20 Terms Every Candle Maker Needs to Know to Ultimately Make – Better Candles
Twenty terms every candle maker needs to know to avoid common candle problems, save time, reduce cost, and ultimately make better candles.
There’s a certain lingo candle makers acquire over time. Primarily consisting of terms and phrases with the occasional abbreviation. Even those who don’t make candles but consume them like chocolate and wine are often familiar with candle terms such as “scent throw” and “burn time.”
However, familiarity doesn’t always include comprehension.
If you’re just beginning to learn how to make candles or a candle-making term keeps coming up and you’re unclear as to what it means – this is the place to learn candle terminology.
This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience; read our full disclosure policy.
Why Does a Candle Maker Need to Know these Terms?
There’s more than one reason to refresh or expand your candle making vocabulary:
- You will save money by purchasing the right amount of candle supplies.
- When you’re clear on terms such as fragrance load, scent throw, and abbreviations for wick types you’ll avoid buying the wrong materials.
- Learning the correct candle terminology can help you find accurate solutions to candle problems and avoid costly mistakes.
- You’ll catch on to the candle-making process faster if you understand key terms.
- The time it takes you to make a candle will significantly be decreased. Therefore this could be a game-changer for production time and cost.
A lot goes into making a great candle; planning, calculating, measuring, creating, and testing, all before you can enjoy the beauty of a handmade candle.
And as with learning any language or mastering a subject, terms you are not accustomed to will show up.
Learning terminology for candle makers can undoubtedly help you fix and avoid candle problems, uncover new tips and tricks, and ultimately make better candles.
Standard Terminology for Candle Makers
Here you will find a list of candle making terminology that can turn even a beginner candle maker into a pro! Save this list now to return to any time, and don’t miss the printable below.
Technically scent throw is the ability of a candle to diffuse the scent that is fused into the wax. In layman’s terms, it means how well a candle distributes its scent.
This candle maker term describes the layer of melted wax that forms when a candle is burned in order to throw the scent. Sometimes referred to as a wax pool because it makes a round shape of liquid wax resembling a swimming pool of water.
The melt point is the temperature of candle wax when it turns from a solid to a liquid. This temperature is important to monitor during candle making.
Flash point refers to the temperature of a fragrance when it evaporates. And is another also needs to be configured into the candle making process.
This is the total number of hours that a candle will last before it’s finished.
Wick tabs are metal holders, if you will, for candle wicks. They make it much easier to adhere a wick to a candle container with a wick sticker tab. You can buy cotton or hemp wicks pre-tabbed.
When you need to go down a wick size in length or thickness, this is called wicking down. Use my printable candle wick charts to find the right size of wicks for your DIY candles.
And Wick Up means the opposite of wick down. This is when you need to choose a larger candle wick in length, thickness, or both.
Double wicking is the use of two wicks in a candle to generate a large melt pool. (This explains when you should use multiple wicks.)
The fragrance load of a candle correlates to the percentage of fragrance used in candle making. If you want to know how much fragrance you should add to a candle, use my fragrance load calculator.
If you’ve been wondering what do HT and CT mean in candle making? CT is the abbreviation for Cold Throw which describes the amount or strength of fragrance that is emitted from a candle when it is not burning.
Therefore, HT is the abbreviation for Hot Throw, and it describes the strength of fragrance emitted from a candle when burning. As the melt pool of a candle gets larger, the hot throw gets stronger.
Similar to soap making, a candle needs to cure or age before use. Curing is the process of allowing the wax to harden to bond or “lock in” fragrance and color. Two weeks is ideal for most wax types.
Sounds like a dog breed, doesn’t it? A candle snuffer is one of the best way candle tools. It allows you to enjoy the scent of a candle longer after putting out the candle. I share how to correctly use a candle snuffer with my tips for candle care.
Common Candle Problem Terms
Candle terminology doesn’t only include terms for the candle making process. It also includes terms for candle problems that often appear during the curing time or after. If you’ve been experiencing issues with your candles, read through each one and search our guide to solving the most common candle problems here.
Also known as Carbon Build-Up, Mushrooming describes when a candle wick looks like a popular fungus growing on top of it. While it’s not really a type of mold, it does create a problem. Luckily, all you need is a wick trimmer to snip the top of the wick off.
Sometimes called Bloom, Frosting is the formation of white crystals on the surface of a candle. More commonly found in soy wax candles, it is caused by the wax cooling at a different rate during the curing.
The good news is, unlike mushrooming, it does not affect the performance of a candle. And it can be avoided by heating your candle container before pouring your candle wax. I use a heat gun to do this.
If I could count the times I’ve been asked, “How do you keep candles from tunneling?”…
This candle problem haunts both candle makers and candle lovers. A tunnel forms in a candle around the wick when a candle has been extinguished before the melt pool has reached the entire diameter of the candle. Not does this make your candle look ugly, but it also drastically shortens the life of the candle.
All you have to do to avoid candle tunneling is to allow a candle to burn until the melt pool spreads across the entire candle surface. Yep, that’s it! Keep in mind this can take anywhere from 2 to 4 hours. So, don’t like a candle unless you’re in for the long haul.
Candle Sweating is characterized by tiny beads or sometimes pools of fragrance gathering on the top of a container candle or seeping out the sides of a pillar candle. There are several reasons candle sweating can occur, but it has a lot to do with the fragrance load.
Caused by air pockets trapped inside a candle, Sinkhole describes exactly what it looks like on the surface of a candle when this occurs. To avoid sinkholes occurring in your candles, pay attention to the melt point of your candle wax and the pouring temperature. It’s the #1 candle problem I address and solve here.
Horizontal lines or rings that form around a pillar or container candle are called Jump Lines, Chatter, and Stuttering. This is caused by either pouring wax into a cold container or at too low of a pour temperature. It can also be due to using too many additives like crystals, glitter, sprinkles, or dried herbs.
Phew, you made it through all 20 candle maker terms, and now you’re officially ready to take your place in the candle community. Or at least, now you won’t feel clueless when you get into a conversation with a professional candle maker.
Find more solutions and inspiration for candle making in our resource center for candle makers. It’s free to everyone, and so is the printable below.
Grab our quick guide to candle terminology in the Simple Living Library.
Pin these 20 terms every candle maker needs to know now and Tag #lifenreflection on Instagram to share your candle making with me.