Candle making terms
Here are some common terms that pop up a lot in candle making. If there is a term that you see all the time but aren't sure about, feel free to email us.
- Burn Cycle
The act of burning a candle for 4 hours and blowing it out to let it cool. This process is used for evaluating wick performance and calculating burn time. See our article on “How to Conduct a Basic Burn Test” for more information.
- Cold Throw
Term used to describe the strength of fragrance before a candle has been burned for the first time. This evaluation is typically done within 24-48 hours of the candle being made.
- Fragrance Load
The amount of fragrance by weight used as a percentage of base. For example, 1 oz. of fragrance added to 1 lb of wax is a 6% fragrance load.
White crystalline structure that forms on the surface of natural waxes such as soy. Also referred to as bloom. This commonly occurs with soy wax candles. See an example here. You can reduce frosting by pouring your candles between 100-115 degrees.
- Glass Adhesion
Also known as Wet Spots or Delamination. This is when the wax pulls away from the glass. Very common with container candles.
Excess melted wax running down the outside of a self-supporting candle.
Unburned wax that remains on the wall of jar candles when the candle has expired.
- Hot Throw
Term used to describe the strength of fragrance while a candle is burning. This evaluation is typically done after the candle has been burning for at least 2 hours but no more than 4.
- Jump Lines
The unintended visible lines on the sides of a container or pillar candle. These are often caused by pouring the wax at too low of a temperature or pouring into a cold container. When this occurs the wax is congealing immediately and starting to set as more wax is being poured on top of it.
- Melt Point
The temperature at which melting wax gets hot enough to turn from a solid into a liquid.
- Melt Pool
This is the liquid layer of wax that forms as the candle burns. See an example here.
- Mix Temperature
The temperature to add color and fragrance to melted wax, ideally this will be 185ºF regardless of wax being used.
Seen at the top of a candle wick, this is a small amount of carbon caused by incomplete combustion. Often the wrong wick size, wax additives or fragrance contribute to this problem.
- Out of Bottle
The first evaluation of a fragrance happens as soon as you open the bottle, this is referred to as out of bottle or OOB evaluation.
- Pour Temperature
Temperature to pour the fragranced/colored wax into the container or mold.
- Power Burn
The act of burning a candle for longer than 4 hours, often 8+ hours. This can be dangerous and it is not recommended.
- Sink Holes
Large holes or craters left in the surface of a soy candle after has cooled completely. This is caused by air pockets that are trapped in the wax while it is cooling.
- Transition Temperature
The temperature or temperature range at which a wax cooling from the liquid to the solid state converts from non-crystalline form to a crystalline one.
When the wick burns straight down the center of a candle without creating a full melt pool. This is most often caused by the wick being too small for the container
Viscosity is a fluid's ability to resist flow. Ketchup or honey have a high viscosity. Milk or juice has a low viscosity.
- Wick Down
To use a wick one size smaller but within the same series. For example: going from an LX-26 to an LX-24.
- Wick Up
To use a wick one size larger within the same series. For example: going from an LX-24 to an LX-26.