Candle Making -Glossary Of Terms

Soy candle making is all about timing and temperature. It’s not rocket science ( I know I also work in a laboratory) but  there are important techniques that you need to know to make your candles successfully and to do this you must also understand the terminology.

In this article I have included a list of candle making terms, so candle making will make more sense. Oh, and the image is our cappuccino soy candle – sprinkled with coffee grounds.


  • Cold throw -fragrance released from a candle when it is not burning.
  • Hot throw- The fragrance released from a candle when it is burning.
  • Container candle– Any candle poured directly into the container from which it will be burned. Usually soy.
  • Cure- To allow a candle to set, or age, to help enhance the fragrance.
  • Repour – or 2nd 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 -usually a max of 10% for fragrance oils.
  • Wick Sustainer- A flat metal disc with a small hole in the centre for a wick; holds the wick at the bottom of a candle
  • Afterglow-A wick may tend to “glow” and burn down slightly even after it has been extinguished.
  • Burn time–  The amount of time it takes for the wax in a candle to be burn completely.
  • Diameter – For soy it is usually the diameter of the jar.
  • Colour Chip– Used to give colour to wax. This can be either concentrated liquid colour or wax chip/block.
  • Essential oil– An oil derived from a natural substance (plant material, flowers, leaves, wood, grass)
  • Fragrance oil-A blend of synthetic and/or natural components used to create scented oil.
  • Primed– Term used when referring to wicking; meaning coated with wax.
  • Sink hole– Cavity that is formed when a wax hardens and contracts.
  • Tart/ Melt– A small portion of scented wax used in a tart burner. Clamshell packsare now available -usually with 6 compartments.
  • Tart/Oil Burner– Either an electric or tealight operated ceramic holder to melt the melts or tarts.
  • Triple Scent -Maximum fragrance load for candle. 10% is usually considered a triple scented ( by me)
  • Tunnelling – When a wick does not make a full melt pool in a candle leaving unmelted wax on the sides of the jar.
  • Wet spots– An area where wax has pulled away from parts of a container which looks like an air bubble. This happens when the wax shrinks away form thesides of the jat- a common problem with container candles.
  • Wax Pool –The liquid form of the candle when it has melted.
  • Wick bar/ wick centering stick -We use an icy pole stick with a hole, used when making candles to centre a wick at the top of a candle until the wax sets.
  • Wick – The component that delivers the fuel/molten wax by the process of capillary action, normally by a material such as cotton.

When we run classes at Gasworks and South Gisborne we simplify the whole candle making process. It’s fun, it’s hands-on and at the end you will be confident enough to go home and continue your candle making.    E:


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