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Candle Making Terms

There is often confusion among candle makers when discussing various topics. I have put this glossary together to help us all have a common language. The following is in alphabetical order.

Additives - Anything added to the wax. These would include Stearic, Vybar, Polythenes, etc... Although technically additives, colorants and scents are not normally included in this category when discussing candles.

Applique - The process of applying an item to a finished candle. Also used to describe the actual item to be applied.

Beeswax - A natural wax derived from honey bee hives.

Chatter Marks - See stuttering.

Container - Anything used to pour a candle in that is to be used as an integral part of the candle (as opposed to a mold which the candle is removed from before use).

Core - The central portion of a candle.

Double Boiler - This is basically a smaller pot placed inside a larger pot which contains water.

Dye - Colorants that are oil soluble. Used for core coloring.

EO - Abbreviation for essential oil.

Essential Oil - Natural extracts of plant matter. Most of these are difficult to use in candles.

FO - Abbreviation for fragrance oil.

Fragrance Oil - A synthetic or synthetic / natural blend of oil. There are many different types, and those designed specifically for candles work best. Typical usage is 1 ounce per pound for a heavily scented candle.

Layering - The process of pouring 2 or more layers of colored wax.

Melt Point - The melting point of the wax. It is important to remember that waxes with the same melt point do not necessarily have the same properties. The actual properties will vary from supplier to supplier. This is distinctly different from pouring temperature.

Melt Pool - The liquid wax that forms when burning a candle.

Mottling - The appearance of "snowflakes" in the wax.

MP - Abbreviation for melt point.

Overdip - Dipping a core in wax to add color, or other effects.

Paraffin - The most common candle making wax. Refined from petroleum.

Pigment - Non soluble colorants. These consist of colored particles that suspend in the wax (much like paint does). Used only for overdipping. Use in the core may clog the wick.

Pouring Temperature - The temperature the candle is poured at. This has little to do with melt point and is generally determined by the type of mold or effect desired.

Scent Oil - Term used interchangeably with Fragrance oil.

Stuttering - Caused by pouring too cool. The wax alternately flows and cools going up sides of mold or container. This manifests itself as horizontal lines and bubbles in the finished candle.

Wax Formula - The combined mixture used for candle making. This includes the wax(s), additives, dyes, and fragrances.

Whipped Wax - Wax that has been whipped with an egg beater or blender to make it fluffy.

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