For those of you who are just getting into candles, and those who just want to up your vocabulary a bit, we’ve created a quick guide to popular candle lingo.
Burn time is the amount of time it takes for the wax in a candle to be consumed completely. The longer the burn time, the more enjoyment you’ll get out of your candle.
MELT OR WAX POOL
Closer to a hot spring than a swimming pool, a wax pool means the size of the pool melted wax forms around a burning wick. As the wax pool gets larger the candle’s hot throw (remember this from earlier?) gets better. It’s important to let a candle’s wax pool go all the way to the edge of the container to prevent tunnelling.
Jump Lines, also known as “chatter” and “stuttering” are the unintended horizontal lines or rings around the sides of either a container or pillar candle (see photo). The lines give the wax a rough or slightly ridged appearance and prevent your candle from having that creamy smooth desired appearance.
When Jump Lines occur, it is because the wax is congealing immediately and it is setting as more wax is poured on top of it, thus forming the “rings” or lines. Since jump lines are an aesthetic thing, they do not have any kind of effect on the candles burn or scent throw.
Tunnelling might be the most dreaded problem a candle lover faces. Tunnelling happens when a candle burns straight down through the middle leaving excess wax on the edges. The most common cause for this is improper burning, especially on the first burn. The best prevention for tunnelling is burning a candle until it pools all the way across the wax on the first burn. Candles have memory and if the first burn only pools halfway across the candle it is more likely that this is where the candle will stop burning the next time you light it up.
HOW TO HANDLE SOOT
If soot forms on the inside of the vessel, extinguish candle, wait for it to cool, then wipe with a clean damp cloth. Trim wick and relight.
You are now ready to go out and conquer the candle world! Or at least, now you can sound like you know what you’re talking about during those fancy candle conversations.