One of the hottest and best-selling products in the home fragrance category today is the wax potpourri tart. These small, fragrant pieces of wax can really deliver a powerful scent, if you know how to burn them correctly. As a manager for Yankee Candle Company for several years, I can’t even count how many times I explained to people exactly what tarts are and how tart burners work. Based on that experience, I figured I would write an article for Associated Content explaining exactly what you are supposed to do with a wax potpourri tart.
As I stated earlier, a tart is basically a hunk of scented wax with no wick. “Tart” is the most popular name for these items, although some people call them “wax melts” or “wax beads.” In order to burn a tart, you need a tart burner. A tart burner is nothing more than a ceramic, glass, or metal container that has a dish on the top that can be heated to melt the wax. They are very similar in size and shape to an oil burner. Tart burners come in both electric and tealight candle designs.
Many people like the ambiance that candle light creates-a tart burner that gets it heat from a small, tealight candle might be best for these folks. On the other hand, some people are uncomfortable having an open flame, especially around small children or pets. If you have these concerns, an electric tart burner might be best for you. A single tart should fragrance an entire level of your home, so you only need one tart burner for each floor of your house.
Once you have your tart burner, you’ll need to pick a good place for it. You want to find a place in your home that is somewhat centrally located (assuming you’d like scent throughout your whole house) and away from any drafts, since drafts can affect how a tealight candle burns. Also, keep in mind the tart burner creates a pool of very hot wax that can be extremely hard to clean up if spilled, so try to pick a location where the tart burner will be safe from getting knocked over.
Now, you’re ready to go! Just place the tart in the “dish” part of the tart burner, and either light the candle underneath or plug the burner in. With a tealight candle tart burner, the tart should completely melt in about 20 or 30 minutes-electric tart burners can take slightly longer. As soon as the tart starts to melt you will be able to smell it, but you may have to wait until it is completely melted for the fragrance to reach its peak intensity.
Most tarts will provide fragrance for between 8 and 12 hours. This means you can usually burn two tealights for every one tart. Unlike oil, the liquid in the tart burner will not evaporate. Instead, you will know that the tart is “spent” after you can no longer smell its fragrance. Whenever you are finished with your tart, the easiest way to get it out of the burner is to let the hot wax cool and harden. Then, place your tart burner upside down in your freezer for 15 or 20 minutes. The wax will shrink and pull away from the sides of the dish, and after being in your freezer for awhile it should become loose enough to just slide out or be gently pushed out with your thumb.
Once you’ve “cleaned out” your tart burner, you’re ready to go with your next tart. Just make sure you allow the tart burner to reach room temperature before heating the tart-heating a freezing cold tart burner could cause it to crack or shatter. Many people are confused about what exactly to do with a wax potpourri tart, but hopefully I’ve given you a pretty good explanation in this article. Now you can head to your local wax retailer and shop for tarts with confidence!