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Glossary of Terms


Mold Release

  •  assists in releasing candle from mold
  •  either an additive to the wax or a spray applied directly to the mold


Stearic Acid 


  • wax additive added to molten wax
  • generally used in pillars or votives
  • vegetable based (can use in soy)
  • increases hardness of wax, therefore increasing burn time
  • can also add to soaps and lotions for increased hardness or thickness



  • added to molten wax
  • reduces mottling (which may occur because of too much oil)
  • reduces air bubbles
  • makes wax more opaque
Burn Rate -The rate at which a candle burns in relation to the amount of wax burned in a certain period of time.             Usually measured in grams per hour. Testing should be done with and without additives.
EO Short form for "Essential Oil"

FO Short form for "Fragrance Oil"
Flash Point - The point at which a substance will "spontaneously combust".Wax and fragrances are highly flammable if not handled correctly.Wax will combust on its own if it reaches its flash point. A fragrance would have to be at its flash point and come in contact with an open flame (or spark).

Lye Calculator A calculator that is used to determine the lye and water amounts in a given recipe. Use a lye calculator to cross-check a recipe you find online and aren’t sure about, or to get the oil percentages to change the size of the recipe.

Using the same wax and additives but two different types of wicks you will get different burn rates. For example an HTP62 will burn faster than a 36-24-24c.

Melt Point - The melt point is the temperature at which the wax will turn to liquid. This is NOT the same as the pour temperature (which is usually much higher).

As a general rule, the lower the melt point, the softer the wax. Melt points vary but are in the 130 F range. Although two waxes can have the same melt point, they could vary substantially in performance. It is always recommended to test your waxes before buying in bulk.

Melt Pool - Usually noted in Pillar candles, the amount of wax melted when burning. Usually measured by diameter. A good burning 3" pillar could have a melt pool of 2.5".

Molten Wax - Melted wax.

Mottling - Scattered snowflake pattern on the candle. This can be done by accident or on purpose.  It is the result of too much oil in the candle (by accident) or the deliberate addition of Mineral Oil. Our IGI 1286 is designed to mottle on purpose.

  • the darker the candle, the more the contrast of the snowflakes will show
  • the slower you let the candle cool, the more pronounced the snowflakes will be
  • the candle will "bleed" oil which just needs to be wiped with a paper towel
Opaque - Opaque means solid in appearance - light cannot pass through.
Overdip - Dipping a candle in other wax to either add colour or some other effect.
Pouring Temperature - This is the optimum temperature at which you should pour your wax. Do not assume because the wax is melted that it is ready to pour. The use of a thermometer which shows temperatures of up to the 180-250F range is important (candy thermometers can work).
Pouring your wax when it is too hot could cause damage to the mold, cause mottling in the candle, burn off fragrance and will, of course, take longer to cool.

An average pouring temp is in the 180-190F range. Please check the wax information for recommended temperatures. If pouring into plastic candy trays (for floaters or tarts), let wax cool to about 165F or else you could melt your mold!
Photo toxicity - Essential Oils that are phototoxic, will become toxic when exposed to direct sunlight. This means that you can use the oil for candles and soaps since the soap will be washed of before going into the sun. However, you should not use in applications where the skin will be exposed to the sun, such as lotions.
Scent Throw - The amount of fragrance which is evident in a candle. "Cold throw" refers to being able to smell the fragrance even when the candle is not burning.

Stuttering - If your wax is too cool and you pour too slowly, you will get visible lines showing on your candle. The wax is solidifying as it touches the mold and as the wax rises, so do the marks. This is also known as chattering or skip lines. 
Toxicity - These Essential Oils may become toxic when used in high levels of concentration.   

Trace - is when the soap has emulsified and has a pudding consistency. To check trace, you can run a fork over the top of your liquid. If you see a “trail” left by the fork then this is called trace. You can have light, medium and heavy trace. These are just different thicknesses and consistencies of the same process.

Wet Spots - In a container candle where the wax has pulled away from the side of the container because of wax shrinkage. (Visible in clear containers). This is almost impossible to avoid! Even candles put out by the big corporations have this problem. Wax manufacturers have created waxes to reduce this from happening as much as possible. It is suggested that you heat your glass container to slow down the wax solidification. The slower the wax hardens the less shrinkage there will be.

Types of Candles

Containers - A container candle is a candle made by pouring the molten wax into a container such as a glass jar, glass candle holder, aluminum travel tin, or any other vessel. Always check to see that the vessel is capable of the hot wax and the flame. The wax for containers has a lower melting point and therefore when burning, creates a full molten pool of wax for better scent throw.

Pillars - A pillar is a free-standing candle. A very popular size is a 3" diameter by 6" tall.
The wax used in pillars generally has a higher melting point so that (when using the correct size wick) the outer part of the candle remains solid and the pool of molten wax spreads to about within a 1/4" of the edge of the candle.
Always burn pillars on a candle holder and place on a flat stable surface.

Tip: If you have a 3" pillar, burn the candle for the first time for 3 hours - this will increase the longevity of the candle and prevent the flame from tunneling down the candle.
Tarts - Candle tarts are small portions of wax, coloured and scented. They are not "burned" but rather they are "melted" in a tart burner or a potpourri burner. Best made with a low melt point wax (although I've used leftover pillar wax). 
You can use a bit more fragrance in the mix since you don't have to worry about picking the right wick!
Use mini (non stick) tart pans or the floater molds we carry. I always make tarts with leftover wax to give as "samples" of colours and fragrances.   

Tealights - Tealights are generally used to light lamps or specialty candle holders. They are also used to heat tart burners. They can be plain unscented paraffin or they can be coloured and scented.
Size is about 1" diameter by 1/2" deep. Tealight holders are usually clear plastic or aluminum.

Votives - Small candle usually about 2" high and 2" wide at the top tapering to 1.5" at bottom. Must be burned in a snug fitting container to achieve best burn. Generally burns approximately 15 hours. Wax has a lower melting temperature and will liquify.