Wax Melter vs Double Boiler: Comprehensive Comparison

Are you just getting started with candle or soap-making and wondering if you should buy additional equipment right from the start? Or do you want to level up but don’t know if it’s worth it to buy a wax melter? Choosing between a wax melter and a double boiler might seem like a trivial decision, but it can significantly impact the quality of your experience and final product. 

In this article, you can find the details of the two wax melting techniques, discussing their features, applications, and expert opinions to help you make the right choice for your artisanal journey.

Read also: Best Wax Melter: Review of 2023

Understanding Wax Melter and Double Boiler

Let’s take a look on how each method works:

  • Wax melter: This device is specifically designed for the efficient and convenient melting of wax. It uses a heating element with a temperature control system to maintain a consistent temperature, ensuring that the wax doesn’t overheat or burn. Wax melters come in various sizes and designs, catering to different production scales and preferences.
  • Double boiler: This age-old method involves placing a pot with wax over a pot of simmering water. The gentle heat from the water between the pots melts the wax without direct contact with the heat source. This indirect heating approach prevents the wax from heating above the boiling point and provides more control over the melting process.

Although these two methods perform the same function, there are many differences in terms of efficiency, comfortability, and practicality.

Comparison of Wax Melter and Double Boiler

When I first ventured into the world of candle and soap making, I was confronted with a choice: spend a little more money on wax melter and start with comfort, or save money with a double boiler and check if I will be interested in this activity at all. Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of each method.

Wax Melter

  • Fast
  • Precise
  • Easy to use
  • Consistent temperature control
  • Suitable for bulk production
  • More expensive than a double boiler
  • Some models can take up more space

Double Boiler

  • Inexpensive
  • Easy to set up
  • Steady heat
  • Doesn’t require a dedicated appliance
  • Slow
  • Can be cumbersome
  • Requires more attention
  • Require a kitchen thermometer
  • Not ideal for large-scale production

Safety and Cleanliness

Safety is paramount in any DIY project, and the same goes for wax melting. Here are some of my observations on the safety features and potential hazards of wax melters and double boilers:

Candlemaking pouring pot after double boiler

Wax melter: Generally, wax melters come with built-in safety features like temperature control and automatic shut-off, which minimize the risk of overheating or burning the wax. High-quality wax melters are also designed with non-stick surfaces and spill-resistant features, making them easier to clean and maintain.

Double boiler: While this method is generally safe, it requires constant attention to ensure the handles won’t overheat and you won’t spill wax on your stove when you remove the inner pot. Additionally, the cleanup process can be a bit more cumbersome, as you’ll need to clean both the wax container and the floor or tabletop (water will drip from the pot).

Expert Opinions

It would seem that the choice of experts is quite obvious, and they all choose wax melters. But some continue to use a double boiler, buying pots of increased volume, instead of using a wax melter.

The key takeaway is that each method has its own dedicated fan base, and ultimately, it’s a matter of personal preference and individual needs.

For instance, some professionals prefer the wax melter for its convenience and efficiency, especially when working on larger projects or producing in bulk. On the other hand, some artisans appreciate the double boiler for its simplicity, making your craft really handmade.


After delving into the intricacies of wax melters and double boilers, I hope this article has provided you with valuable insights to make an informed decision. Remember, the best wax melting method for you will depend on your personal preferences, production scale, and the specific materials you work with. As you embark on your candle and soap-making endeavors, consider the pros and cons of each technique, and experiment with both methods to discover which one truly aligns with your artisanal aspirations.

Now, I leave you with a thought-provoking question: Which wax-melting method will you choose to transform your candle and soap-making journey?


Can I use a wax melter or double boiler for other crafts besides candle and soap-making?

Double boilers are commonly used for gently melting chocolate, making delicate sauces like hollandaise, or preparing custards and other heat-sensitive recipes. The indirect heat provided by the double boiler helps to ensure that the ingredients don’t overheat or burn, allowing for more controlled and even cooking.

Is it possible to use a microwave or oven for melting wax instead of a wax melter or double boiler? 

While it is possible to melt wax in a microwave or oven, it’s not recommended because the heat distribution is less controlled, which may cause the wax to overheat, burn, or catch fire. Wax melters and double boilers offer more precise temperature control and are safer options for melting wax.

Can I use a slow cooker or Crock-Pot instead of a dedicated wax melter? 

Yes, you can use a slow cooker or Crock-Pot as an alternative to a dedicated wax melter. However, it’s essential to monitor the temperature closely. Additionally, using a slow cooker may not be as efficient or precise as a dedicated wax melter. So, it is better not to experiment with kitchen devices and use a wax melter or a double boiler.

How can I accurately measure the temperature of the wax when using a double boiler?

To measure the temperature of the wax when using a double boiler, it’s recommended to use a candy or deep-fry thermometer. These thermometers have a clip that can attach to the side of the pot, allowing you to monitor the wax temperature without holding the thermometer continuously. It’s crucial to ensure the thermometer’s tip doesn’t touch the bottom of the pot for accurate temperature readings.

How should I clean and maintain my wax melter or double boiler? 

For a wax melter, it’s essential to clean it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Usually, this involves allowing the remaining wax to cool and harden, then scraping it out with a plastic or silicone spatula. You may also need to wipe the interior with a cloth or paper towel to remove any residue. For a double boiler, you can clean the inner pot by allowing the wax to harden, scraping it out, and then washing it with warm, soapy water. It’s important to clean and dry your equipment after each use to avoid cross-contamination and maintain optimal performance.