How to Extinguish a Candle

Updated on April 15, 2019
Lipnancy profile image

Nancy worked as a social worker for 23 years. She now draws upon that experience to educate others about products that might help them.


It has been a household problem for many centuries. One not many of us have given too much thought since the invention of electricity. Today it might be categorized as a candle safety regulation. It is the issue of extinguishing candles; how to safely put out a candle.

Candles are used in homes and at events today. What are our options? And more importantly which is the safest? We can blow out the candle, use baking soda and vinegar, utilize a candle snuffer or spit on your fingers and dowse the flame, ouch.

Why Is Candle Safety a Concern?

According to the National Fire Protection Association, from the years of 2009-2013, volunteer and paid fireman responded almost 9,300 house fires ignited by candle use each year. Every year, the fires created an average of 86 civilian deaths, 827 fire-related injuries, and left $374 million in property damage. It is said that there are 25 candle-related fires per day. That is why properly extinguishing candles is so important.


Blow the Candles Out

Blowing out candles with your breath smothers the flame by cooling the wick so much that the fire extinguishes.

But unfortunately, sometimes this method reignites with a black sooty smoke that is very bad for the lungs. Another problem with the blowing method is you can blow the flame or hot wax onto the closest object, and if that happens to be combustible, then you have a real problem, FIRE.

In the Wiccan realm, the blowing out of the candle flame is said to the scatter energy and therefore, reduce the outcome of the prayer or spell. So this is not recommended.

A Demonstration of Vinegar and Baking Soda Extinguishing Candles

Baking Soda and Vinegar?

Did you know that it is possible to put out a candle with baking soda and vinegar? As demonstrated in the video above, a flame will go out when it is exposed to carbon dioxide which is emitted by the chemical combination of vinegar and baking soda. The candle may be submerged in the combination or the gas may be poured on it. If nothing else, this is just a cool experiment to try.

Not quite sure why you would want to use this method, but it is possible.

What Is a Candle Snuffer?

A candle snuffer looks like a small metal bell as seen and is used to put out the flame on a candle. How to snuff out a candle is really easy, one just covers the flame with it, denying needed oxygen to remain lit. There is no wax blown around and reduces the chances of a fire in the home significantly. The candle snuffer still produces smoke so it may not be a solution for persons with chronic lung problems. Different theories from the past suggest that candle flames should be snuffed rather than blown out since it is using the air element to stop the fire element. Decorative candle snuffers are often used with wedding candles in church ceremonies.

This Video Demonstrates How to Use a Candle Snuffer


Putting Out a Flame With Your Fingers

There are still those brave souls who wet their forefinger and thumb to squelch the flame. In watching many YouTube video about this, it seems to work better the closer that you are to the wick. Here are the steps for using your fingers:

  1. Ignite the candle with a match. The flame must be at 1 inch high.
  2. Lick or wet your fingers with water.
  3. Put your hand about 1 inch away from the wick.
  4. Grasp the wick as fast as you can and release.
  5. With a bit of practice, you will be able to skip the wetting of your fingers. The real trick is in the timing.

I have seen it done; safety-wise, I must give it a negative review, since it can burn the skin and does leave black marks.

In many other circles, this method puts the prayer or spell in waiting until the candle can be lit again.


It is always best to choose safety first. It is my conclusion in reviewing all of the facts; the candle snuffer seems to be the best solution. I do however understand that candles are used to send healing and prayers, but please use caution also.

How do you Put out Your Candles

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This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2012 Nancy Yager


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    • poetryman6969 profile image


      5 years ago

      I don't doubt the efficacy of the snuffer but I cannot see getting one more little doohickey to keep track of . As I am not in the habit of casting satanic spells, I will forgo wetting the fingers and strangling the flame.

    • Lipnancy profile imageAUTHOR

      Nancy Yager 

      7 years ago from Hamburg, New York

      How cool is that! Thanks.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

    • Lipnancy profile imageAUTHOR

      Nancy Yager 

      7 years ago from Hamburg, New York

      @DDE Yes it is. And some of us with lung issues should not be around candles at all.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      7 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Interesting about blowing out candles I never thought of it being dangerous for the lungs knowing how many other obstacles e have to go through like sitting in a lounge with the many smokers.

    • Lipnancy profile imageAUTHOR

      Nancy Yager 

      7 years ago from Hamburg, New York

      @unknown spy Really? They are handy little items to have.

    • unknown spy profile image

      Life Under Construction 

      7 years ago from Neverland

      enjoyed your hub nancy! i never heard of snuffer before! seriously!

    • Lipnancy profile imageAUTHOR

      Nancy Yager 

      7 years ago from Hamburg, New York

      @midget38 Glad that you enjoyed.

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 

      7 years ago from Singapore

      A very unique hub, Nancy. I would definitely use a candle snuffer and remember this the next time a blackout happens! Thanks for sharing!

    • Lipnancy profile imageAUTHOR

      Nancy Yager 

      7 years ago from Hamburg, New York

      @Michele. Thanks for stopping by. Hope you enjoyed.

    • Michele Travis profile image

      Michele Travis 

      7 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

      This is an interesting hub. We don't us candles very much, but when we do, we blow them out. Now I want to use snuff them out. If they are hard to find, just use the internet. You can buy pretty much anything on the internet.

    • Lipnancy profile imageAUTHOR

      Nancy Yager 

      7 years ago from Hamburg, New York

      Great suggestion. Thanks for stopping by.

    • Mom Kat profile image

      Mom Kat 

      7 years ago from USA

      I have a candle snuffer - but the kids always take it and lose it... lol

      Anyway, I actually do something different (option 4 if you will) ~

      Since I do not want to pit air against fire, nor water against fire... and my poor little snuffer keeps getting kidnapped...

      I take the end of a match or used incense stick to push the wick into the melted wax in a rolling motion. This extinguishes the flame with minimal smoke and coats the wick with a thin layer of wax which makes relighting a snap :)

      Don't leave your wick in the melted wax or when it hardens the wick will be trapped & we all hate that. Just long enough to put the flame out & then lift it right back up & out.

      Great Hub Lipnancy ~ loved it!

    • Lipnancy profile imageAUTHOR

      Nancy Yager 

      7 years ago from Hamburg, New York

      Thanks for stopping by. Hope you enjoyed.

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 

      7 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      We have not actually had candles around for some time but I think I probably just blew them out as I don't believe we ever had a snuffer.

    • Lipnancy profile imageAUTHOR

      Nancy Yager 

      7 years ago from Hamburg, New York

      Thanks. I actually originally learned this in a healing class of all places.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Very interesting Lipnancy. It is fun to remember when we were young. During brown out we will just use candles. Then when the lights go on we will sing a birthday song before we blow the candles out. I did not know that it is harmful.

      Thank you for the information.

      Have a good day!

    • Lipnancy profile imageAUTHOR

      Nancy Yager 

      7 years ago from Hamburg, New York

      Thanks. I am happy you approve.

    • Kate Mc Bride profile image

      Kate McBride 

      7 years ago from Donegal Ireland

      Curiosity made me read this hub-it was well worth reading.

      Cheers .

    • Lipnancy profile imageAUTHOR

      Nancy Yager 

      7 years ago from Hamburg, New York

      Not sure if they are available in India either. But I am happy you enjoyed the hub.

    • shara63 profile image


      7 years ago from Delhi

      hey, gud idea & a healthy way to snuff out candles...but i don't think snuffers are available in the market out here in problem, , i'll make one my own!.....thankyou Lipnancy!


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