tend to give off the least scent because the trays are tiny, plus they're often only 15W. And they come with a top with holes in it. The top is for safety, to keep pets and children from putting their fingers in the hot liquid wax while it's plugged into the wall. However, the top really limits how much scent gets released.

Keep in mind that all of this information is generalizing. I've had fantastic luck with the tiny wall warmers in a huge room, and not such great luck with larger warmers with more wattage in a small room. Good high quality wax with good throw will tend to work anywhere with any warmer. Wax with poor throw may not work no matter which warmer you use. Much of what influences the wax throw may not be so much the wattage or type of warmer, or sometimes even the wax itself, but external influences such as room size, room shape, room temperature, open windows and breezes, air conditioning and heat, etc. The best way is to experiment with different types of warmers in different rooms and even different parts of the room.

HAUL
The wax you bring home from a shopping trip.

STASH
The wax you own.

DESTASH
Wax you want to get rid of (sell).

You can also view this file in our Facebook Group at https://www.facebook.com/notes/scented-wax-melts-retail-store-bought/definitions/796012853849879.