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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!

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