Candle terms

A list of useful candle terms that you will run into during your candle making journey. 

  • Burn cycle = The amount of time a candle is burned per session, usually 3-4 hours.
  • Burn test = Testing a candle to see how it burns, does the wick work, does it smell, how does the flame look, too high, too low? Basic testing before selling. 
  • FO = Fragrance oil
  • HT = Hot throw: This is the scent that a candle throws when it’s lit. 
  • CT = Cold throw: This is the scent from a candle when you take the lid off or smell it unlit. 
  • Cure = Letting your candle sit for a period of time before you burn to let it fully harden up. 
  • Burn off = The fragrance oil evaporating or burning off when you add oil to the hot wax.
  • Melt pool = The amount of melted wax in the top of a container once you start to burn a candle.
  • Burn rate = The rate or time it takes for you candle to burn from first light to the end. 
  • Double boiler = Placing the melting pitcher inside another pot that has water boiling in it. This allows for a buffer between your wax and direct flame so that you do not burn or scorch your wax during the melting process. 
  • Flash point = Flashpoint is the temperature at which your oils can combust if near an open flame. This is only a concern if you place your oils near an open flame or if you are shipping oils in low pressure high heat situations. You do not need to be concerned with flash points while adding your fragrance oils to the melted wax. 
  • Frosting = The white dusty substance that sometimes forms on top of the candles after they cure. Nothing that will affect your candle. 
  • Jump lines = The lines that form down the sides of a container once your pour the wax. Seen more with paraffin as it cures harder than softer waxes. You will see lined spots all the way down the glass similar to that of tiger stripes. 
  • Melt point = The temperature at which the wax starts to melt. 
  • Mushrooming = The small amount of carbon build up at the top of a wick as it burns. Caused from additives, wick was too long when it was lit, and sometimes oils. 
  • Pour temperature = The temperature you want to pour your wax into the container.
  • Scent load or Fragrance load = The amount of oil that a particular wax will hold. 
  • Sinkhole = A hole that will form in the middle of a candle, caused by wax shrinking and contracting as it cools. 
  • Tunneling = When a wick is too small, or a candle is blown out before it reaches full melt pool it can make a tunnel right down the center of a candle. 
  • Wet spots = The spots around a candle that looks like it pulled away from the glass. Looks like water spots inside the jar. This is caused by wax shrinking or contracting in spots and pulls from the glass as it hardens. 
  • Wick down = Moving down to a smaller wick diameter, usually if the wick creates a too large of a melt pool. (e.g. moving from an HTP104 to an HTP93)
  • Wick up = Moving up to a larger diameter wick, usually due to the wick not burning to the edge of the container. (e.g. Moving from an HTP73 to an HTP83)