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What is a Tart Warmer?

By J.Gunsch
Updated May 16, 2024
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A tart warmer, also called a tart burner, is a home accent piece that can add design and style to a home, as well as the benefit of aromatherapy. They can operate through electricity or a tea light, and both work by melting a scented piece of wax, which is called a tart, and releasing the aroma into the room. Depending on the brand of tarts a person uses, their fragrance can often be much stronger than that of traditional scented candles. Some devices can also warm scented oils as well as the wax tarts.

An electric tart warmer works by heating the tart or oil with a small electric bulb. As the wax melts or the oil warms, the scent permeates the room. A non-electric model has a compartment that holds a tea light that is below a dish that holds the wax or oil. When the candle is lit, it melts the wax or warms the oil just as the electric version does.

Choosing between the two types is entirely up to the individual. Some people prefer an electric one because it diminishes the safety concerns of burning candles and the need of replacing them. Others enjoy having the visual warmth and glow of the tea light in addition to the fragrance.

Tart warmers are fairly inexpensive and provide an advantage over expensive scented candles that burn away in a relatively short period of time. The tarts often last for a very long time and can be used over and over again. Once the wax cools, it becomes solid and can be removed and saved while another scent is warmed. These devices can also be used to warm the leftover wax from a favorite scented candle that has gotten too low to burn.

Tart burners are available in all shapes and sizes. With all the many different styles, finding one that fits an individual's decor and personality is usually easy. One can be an elegant work of art, or it can be a lighthearted piece that expresses a favorite hobby. These devices are usually made out of ceramic, glass, or metal, giving consumers the option of choosing their favorite textures as well.

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Discussion Comments
By Immcib — On Oct 18, 2013

The best tart warmers I have found are at scentsy. They smell amazing and have tons of warmers to choose from!

By anon313932 — On Jan 15, 2013

Do any of you know of good affordable tart electric warmers that are made in the USA?

By anon307008 — On Dec 03, 2012

Very helpful points,as I have just started burning Yankee Candles, and was wondering whether I could reuse the wax left over. I shall now purchase a tart warmer.

By turquoise — On Jun 05, 2012

@burcidi-- I don't know if wax tarts are better than oils, but the electric tart warmers are definitely better than the regular ones that require tea light candles. And it's going to cost you less because once you get the tart warmer, you just need the tart. You don't need to pay for candles too!

Some people think that an electric tart warmer - burner will be ugly but they're not! They also come in different themes, shapes and styles. I have one that has a cat theme and I love it, it's so cute.

By the way, I have a cat, and that's another reason I use an electric tart warmer. An open flame is dangerous when there are little kids or pets in the house. And considering how long we tend to heat tarts for, it's not safe with an open flame.

By candyquilt — On Jun 05, 2012
@tigers88-- That's true! My family is from India and my grandmother still makes wax candles at home the traditional way. I'm not exactly sure about all the steps, but usually she will dry different pastes in the sun on a cloth. Her favorites pastes are sandalwood and coconut. Every day, she puts a new layer of the paste on the clothe and lets it dry. After about a week, there is a lot of dried paste.

Then she removes the paste and mixes it with ghee (animal fat) and puts it into containers with wicks. I suppose she could heat it up in a tart candle warmer too.

This is how my ancestors have been making scented candles for a long time. I'm glad my grandmother continues the tradition. I should learn all the details from her so that I can make my own homemade candles and wax tarts in the future.

By burcidi — On Jun 04, 2012

I use a ceramic tart warmer all the time, but I always use essential oils with it rather than tarts. Has anyone used both? Which do you think works better?

So far, I like using essential oils with it. My favorite scent is cherry blossom and I burn the oil with a tea light in my living room. It makes the whole house smell wonderful for hours. But I do go through a lot of oil and they're not very cheap.

Are tarts more efficient? I do know that they cost less, but if I were to burn it everyday, in how many days would I get through a single tart? I might switch to tarts if they're going to save me money.

By tigers88 — On Jun 03, 2012

I saw an exhibit of primitive tart warmers at a natural history museum a few years ago. The practice of heating wax to add smell is much older than most people realize. Cultures from around the world have been using that simple piece of technology as part of religious or court ceremonies for thousands of years.

By whiteplane — On Jun 03, 2012

I bought a wax tart warmer at a garage sale a few years ago. I still have not used it because I don't come across tart wax that often but it pops into my head from time to time.

I usually use an electric air freshener but I am not crazy about a lot of the smells. And there is not much selection either. Maybe I should just make a point to try out the tart and see if I can find something I like.

By jonrss — On Jun 02, 2012

I have been using a tart warmer to accent the aroma in my home for years now. I have tried out dozens of different scents but my favorites are a mint and a subtle lavender. I buy them from this holistic store in my town and they are made by a woman who actually harvests the wax from her husband's bee farm.

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