Candle Making Terminology

If you are a candle-making-veteran you most likely know all of the candle making terminology, and then some, but if you are a novice candle-maker, hopefully this will clear up some confusion. Some of these terms can be quite confusing; Afterglow, Tart, Mushrooming and Frosting, seriously, are these candle-making terms?  Why yes, yes they are!

Here’s a run-down of some of the most common candle-making terminology:


AFTERGLOW:  The light emitted from the wick after the candle is put out.


BURN CYCLE: (not to be confused with Burn Rate or Burn Time). A Burn Cycle is burning a candle for 4 hours, blowing it out, letting it cool and then most likely repeating.  This process is mainly used for evaluating wick performance as well as general candle testing.


BURN RATE: The amount of wax consumed per hour in grams


BURN TEST (also known as Test Burn):  A specific, controlled,  structured burn generally used to determine proper wick size


BURN TIME: The total amount of time it takes for a candle to burn to completion.


CARBON BUILD-UP (also known as Mushrooming): Is exactly that, the glop of carbon build-up on a wick.


COLD THROW: The amount of fragrance emitted from a candle that is not burning


FLASH POINT: The temperature at which a fragrance can ignite when exposed to a spark or flame.


FRAGRANCE LOAD (also known as Scent Load):  The percentage of fragrance in the overall blend.


FROSTING (also known as Bloom):  The formation of white crystals on the surface of natural waxes (soy)


GLASS ADHESION (also known as Wet Spots, Pull Away and Delamination):  Areas where the wax pulls away from the glass


HOT THROW (also known as Warm Throw and Scent Throw):  The fragrance emitted from a candle when when it is burning


JUMP LINES (also known as Chatter and Stuttering): The unintended horizontal lines or rings around the sides of either a container or pillar candle.


MELT POINT: The temperature at which the wax begins to liquify


MELT POOL: The liquid pool of wax of a candle


MIX TEMPERATURE: The recommended temperature of the wax when you add your fragrance and color.


MOTTLING: The “snowflake” type appearance of the wax in the finished candle (pillars)


MSDS: Material Safety Data Sheets are the product safety information sheets supplied by the manufacturers of your materials (wax, fragrance, colorants, additives, etc)


MUSHROOMING: Is the carbon build up on the top of the candle wick (both after and while it is burning)


RELIEF HOLES: Are holes that are manually poked into a candle as it cools to release air pockets that can form.


SINK HOLES: Holes, craters or actually cavities in the wax caused by air pockets trapped in a finished candle.  (soy candles particularly)


SWEATING (also known as leaching): Is the fragrance separating from the wax (often collecting on the top of a container candle in small beads or even a small pool)


TART:  (also known as Wax Melts) are scented wax with no wick that are melted for fragrance in a “warmer”


TOP POUR (also known as Re-Pour and Second Pour): An additional pour after the candle has set to either fill in a sink-hole or smooth out the top.


TUNNELING: When the wick is too small for the diameter of candle and a full melt pool cannot be reached, a “tunnel” is formed (wax wall left around the perimeter of the candle)


WICK DOWN: (also known as Size Down) During testing when you need to try one wick size smaller to try for optimal results.  With wooden wicks, it could mean to go down one size in thickness or width or both.


WICK UP: (also known as Size Up) During testing when you need to try one wick size larger to try for optimal results.  With wooden wicks, it could mean going up a size in thickness or width or possibly both.  It could also mean adding a booster strip.


WOODEN WICK: The only wick to use in your candles!


Want to start experimenting with Wooden Wicks? Purchase a Sample Kit today!

You may also like...

The History Of Candles

The history of candles is truly fascinating! What was once an ancient day necessity has now evolved to become a modern day luxury. Now, the variety…
Read More

Finishing A Candle With A…

Have you ever wondered how to achieve perfectly smooth tops on your candles? Well, we are spilling the secret component on how to create the: Let's…
Read More


Are you ready to take your candle making hobby to the next level and make it a candle making business? Or perhaps you have never even…
Read More
Join Waitlist We will inform you when the product arrives in stock. Just leave your valid email address below.
Email Quantity We won't share your address with anybody else.