Glossary of Terms for Candle Making

Here's a list of some very important candle making terms.



A substance blended with wax to enhance its burning qualities or alter its properties. Additives may include vybar, stearic acid, or UV inhibitor to name a few.


The light emitted after removal of an energy source. A wick may tend to “glow” and burn down slightly even after it has been extinguished.


Burn rate

The amount of wax consumed per hour in grams. Burn time: The amount of time it takes for the wax in a candle to be consumed completely.


Chatter Marks

Horizontal lines or rings that appear because wax is poured in a cold container or mold, or the wax was poured at too cool of a temperature.

Cold throw

The fragrance emitted from a candle when it is not burning.

Container candle

Any candle poured directly into the container from which it will be burned.


Refers to the interior of a candle. Also used to reference the inner material of a candle wick (may include zinc, cotton or paper).


Used to refer to wicks, this indicates there is no core material.


To allow a candle to set, or age, to help enhance the fragrance.



The measurement of a candle, container or mold at its widest point.

Double Boiler

Two nested pans with water in the lower one, designed to allow slow, even heating.

Double scenting

Adding one ounce of fragrance per pound of wax.


Colorants that are used to give color to wax.


Essential Oil

An oil derived from a natural substance (plant material, flowers, leaves, wood, grass, etc.)



The temperature at which a substance can ignite if it comes in contact with an open flame or spark.

Floater (floating candle)

A shallow candle with a significantly tapered base that will float in water.

Fragrance oil

A blend of synthetic and/or natural components used to create scented oil.


A white dusty substance that appears in soy wax candles. It is not harmful and will not effect the burn or scent throw of your candles.


Gel candle

A usually translucent or clear candle that is made from a mineral oil based product.


Hot throw

The fragrance emitted from a candle when it is burning.

Hurricane candle

An outer shell of wax with a high melt point that may be decorated and is not intended for burning. There will be an inner candle that can be burned and/or replaced.


Jump lines

See Chatter marks


Melt point

The temperature at which a wax will start to liquefy.

Melt pool

The wax that liquefies as a candle burns.


A form used to create a freestanding candle. They are usually made of metal.

Mold plug

Small cone shaped rubber pieces used to close the hole in the bottom of a mold.

Mold release

An agent used to coat the inside of a mold to make removing the candle easier.

Mold sealer/Mold putty

A clay-like substance use to seal the hole on the bottom of a mold, used to block the extra space left around the wick on the outside of the mold.


A surface effect in wax that has a snowflake type appearance.

MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet)

Product safety information sheets prepared by manufacturers and marketers of products.


Carbon build up on the tip of a wick after burning.



The vertical shaft of a wick tab that secures the tab to the wick. Lengths of wick tab necks can vary.



Not transmitting or reflecting light; impenetrable to sight.


Coating a finished candle with an alternate wax for color or other effects.


Palm wax

A resinous wax made from a wax palm. A clean burning wax that is a natural alternative to paraffin.

Paraffin wax

Made of refined petroleum; most commonly used wax in candle making.

Pillar candle

A candle made in a mold and meant to be free-standing.


Term used when referring to wicking; meaning coated with wax.


Relief holes

Holes poked in candles to release air pockets that can form as wax cools to prepare for a second pour.


The action of filling the cavity left after wax has completely cooled to make the top of the candle level.


Scent Load

Amount of fragrance a wax will hold; usually stated in a percentage.

Scent oil

See Fragrance oil

Scent throw

The fragrance emitted by a candle. (See also cold and hot throw)

Second pour

See Repour

Single pour wax

A wax that does not shrink enough to require a second pour.

Sink hole

Cavity that is formed when a wax hardens and contracts.

Smelly jelly

Product made from water crystals, used as an air freshener and not intended to be heated.

Soy wax

An all natural wax made of soy beans. A clean burning wax that is a natural alternative to paraffin.

Stearic acid

Used to increase opaqueness, slow burning, and harden wax.


See Chatter marks

Synthetic oil

Fragrance oil that is man-made.



A tall, thin candle that becomes more slender at the burning end. A candle holder must be used with this type candle.


A small portion of scented wax used in a tart burner. Can be made in various shapes, but is commonly a 2.5” diameter.

Tart warmer/burner

A device that has a votive or tealight in a lower compartment with an open cupped area on top where a tart can be heated.


A small, self-contained candle usually poured in a tin cup measuring approximately 1.5” in diameter and 0.5” tall.

Triple scent

Adding 1.5 ounces of fragrance per pound of wax.


When a wick does not make a full melt pool in a candle leaving a ring of unmelted wax on the sides.


UV stabilizer


Votive candle

A small candle measuring approximately 1.75” diameter and 2” tall and requires burning in a votive holder; designed to liquefy completely


A polymer used primarily to aid in fragrance oil retention, also increases opacity and enhances color. A modern alternative to stearic acid.


Water bath

A container of water used to accelerate the cooling process of a candle; cool water is usually used.

Wet spots

An area where wax has pulled away from parts of a container leaving spots; a common problem with container candles. Also referred to as delamination.


Material that delivers fuel to the flame in a candle.

Wick bar

A small metal bar used when making candles to stabilize a wick at the top of a candle

Wick clip assembly

A precut length of wick with a wick tab already crimped in place.

Wick pin

Takes the place of the wick while pouring votive or pillar candles. It is removed when the candle is completely cool, and a wick is inserted in its place.

Wick tab

A flat metal disc with a small hole in the center for a wick; holds the wick at the bottom of a candle.