Easy translation for learning the common candle terms and abbreviations associated with candle making.
*FO/EO: Fragrance Oil/Essential Oil. These should be purchased only at candle-making stores to ensure safety. Please research further for the use of essential oils as some are not meant to be burned and can cause a fire. Essential oils are costly and the amount needed to produce hot throw will exceed fragrance load recommendations.
*CT/HT: Cold throw/hot throw. This is how well the fragrance carries either when the candle is cold or while burning.
*OOB: Out of bottle. This refers to the way an oil smells out of the bottle. Some oils smell differently when blended with wax.
*Wickless/Flameless: Candles made without a wick to be melted on a hot plate burner. Good for people/places that do not want an open flame.
*Fragrance Load: The amount of oil put into the wax. Each wax has its own load capacity and should be followed. Using more fragrance than wax is capable of holding can result in oils settling to the bottom instead of infusing with the wax. Oils alone are flammable, so you run the risk of fire if you use too much.
*Meltpool: The melted wax on top of a candle. You should continue to burn a candle until a full melt pool is reached (or when the entire top of a candle is melted.) Then, it should be blown out and not relit until the wax has completely solidified.
*Hang Up: The wax that is left around the edge of a vessel when a full melt pool is not reached (due to either blowing out too early or wrong wick size).
*Wick Up/Wick Down: Refers to the size of your wick. Wick up means use a larger wick, wick down means use a smaller wick
*Tunneling: Refers to the candle burning directly down the middle instead of all the way across.
*Power Burn: When a candle is allowed to burn for extended periods of time. While 3-4 hours is the safe amount of time to burn a candle, many people burn continuously until all the wax is gone. Testing should involve power burns because customers will burn them this way no matter what you tell them.
*Cure: The amount of time a candle needs to fully absorb the fragrance and harden completely.
*Dancing Flame: When a flame on a wick burns too high or in a drafty location, the flame will dance, or not burn steadily.
*Wet Spots: When using glass containers, you are able to see spots on the outside where the wax has not adhered to the glass. This is fixable via heat gun. Also, preheating jars in a warm oven can prevent wet spots.
*Sink Holes: When the wax is poured too quickly, air can be caught infer the surface and produce pockets. When the candle is burned, the air pocket opens leaving a less-than-desirable appearance. Give your candle a quick tap after you pour while it is still warm to raise any air to the surface.
*Mushrooming: some wicks form a small ball of soot on the wick while burning. This should be trimmed before relighting. A mushroomed wick will release soot into the air.
*Frosting: The tops of candles (mainly soy wax) will sometimes form a white, feathery-looking pattern after it is cooled. (Also common in wax melts). Frosting does not affect the burn quality but does look unsightly.
*Adhesion: Refers to how the wax attaches or adheres to the container.
*Top Pour: Some waxes need more than one pour to produce an even, flat top. After pouring and the candle is firm, you may notice a dip around the wick. This will require a top pour to fix. Straight paraffin usually needs a repour.
I hope this helps. Candle terms and abbreviations are easy to understand as you go, but getting started can feel a bit overwhelming. But now you’ve got this. Good luck, Chandler.
May the odds be ever in your favor.