CANDLE MAKING GLOSSARY
Substances that can be added to candle wax that enhance certain properties such as: hardness, gloss, color, fragrance and may help reduce mottling as well as air bubbles.
The glow from a light source (such as a wick) after it has been extinguished.
A thin wax shape/design that is applied to the surface of a candle for decorative purposes.
The odor (typically pleasant) emitted from a candle (while lit / unlit).
- Scent – refers to a specific fragrance
- Throw – refers to the strength of the fragrance that has been added to the candle
- Cold throw – the strength of the fragrance when the candle is unlit.
- Hot throw – the strength of the fragrance when the candle is lit.
Beeswax is a natural wax produced by honey bees. It has many uses, one of which, is for candle making. There are three types of Beeswax.
- Yellow Beeswax – This is the natural crude product that is derived from the honeycomb in its raw/unrefined state.
- White Beeswax – is created by purifying and filtering the raw yellow beeswax.
- Absolute Beeswax – is created from yellow beeswax via alcohol treatment.
Beeswax is physically the hardest of the three most popular waxes that are used for candle making -Beeswax, Paraffin, and Soy.
BLOOM (or CRYSTALLIZATION / FROSTING)
The crystallized or powdery substance that appears on the exterior of beeswax candles after a period of time. Can be caused by fragrance/essential, or natural oils migrating to the surface of the candle.
Burning a candle for a predetermined period of time (many candle makers use 4 hours) to calculate the burn time of the candle, and to analyze wick performance.
The amount of time it takes the wax of a new unused candle to be completely consumed.
The space in a mold that is filled with molten wax to create a particular style/shape of candle, or the particular shape of an object.
Refers to the strength of the fragrance of a candle before it has been lit/burned for the first time.
Refers to the inner material of a candle wick (typically cotton, paper, zinc). Can also mean the interior of a candle.
The time it takes molten wax to cool to a solid state.
DIP (a.k.a. DIPPED / DIPPING)
The process of immersing a solid candle into molten wax. There are several reasons why a candle maker may do this.
- To add a different exterior color
- To camouflage imperfections in the surface of the candle
- To hide wick anchor points
- To cover seam lines (see “How-To Video, Making seamless candles”)
Equipment for melting wax (Typically, two nested pans -the bottom one having water in it that is heated by flame/electric burner).
Chips or Liquid colorants that are used to add color to wax.
Oils that are obtained from a variety of plants -possessing the scent and other characteristics of the plant from which it was extracted.
Wax (primarily Soy) that has been processed into flakes, which speeds up melting time substantially.
The temperature at which a vapor will combust if exposed to an ignition source (Candle Makers using Essential/Fragrance oils can check for specifics on the oil label. Most reputable supplies will provide this information).
Is the amount of fragrance (by weight) that is used as a percentage of the wax base.
Synthetic and/or Essential oils that have been blended to create a scented oil. These oils are typically less expensive than essential oils.
Is a candle that is created from a petroleum-based wax. They are often said to be toxic because they contain mineral oil and polymer resin (We have seen no proof that this is true, but we strongly encourage candle makers to do their own research on this topic).
GLASS ADHESION (a.k.a. SEPARATION / WET SPOTS /DELAMINATION)
A common occurrence with glass container candles when the wax pulls away from the glass.
Melted wax that runs down the exterior of a self-supporting candle.
Refers to the strength of the fragrance of a candle after it has been lit.
IFRA (The International Fragrance Association)
The International Fragrance Association, founded in 1973, represents the interests of the fragrance industry worldwide. IFRA’s mission is to promote the safe use of fragrance for everyone’s enjoyment.
JUMP LINES (a.k.a. CHATTER LINES)
Visible unintentional lines along the sides of a pillar or container candle. Often caused when molten wax is poured into a cold mold/container, or the wax itself is poured at too low of a temperature.
A liquid colorant used to provide candle wax with color.
Temperature at which wax changes from a solid to a molten state.
The molten pool/layer of wax that forms at the top surface of a candle as it burns.
The ideal temperature at which to add colorant and/or fragrance to molten wax.
A surface imperfection that has a crystalized/snowflake type appearance.
After burning a candle a small amount of carbon can build up on the tip of the wick. This can be caused by using the wrong wick size, additives, and/or fragrance/essential oils.
not transparent or translucent
OUT OF BOTTLE (EVALUATION)
The first impression you have of a fragrance when you first open its container.
When the flame of a candle burns higher (in height) than predicted or desired it is said to be over-wicked.
A wax derived primarily from Palm Trees in Asia. There are numerous concerns surrounding this wax. And due to the manner in which producing it affects the environment, some well respected wax suppliers, such as CandleScience, have discontinue carrying it. They have a great article you can read here.
Petroleum based wax created through a refining process.
A style of free-standing candle (
The ideal temperature at which to add colorants/fragrance to, and pour molten wax into a mold or container. Wax manufacturers typically provide a range of temperatures at which to pour as to achieve best results.
The potentially dangerous practice of burning a candle for more than 4 hours -often times 8+ hours.
Typically associated with container candles, in which the candle maker does a second pour to finish filling the container to the desired level after the candle has cooled and shrunk, or, to fill in holes caused by tunneling (see SINK HOLE)
SCENT LOAD (a.k.a. FRAGRANCE LOAD)
Is the amount (usually indicated by a percentage) of fragrance that wax can absorb and use efficiently. Adding too much fragrance may have adverse effects, such as the fragrance separating from the wax. Each fragrance may interact differently with different waxes, so candle makers are encouraged to experiment to achieve their desired result.
Holes|Cavities|Craters in the top surface of a candle that occur when a candle cools and contracts.
A black carbon residue that can build up on the inside walls of container candles, or, be dispersed in the air by free-standing candles. (list causes)
Considered to be an all natural wax. It is derived from soy bean oil, and is renown for its scent throwing ability.
Additive used to harden wax and increase opacity.
100% Beeswax candles that are made for the UCO Lantern and other similar generic lanterns.
When the wick in a candle …