Candle Making Terms

Below are common terms to know for candle makers. If you have any questions feel free to contact us here.


An additive is a substance added to candle wax to alter and enhance its properties.

Additives are commonly used to increase burn time, improve fragrance retention, enhance color, and improve burn quality.

Popular additives for candle making are UV inhibitors and vybar.


A faint red light emitted from a candle wick after it’s been extinguished. Afterglow is a natural process that commonly occurs in paraffin candles.

Burn Rate

Burn rate is the measurement of how quickly a candle burns. Burn rate is calculated by how much wax has been burned over a set amount of time, divided by how long it took to burn that amount.

Burn Time

Burn time is the amount of time it takes to burn the whole candle. Burn time will vary depending on how you use the candle.

Cold Throw

Cold throw is the strength of a candle’s fragrance before it has been lit. Cold throw can be an indicator of how potent your candle will be.

Container Candle

A container candle is any candle that burns in a reusable container. There are many containers to choose from, with some of the most popular being jars, tins, and tealights.


The core can refer to the middle section of a candle or the center of a wick. Common wick-core materials are cotton, zinc, tin, and paper.


Coreless refers to a wick without a core material.


Curing is the period of time between when you pour the wax and the first time your candle is lit.

During the curing process, the wax will harden and increase stability. As the wax hardens, fragrance and additives will evenly distribute throughout the candle.

Double Boiler

A double boiler is for melting candle wax. A small pot with wax is placed in a larger pot with water heated to produce steam and melt the wax.

The double boiler avoids direct heat contact and evenly melts the wax.

Double Scenting

Double scenting uses 1oz of fragrance for every 1 pound of wax. This will give you ~6% fragrance load, which many use as a baseline for testing fragrances.

Fragrance Load

Fragrance load is the percentage of fragrance used relative to the weight of the wax. Each wax has a max fragrance load it can retain.


Frosting is a natural occurrence that commonly occurs in soy wax candles. Frosting appears white and crystalized and will not affect a candle’s performance.

Hot Throw

Hot throw is the strength of a candle’s fragrance while it burns.

Jump Lines

The appearance of horizontal lines on the sides of container or pillar candles. This is caused by pouring into a cold container or at too low of a temperature.

Melt Point

The temperature at which wax begins to turn from a solid into a liquid state. Each type of candle wax has a different melt point.

Melt Pool

The area of wax that has melted while the candle is burning.

Full Melt Pool: Full melt pool is when the entire candle’s surface has melted.


Candle wax is poured into molds to shape a candle. Molds come in various shapes and sizes.

Mold Plug

A mold plug seals the mold to prevent wax from leaking from the mold.

Mold Release

Mold release is a liquid that coats a mold to prevent the candle from sticking to the mold at release.

Mold Sealer

A putty substance used to seal the base of the candle mold.


Mottling is an aesthetic snowflake-like pattern. Certain paraffin waxes are designed to promote the mottling effect.

Vybar can be used to eliminate unwanted mottling.


Mushrooming is excess carbon buildup on the tip of the wick.


Process of dipping a candle into a wax solution to give an aesthetic effect.

Pour Temperature

The temperature at which you pour the candle into a container or mold. Pour temperature can vary depending on the wax or additives used in your candle making.


The process of coating a wick in wax. This coating makes the wick more firm, easier to light, and burn evenly.

Relief Holes

Holes poked in wax to expose air pockets, sink holes, and cracks.


Repouring hot wax onto a candle is used to repair any imperfections on the candle’s surface or fill relief holes.


After a soy candle has cooled, you may see sinkholes formed from pockets of trapped air. Relief holes expose sinkholes which are then repaired by repouring wax or melting the candle’s surface.

Stearic Acid

Candle making additive used to help make candles burn longer and increase opacity. Comes in solid or liquid form.


A ring of unmelted wax will be left when a candle has not melted its entire surface. This ring of unmelted wax will turn into a tunnel if the candle is continually burned without achieving a full melt pool.

UV Inhibitor

A UV inhibitor is an additive for wax that protects the candle from weakening fragrance, yellowing, or fading in color from UV rays.


A measurement of a liquid’s resistance to flow. Water has low viscosity, and honey has high viscosity.


Vybar is an additive used to increase fragrance retention, increase hardness of wax, improve color, increase opacity, and reduce mottling.

Wet Spots

Wets spots are an adhesion issue with container candles. Wax pulls away from the sides of the container giving the appearance of a wet spot.

Wick Bar

A tool to center and stabilize a wick when making candles.

Wick Down

To wick down means to go one wick size smaller within the same wick series.

Wick Up

To wick up means to go one size larger within the same wick series.

Wick Tab

A wick tab is the metal piece that holds the wick, ensuring the wick is positioned correctly and secured to the candle’s base.