Candle Compendium

Facts Worth Knowing

How to remove wax stains? What can be done to avoid soot? Which production techniques are used in the making of candles? Our Candle Compendium has all the answers.


Beginnings: Even 3,000 years ago our ancestors used initial versions of today's candles. At the time, these were made of straw, hemp or reed, dipped in resin or tallow.

Burning Period: Candles should burn at least as long as it takes for the wax in the melt pool to liquefy completely. Otherwise a high wax rim will build up which affects the flame.

Candle Rim: Wax build-up around the rim of a pillar candle can affect the flame. Cut awax the excess wax while it is still warm and pliable.

Citronella: These candles, for outdoor use only, have a pleasant lemon smell and will keep away mosquitoes. Perfect for long summer nights in the garden or on the balcony.

Cleaning: Dusty or dirty candles are best cleaned using a lint-free cloth (e.g. linen) dampened with spirit or water.

Colours: Coloured candles are either produced by solely using coloured wax oder by dipping white candles into coloured wax. Additionally, candle surfaces can be printed. Designs and colours are usually inspired by seasonal and interior decoration trends.

Distance: If burning candles are placed too close to each other the heat of the flames will melt and deform them. The distance between candles should be at least 10 centimetres.

Drawing Process: One of the oldest candle production techniques. The wick is repeatedly drawn through hot wax. Each time more wax is accumulated until the candle has reached the required thickness. The drawing technique is used to produce dinner candles.

ECA: A number of  European candle producers formed an association (European Candle Association). In order to succeed and serve its member companies and the public this new organisation has to be generally acknowledged as the mouthpiece of the European candle industry. Therefore the national German candle association (VDK) ceased its activities at the end of 2008.

Flames: The flame of a candle reaches temperatures of up to 1.400°C .

First Candle: The oldest still existing wax candle dates back to the first century and was located in France (Vaison / la Romaine).

Heat: Candles should not be exposed to direct sunlight or other sources of heat as this will melt and deform them.

Scented Candles: More and more candle connoisseurs appreciate the pleasing combination of candlelight and sensuous scents. Scented candles are mainly used  to create a cosy comfortable ambiance but also for decoration or to remove unpleasant smells.

Paraffin Wax: Today most candles are made from paraffin. This is a waxy, odourless, non-toxic substance, which is extracted from mineral oil.

Pouring Process: There are different ways of producing candles. With the pouring process, the wick is suspended in a mould and liquid wax is poured around it. This technique is used, e.g., for taper candles and wax-filled glasses.

Quality Mark: The RAL Quality Mark, awarded by the European Quality Association for Candles, is reserved for products which meet the strict DEKRA requirements.

Removing Wax Stains: Wax is easily removed from textiles. Just cover the stains with absorbent paper (e.g. blotting paper) and pass a hot iron over the paper. Wax on smooth surfaces can be melted with a hair dryer and wiped off with tissue paper.

Stearin: Stearin is extracted from renewable raw materials of vegetable or animal origin. Stearin candles (e.g. Gies' Veneziana brand) produce very little soot, burn well and have a special, exquisite surface.

Storage: Candles should be stored in a cool, dark place, protected from dust and moisture. Slender candles should be stored horizontally to prevent deforming.

Tea lights: Tea lights are real classics and are used the whole year round. High quality tea lights which bear the RAL Quality Mark burn for at least four hours and produce very little soot or smoke. They are made from fine powder paraffin which is compacted at high pressure.

VDK (German Candle Makers Association): The national German association ceased its activities at the end of  2008. Since 2009, the European Candle Association (ECA) represents the European candle producers' interests (see above).

Wick Length: The optimal wick length is 5 to 10 millimetres. A longer wick causes sooting and should be trimmed.