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Candle Making Terms

Burn Cycle

The ‘burn cycle’ is when you burn a candle 4 hours and then put out the flame and allow the candle to then cool down.  You do this to access what the wick performance is like and also to work out the candle’s burn time. 

Cold Throw

‘Cold throw’ is the term that candle makers use to express the strength of fragrance that a candle has before it has been burned for the first time. This is usually carried out between 24-48 hours of the candle having been made.

Fragrance Load

The ‘fragrance load’ is the term used to describe the quantity of fragrance by weight used as a percentage of base. 

Frosting

‘Frosting’ is a white crystalline structure that can form on the top of natural waxes such as soy and vegetable waxes. Some candle makers call this blooming. You will find that this sometimes happens with soy wax candles. A good way of preventing frosting is to pour your candles at the correct temperature – refer to your wax information details for this.

Glass Adhesion

‘Glass adhesion’ is how well your candle sticks to its container. Adhesion faults are referred to delamination or wet spots. This happens when the wax does not fully stick to the side of the glass and pulls away. This can happen when making container candles.

Gutter

‘Guttering’ occurs when any excess melted wax runs down the outside of a candle that is self-supporting.

Hang-Up

‘Hang up’ occurs when any unburned wax still stays on the wall of jar candles when the candle has gone out.

Hot throw

‘Hot throw’ is an important term that is used by candle makers to describe the strength of the fragrance that a candle gives off while it is burning. You would normally wait until the candle has burnt for between two to four hours to evaluate the ‘hot throw’.

Jump Lines

Candle makers do not like ‘jump lines’. These are referred to as visible lines that you do not want on the sides of your pillar and container candles. ‘Jump lines’ can be caused by pouring your candle wax at too low of a temperature or putting it into a container that is cold. This happens because the wax starts to congeal straight away as more wax is added on top of it. 

Melt Point

‘Melt point’ is the temperature at which the candle wax gets hot enough to melt and turn into a liquid. 

Mix Temperature

Candle makers refer to ‘mix temperature’ as the correct temperature that you must add your fragrance oil and colour to the melted wax. Check your wax information details for this temperature.

Mushrooming

The term ‘mushrooming’ refers to any bits of carbon that can be found at the top of a candle wick and it is formed as the result of incomplete combustion. This can happen when you use the incorrect wick, wrong additives or add too much fragrance oil. 

Out of bottle

The term ‘out of bottle’ refers to the smell of a fragrance oil when you open the bottle for the first time and smell it.

Pour Temperature

‘Pour temperature’ is very important – this is the temperature that you pour your wax into your candle container.

Power burn

Candle makers ‘power burn’ when they test burn a candle for more than four hours, and sometimes up to eight hours. You must be very careful when you do this as it can be dangerous.

Sink Holes

Candle makers do not like ‘sink holes’. These are  holes found in the surface of soy candles after they have cooled down.They can happen sometimes if air becomes trapped in pockets as the candle wax cools down. 

Transition Temperature

The transition temperature is the temperature at which a cooling wax changes from its liquid to the solid state and changes from a non-crystalline form to a crystalline one.

Tunneling

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 candle container

Viscosity

Viscosity is the term used to describe a fluid’s ability to resist flow. Honey has a very high viscosity and water has a low viscosity.

Wick Down

Wick sizing is a very important factor in making good candles. When you ‘wick down’ you will select a wick that is a size smaller than the one that you have just used. When you use a wick a size bigger this is referred to as ‘wick up’.