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Candle Making Terminology

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Candle Making TerminologyCandle Making Terminology

We at Natures Garden know that there is a lot of candle making terminology and techniques that you need to know to make great homemade candles. So, we are going to answer some common candle making questions and problems to make your experience more fun. So, set aside your candle making equipment and let’s figure out how to make gorgeous scented candles!

Candle Making Terminology: Types of Candles

Candle Making Terminology: What is a Pillar Candle?Candle Making Terminology: What is a Pillar Candle?

Pillar candles are free-standing candles that don’t require a container. These often use a harder type of candle wax that is made for creating pillar candles, like Pillar of Bliss Wax or Palm Pillar Wax.

Candle Making Terminology: What is a Votive Candle?Candle Making Terminology: What is a Votive Candle?

Votive Candles are a smaller kind of candle. The average size is 1.5 ounces and they are about two inches tall and one and a half inches wide. These are often made with a Votive Mold.

Candle Making Terminology: What is a Tealight Candle?Candle Making Terminology: What is a Tealight Candle?

Tea Lights are very small candles that are about an inch and a half wide and a half inch tall. They can be made in Tea Light Cups .

Candle Making Terminology: Candle Fragrances

Candle Making Terminology: What Does Fragrance Load Mean?

In candle making, fragrance load refers to the amount of fragrance oil that you are using in your homemade candle recipe.

Candle Making Terminology: My Candle Wax Will Hold a 10% Fragrance Load. How Do I Know How Much to Add?Candle Making Terminology: My Candle Wax Will Hold a 10% Fragrance Load. How Do I Know How Much to Add?

All you need to do is some simple math that we will walk you through! First, weigh the amount of candle wax you are using. Then, multiply this amount by 0.10, which is 10% to determine the amount of fragrance oil that you can use.

  • Formula: Candle Wax Weight X Fragrance Percentage = Amount of Fragrance That Can Be Added
  • Example: 20 (ounces of candle wax) X 0.10 = 2 ounces of fragrance oil So, since your candle wax is in ounces, the fragrance amount that can be added to the candle wax will also be in ounces.
Candle Making Terminology: What Does Scent Throw Mean?

The scent throw is the strength of fragrance that the candle releases into the air. Cold throw is the strength of scent when the candle is not lit yet. Hot throw is the strength of the scent throw when the candle is lit and burning.

Candle Making Terminology: Candle Waxes

Candle Making Terminology: What Kind of Wax Should I Use for Candles?Candle Making Terminology: What Kind of Wax Should I Use for Candles?

Choosing a candle wax type depends on the type of candle that you want to create. So, the isn’t a universal answer to the question, “Which is the best wax for candle making?” For example, pillar candles would require a pillar wax, which includes Pillar of Bliss Candle Wax and Palm Pillar Wax. The Pillar of Bliss Wax is a blend of soy and paraffin that has a great scent throw and a creamy finish. The Palm Pillar Wax has a crystal finish, has a wonderful scent throw, and comes form sustainable sources.

However, container candles would be best with a container wax, which includes soy wax, Joy wax, WOW Wax, palm wax, and gel wax. Soy wax would make a great, inexpensive addition to your natural candle making supplies. It has a clean burn and and excellent cold throw, but it can be tricky to get a good hot throw from certain fragrances. Wow wax is mostly paraffin and has an amazing hot throw, but has a less clean burn. Joy wax is a perfect blend of paraffin wax and soy wax, as well as veggie wax and proprietary ingredients, that provides a cleaner burn with an amazing scent throw. Gel wax has a neat translucent look, but is not compatible with all fragrance oils. Our palm wax comes from sustainable sources that aren’t harming the rainforest, has a beautiful crystal appearance, and a great scent throw.

Candle Making Terminology: What is Granulated Wax?Candle Making Terminology: What is Granulated Wax?

Simply, this is wax that is grainy and looks kind of like sand. This wax can be scented and colored without melting, so it is a easy and fun way to create candles with kids. We have made candle recipes like the Bacon Candle Recipe and the Hydrangea Candle Recipe with this type of wax.

Candle Making Terminology: Crucial Temperatures

Candle Making Terminology: Do I Need to Worry About the Temperatures When Making Candles?Candle Making Terminology: Do I Need to Worry About the Temperatures When Making Candles?

Yes, this is very important for creating quality homemade candles! There are a few key moments where you will need a thermometer to be aware of the temperature of your wax. First, you need to make sure that your fragrance oil isn’t added at a temperature that is too hot. If your fragrance is added at a temperature that is too high, then some of the notes may burn off and leave you with a less satisfying scent. Another issue is pouring your wax into the container too soon. If you pour at a temperature that is too cool, you could have improper adhesion, wet spots, sinking, and other issues. So, be sure to check your wax’s description to see the temperature that is should be poured.

Candle Making Terminology: What does sinkhole mean?

Sinkhole is a hole or cavity that appears on your candle as it is setting up. Often, this occurs when the candle wax is poured at too low of a temperature.

Candle Making Terminology: Can You Cool a Candle in the Fridge?Candle Making Terminology: Can You Cool a Candle in the Fridge?

No, candles should cool as slowly as possible on their own. If you place a candle in the fridge to cool, they may not adhere to the glass properly, which can lead to wet spots.

Candle Making Terminology: Candle Wicks

Candle Making Terminology: Choosing the Right WickCandle Making Terminology: Choosing the Right Wick

The size of your wick depends on the diameter of your container. You can see the radius for each wick under it’s description. However, you will still need to test because there are many variable between wax type and fragrance oil. A fragrance with a high flash point and high specific gravity, like vanilla, requires a hotter burn. But, low flash point scents with low specific gravity, like citrus, need a smaller wick. Also, you may hear the terms “wick up’ and “wick down” when talking about find the right wick size. Wick down means that you should use a wick that is smaller than what you have been using and wick up means that you should use a wick that is larger than what you use for candles this size.

Candle Making Terminology: How Do You Stop a Candle From Tunneling?Candle Making Terminology: How Do You Stop a Candle From Tunneling?

If you don’t know, tunneling is often the answer for the question, “Why isn’t my candle wax not burning evenly all of the way down?” Tunneling can happen for a few reasons, which includes issues with wick size. If your wick is too small for the diameter of your candle, then it will not burn all the way to the outside edge. So, you may either need a larger wick, multiple wicks, or a different type of wick that will burn hotter.

However, there are a few other issues that could cause tunneling. If you think your wick is the right size, then look into some of these potential issues, First, you may have a clogged wick, which can cause uneven burning. Also, it could be that you didn’t do a memory burn for the candle’s first use to ensure a proper burn. Finally, you may need to use a wax that has a lower melt point that is easier for you chosen wick to handle.

Candle Making Terminology: Why Are My Candle Jars Black After I Burn My Candles?

Often, this occurs when you wick is too big for your jar or your wick is too long. If your wick is trimmed down to 1/4 inch, then the length is fine. You can check the suggested radius for your wick to see if you need to get a smaller size. Also, using too much fragrance can clog the wick and cause more soot than normal.

Candle Making Terminology: Do Candle Wicks Contain Lead?

No, candle wicks in the Unites States, like ours, do not contain lead. In fact, lead core wicks were banned in the US in 2003.

Candle Making Terminology: Proper Burning

Candle Making Terminology: What is a Memory Burn?

This is the first burn of your candles and is the most important. This burn will set the boundary of your melt pool and will determines whether the edges of your candle will be reached. A guide is to burn an hour for every inch your candle is wide to ensure that it will burn properly as it is used in future burns. Also, you will want to make sure that you wick isn’t too low and isn’t longer than 1/4 inch high.

Candle Making Terminology: What Does Melt Pool Mean?

Melt Pool is the candle wax that has melted on the top of the candle. Ideally, you will want this to be all the way across the top of your candle to ensure an even burn.

Candle Making Terminology: What Does Mushrooming Mean in Candle Making?

When I notice black clumps on top of my wick, I know that it is mushrooming. While all wick produce this carbon as they burn, some are worse than others. Also, factors that clog the wick can increase the mushrooming effect. The CD wicks produce the least amount of mushrooming, but there isn’t a way to completely stop it due to it being a product of burning the wick.

Candle Making Terminology: Candle Coloring

Candle Making Terminology: How Do You Color a Candle?Candle Making Terminology: How Do You Color a Candle?

There are a few different candle colorant options for your home made candles. First, you can use our Liquid Candle Dyes, which are extremely concentrated and will last a long time. Also, you can use a color block, which is made with paraffin, vegan, and can color up to 15 pounds of wax. Lastly, you can use a bit of powder dye. Just be careful not to use too much because it can clog your wick.

Candle Making Terminology: Can You Use Crayons to Make Candles?

We do not suggest using crayons to color candles. They don’t burn properly and are likely to clog your wick.

Candle Making Terminology: What is a UV Light Inhibitor?Candle Making Terminology: What is a UV Light Inhibitor?

Since UV light from the sun can bleach the color out of candles, the UV light inhibitor is used to protect the color of your candles. This candle ingredient is most useful for preventing fading in burgundy, blue, and violet candle colors due to direct sunlight.

Candle Making Terminology: How Do I Color My Candles White?

While titanium dioxide can be used to create white pillar candles, you don’t want to add it straight to your container candles as it can clog your wick.

Candle Making Terminology: Candle Apearance

Candle Making Terminology: How Do I Get Rid of Wet Spots on My Candles?

Wet spots are air pockets that are formed when your candle didn’t adhere properly to your candle jar. You can take a few steps to prevent this if you are having problems. First, try warming your candle jars to give you wax more time to cool. Also, you can try pouring your wax at a hotter temperature. Another good tip is to make sure the room your are making your candles in a room that is warm.

Candle Making Terminology: What Is Frosting In Candle Making?

Frosting is the white stuff that appears on waxes that contain soy wax. You can use a heat gun or blow dryer to re-melt the surface and give it a smoother finish. While you can lessen the effect of frosting, you can’t eliminate it completely.

Candle Making Terminology: What Are Jump Lines?

These are the line that you can see on the side of either a container candle or a pillar candle.

Candle Making Terminology: Progression of Candles

As you can tell, there is a lot that goes into candle making. But, it is a process that has been developed overtime and takes time to master. If you are interested in learning a bit about the evolution of candles, then check out The History of Candles from Prehistoric Times Until Now by Pioneer Thinking.

Candle Making Terminology: Talk to UsCandle Making Terminology: Talk to Us

If you have any more questions about candle making, you can look at our candle making classes or just ask us! We are on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter (@ngscents).


Soy Candles

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Soy wax Candles Anyone who works with soy wax knows that candles produced with this wax will have great cold throw.  Cold throw is the scent of the candle when it is not lit.  Typically with soy wax, this throw will always be strong.  However, when it comes to hot throw with soy wax you may be left desiring more.

Why does my candle not have hot throw?

When using soy wax to craft your candles, a lack of hot throw is just the nature of the wax.  However, it could be possible that there was not enough fragrance or scent added to the melted wax.  When it comes to adding the scent to the wax, temperature is everything; and be careful not to add the fragrance when the temperature is too high.  Finally, the last thing to consider is the wick.  This will also have a direct effect on the hot throw in your candle.

How to Solve It

If you are just not satisfied with the hot throw of your soy candles and have carefully examined all of the possible problems that may have inhibited your hot scent throw; you may want to consider changing your wax.   Paraffin based waxes have very strong hot throw.  You can also switch your wax to a blend of both soy and paraffin.  Natures Garden’s Joy Wax is a great example of this blend; providing candles with excellent hot and cold throw.

With soy wax, you are able to add up to 1.5 ounces of fragrance oil per pound of soy wax.  This fragrance load will provide the best possible scent for soy wax candles.  Also, if you are interested in seeing if a fragrance oil performs in soy wax, check out the fragrance oil’s customer reviews.  People often post what medium they used the fragrance oil in, especially if it works in soy wax.

Also, when making candles, waxes vary in the degree in which you can add the fragrance.  If you are noticing that your candles are not producing a strong enough hot throw, you may want to lower the temperature at which you add the fragrance oil.  It can be possible that some of the fragrance is burning off simply by the heat of the melted wax.  Adding your fragrance at too high of a temperature will do this.

Selecting a hotter burning wick for your candles will also help with a candle’s hot throw.  Some great hotter burning wicks to select from are Hemp or CD wicks.  But as always, testing is key.