I thought it might be helpful to some to have a reference page for all things waxy. My thoughts on these topics are generated from my own personal experiences, friends' experiences and/or common held generalities. Points made here are in NO WAY the Gospel/end-all be-all/absolute truth. If you have anything to add or points to ponder please comment and I will be glad to include those thoughts and ideas as well.
First thing first! When melting wax tarts, don't expect the wax to evaporate. The wax only gets melted, not burnt away like in a candle. The scent from the fragrance oils will fade but the wax will still be there. If it no longer smells, dump the wax (either while hot into the garbage, soaked into a paper towel or cotton balls) or freeze the plate and pop it out and toss. Fire-starters are easy to make by pouring the old hot wax into a disposable cup with a twisted paper towel as a wick.
Wax tart composition usually includes a blending of soy and paraffin wax, sometimes wholly one or the other and sometimes palm wax, beeswax or other waxes are used as the base. The general consensus is that paraffin wax tends to be firmer with a longer shelf life. Soy tends to be softer with a shorter shelf life. Of course there are exceptions.
Wax tarts can come in all kinds of forms or types: chunky loaves, pies and cubes, grubby tarts, scent shots, shapes (hearts, scallops, bundt cakes, fruits, fingers, teeth and even body parts that live in under drawers), brittle, scoopables, clamshells, and pellets to name a few. These can be in one single scent or a blend of multiple fragrance oils.
I see a lot of folks ask what type of warmers work best with various waxes. In general, softer waxes work well with bulb warmers and harder waxes work best with hotplates. For the most part I melt whatever vendor in either bulb warmers or hotplates and I usually do not have a problem, with a few exceptions. Scentsy really does work best in their warmers but I can still get a nice throw out of a lower wattage hotplate. Also I usually enjoy hard wax like CFTKR in my hotplates rather than my lower watt Scentsy warmers. I do have an Edison bulb warmer from ScentSationals that gets blazing hot and can melt anything I throw at it. Warmers can be purchased at craft stores (Hobby Lobby, Michael's), general stores (Walmart, Target), Yankee candle, and online. I found my favorite green warmer at a gift shop and then saw it at Bass Pro Shop recently. Warmers are pretty much everywhere now. Tealight warmers work amazing with wax tarts as well. They do require the additional cost of tealight candles but the benefit of free placement overcomes that minor inconvenience.
Lots of folks hear about "cure time." Some waxy fans feel that softer wax like soy needs a longer cure time to help the fragrance oils develop and intensify throwability (like that word?) and that harder wax like paraffin does not really need to cure. I have friends who don't feel like cure time is needed at all. I don't consciously cure. I buy, store, melt. Sometimes I melt wax the day I get it. Other times I let it sit for a year. I thought I realized that VCS melts stronger with longer cure time, then I melted Blanche & Baby Jane the day I got it and it threw like a champ. So there goes that. I am NOT saying that wax does not need to be cured. I am NOT saying it has to be. Try it out! Experiment! See if it makes a difference.
Another concern is proper wax packaging and storage. Some feel that the wrong bag types (like Ziplock bags) can leech the scent out. Polypropylene is the accepted plastic material for wax storage. Again, not everyone agrees, but I don't spend my money on wax to gamble with the scent evaporating. Here is my post on it.
How Much to Melt:
The rule of thumb is usually one to two ounces of wax per warmer. Some think that melting less is actually more (more surface area for the fragrance oils to burn off) but the again, less wax is less fragrance oil in general for throw. Having melted huge chunks and less than an ounce many times, I tend to go back to 1-2 ounces at a time.
Wax in Social Media:
There are many great wax tart centric Instagram accounts and Facebook Groups and YouTubers and bloggers. If you want to see what vendors and scents are out there it can be a great way to plug in. I have met many amazing folks through these avenues and hope to grow those friendships. Facebook is a must for even being able to place an order with some vendors. Most vendors have a business page and a group page where sale information and flash sales occur.
How to Order:
Most vendors either sell custom wax, RTS (Ready To Ship) wax or a mixture of both. Custom = having the freedom to pick your own scents, shapes and amounts and the vendor will pour it as you order. RTS = you can choose from the scent the vendor makes available in the form and amount available. It is pre-poured and ready to move but when it is sold out, it is gone. TAT refers to Turn Around Time, how long it takes for your order to ship. This can range from 3 days to several months. The longest I waited was almost 7 months. If that kind of wait bothers you, make sure to inquire about the TAT before purchasing. Most vendors have their own website to order from but a few operate solely out of Facebook.
** I am only including vendors I have personally purchased from or have tried wax from that I would in good faith recommend, there are vendors I have tried that I will not be repurchasing from that I will not include, some I have reviewed, some I have not. These do not include store brand wax tart companies. There are many, many vendors I still have not tried, with more new ones popping up everyday. **
Alamo Candelaria usually open/RTS
Beezy open/close model (RTS and pre-orders)
Bodygoodies occasionally stocks wax (does currently)
Book Scents usually open
Bubble & Geek usually open
Butterfly Lane Scents open/ close model (RTS and customs)
Candles From The Keeping Room open/ close model RTS
Candy Panda open/close RTS
Country Lane Keepsakes usually open RTS
Dessa's Homespun Scents usually open RTS and customs
Front Porch Candle Company usually open
Frostbeard Candle Co. usually open RTS
FussAss McGee usually open except for summer time
FuturePrimitive usually open/RTS
Glitterati Facebook only ordering (customs and mystery box lists with flash sales from time to time)
Haley's Heavenly Scents usually open/ made to order
House of Usher Wax Museum usually open
IHEARTWAX usually open for RTS and sometimes for customs
K's Kreations usually open
Lake Providence Lodge usually open RTS
Lasting Scent Candles open/close made to order and RTS
Long Cane Primitives usually open (to close soon for good)
Love Potion Perfumes usually open
Makes Scents usually open
Missouri River Soap open/ close model
Moegenborg Sugar Bush usually open
MooScents restocks periodically, RTS
Olde Primitive Treasures usually open
Pocket Full of Peonies usually open
Prairie Antiques open RTS
Rainbow Melts open/ close model
Rustik County Krafts (Rustik Sand Candles) open RTS
Rosegirls open/ close model, pre-orders
Satin Suzie Scents open RTS
Shayz Scents usually open
Sniff My Tarts open/ close model, RTS and custom ordering
Southbound Soap Co. open/close model
Sugar & Spice usually open, made to order
Super Tarts open/ close model, pre-orders and customs
Ten Digit Creations usually open
The Bathing Garden open- collections rotate out every few months, made to order
The Dreaming Tree usually open
Thirty Street Wax open/ close model
Tiffany Candles usually open
Two Timing Tart usually open
Up The Creek Scents usually open, RTS and customs
Universal Voodoo usually open
Valhalla Soap usually open
Vintage Chic Scents open/ close model, RTS
Wilma's usually open
Zeep Bath usually open, RTS