Container: A type of candle that is created by pouring molten wax into a vessel, such as glassware, metal tin, ceramic pot, etcetera. Container waxes are created to adhere to the sides of the container and they are formulated to have lower melt points, thus, when it burns, a full molten pool of wax is created for better scent throw.
Hurricane: An interior decorated candle, which displays decorations just beneath the candle surface. These decorations are generally artificial flowers or leaves, but may also include such items as shells, candy, coffee beans, soup beans, etcetera. These uniquely decorated candles may be wicked and filled with wax to create a refillable block candle, or for a different effect a votive or a tealight candle can be placed inside the wax shell.
Molded/Novelty: A type of candle that is irregularly shaped and freestanding, which is created by sculpting, molding, and/or pouring into a shaped mold. They can be made to burn or to be used strictly as decoration.
Pillar: A freestanding candle that is created by pouring molten wax into a mold. These candles should be burned on a flat candleholder. Pillar waxes are created to contract away from the mold and they are formulated to have higher melt points, thus, when it burns the outer part of the candle remains solid and the pool of molten wax spreads out within a ¼ inch of the edge of the candle.
Taper: A type of candle that is tall and skinny. They are created by pouring molten wax into a mold or by the traditional method of dipping a length of wick into hot molten wax. These candles should be burned in a special fitting taper candleholder.
Tart/Melt: A small portion of highly scented (and sometimes colored) wax that is melted in a tart burner/melter or a potpourri burner to fragrance a room. These wax discs can come in a variety of shapes, from round to hearts.
Tealight: A small candle (about 1” in diameter by 1/2” deep) that is used to light lamps, warm pots of potpourri, heat tart burners, etcetera. They are created by pouring molten wax into plastic or metal tealight cups.
Votive: A small pillar shaped candle that is usually 1 1/2 inches in diameter by 2-3 inches tall. They are designed to be burned in a snug fitting container to achieve the best burn. They are formulated to completely liquefy when burning, fundamentally becoming a small container candle.
Burn Rate: The amount of wax that is consumed per hour by the wick. It is usually measured in grams per hour.
Candle: A solid mass of wax with an embedded wick that is burned to provide light or assist in decoration.
Container: A vessel used to make an enclosed candle. Typical candle making containers include glassware, metal tins, etcetera.
Cure: The process in which candle wax cools and hardens, thus, becoming a finished candle.
Double Boiler: Pan or other metal container placed inside a pot of boiling water. This method can be used to melt various items.
Dye: A solid or liquid substance that is used to color candles.
Embed: An object, such as a shell, artificial flower, wax figure (with an extremely high melt point), etcetera, that is set securely in the wax of a candle for decoration.
Essential Oil (EO): A pure oil that is derived from plants, possessing the odor and other characteristic properties of the plant. They are known for their aromatic scents and remedial applications.
Flash Point: The lowest temperature at which a substance will ignite. Waxes will combust on their own if they reach the flash point. Fragrance oils would have to be at their flash point and come in contact with a spark or open flame in order to combust.
Fragrance Oil (FO): A synthetic oil that is chemically created. They are known for their wide variety of aromatic scents and range of uses.
Frosting / Bloom: This is the white that appears on the tops or the sides of wax (it is similar to the whiteness, or bloom, that appears on chocolate).
Jump Line /Skip Lines/Stuttering/Chattering: These are small horizontal lines that form in the wax of a candle. The wax is solidifying as it touches the mold/container and as the wax rises, so do the marks.
Melt Point: The temperature at which the wax will turn to liquid.
Melt Pool/Burn Pool: The liquefied wax that forms around the wick of a burning candle.
Mold: A hollow form that is used for shaping molten wax into a candle. Molds are normally made out of metal, plastic, rubber, etcetera.
Mold Cleaner: An agent that is used to wash lingering residue out of the mold.
Mold Release: An agent that is used to help candles come out of the mold easier. Comes in a spray can that is used to pre-coat the inside of the mold.
Mold Sealer: A reusable, adhesive putty that is used to seal the wick hole of a candle mold during candle making.
Mold Weight: A heavy, flexible object that is used to hold a hurricane mold submerged in the water.
Molten Wax: Melted, liquid wax.
Mottling: Scattered snowflake-like marks that form on a candle. This is usually the result of too much oil in the candle. This effect can be created on purpose or it can occur accidentally.
Mushrooming: When carbon and/or other substances build up on the end of the wick interfering with combustion.
Opaque: Impenetrable to light; not allowing light to pass through.
Over Dip: The process of dipping a finished candle in a specially formulated wax to yield a particular color, a glossy, shiny finish, or another effect.
Pouring Temperature: The optimum temperature at which the wax should be poured into the mold/container. The pouring temperature varies for each wax.
Rubber Plug: A cone shaped object that is used to seal the bottom of a candle mold.
Scent Throw: The amount of fragrance that is perceptible in a candle. Hot throw refers to the scent throw when the candle is burning. Cold throw refers to the scent that can be noticed when the candle is not burning and the candle is placed under your nose.
Translucent: Allowing light to pass through (sometimes in such a way that the objects on the opposite side are not clearly visible).
Tunneling: When the wax melts down the middle of the candle and leaves leftover wax on the sides of the container.
Water Bath: A container of cool water in which a hot mold is placed to allow the candle to cool and harden properly. This procedure is not recommended for all types of candle making.
Wax: A natural or manufactured heat-sensitive substance used to make candles.
Wet Spots: Where the wax has pulled away from the side of the container due to wax shrinkage. This is a very common problem with container candles.
Whipped Wax: Melted wax that is whipped with a fork until it is frothy and thick.
Wicking: A cord or strand of twisted, braided, or woven fibers that draws up fuel to the flame. This is the heart of the candle. It can be purchased pre-cut, pre-tabbed, and pre-waxed or in spool form.
Wick Pin: Used in a mold to create a centered hole for the wick while the candle cures.
Wick Tabs/Wick Clips: Small metal fasteners used to secure the wick at the bottom of the candle.
Clear Crystals: Used to raise the melt point, thus making the wax harder and longer burning without destroying its glow quality. Produces more vivid colors and eliminates bubbles on the candle surface. Also, aids in making tapers drip-less.
Luster Crystals: Used to raise the melt point, thus prolonging the burn time. Brightens colors and makes the candles more opaque. Perfect for making a white candle.
Palm Stearic Acid: Used to harden the wax and prolong the burn time. Also, assists in mold release. Note: it tends to cream out the colors.
Petrolatum: Used in container candles to soften the wax, lower the melt point, and cause a larger melt pool.
Polyboost: Used to disperse scent and color (scents will be stronger when used in paraffin).
Translucent Crystals: Used to keep the wax transparent; excellent for use in hurricane candles.
UV Inhibitor: Used to preserve the quality of color in wax.
Vybar: Used to disperse scent and color (scents will be stronger when used). Reduces air bubbles and mottling, and makes the candles more opaque.
Note: This Candle Dictionary of Terms is provided by Nu-Scents for the personal use of our customers. No portions of this document may be reproduced for distribution, sale, or publication of any kind without the expressed written consent of Nu-Scents Wholesale, LLC.