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How to Extinguish a Candle

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

What are the best ways to put out a candle?

What are the best ways to put out a candle?

How to Snuff Out a Candle

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, between 2015–2019, U.S. fire departments responded to about 7,400 house fires ignited by candle use each year. These fires caused an average of 90 civilian deaths, 670 fire-related injuries and left $291 million in property damage. It is said that there are 20 candle-related fires per day. That is why properly extinguishing candles is so important.

Blowing candles out is a popular method, especially on someone's birthday!

Blowing candles out is a popular method, especially on someone's birthday!

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.

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 below, 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.

I'm not quite sure why you would want to use this method, but it is possible.

A Demonstration of Vinegar and Baking Soda Extinguishing Candles

You can use a candle snuffer to extinguish a candle's flame.

You can use a candle snuffer to extinguish a candle's flame.

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 it 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 videos about this, it seems to work better the closer that you are to the wick. Here are the steps for using your fingers:

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  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.

Putting out a candle flame with your fingers—a method reserved for the bravest!

Putting out a candle flame with your fingers—a method reserved for the bravest!

Safety First

It is always best to choose safety first. It is my conclusion in reviewing all of the facts that 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.

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


poetryman6969 on February 03, 2015:

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.

Nancy Yager (author) from Hamburg, New York on April 02, 2013:

How cool is that! Thanks.

Elyse on April 01, 2013:

found this ---

Nancy Yager (author) from Hamburg, New York on February 02, 2013:

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

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on February 02, 2013:

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.

Nancy Yager (author) from Hamburg, New York on December 20, 2012:

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

Life Under Construction from Neverland on December 20, 2012:

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

Nancy Yager (author) from Hamburg, New York on November 29, 2012:

@midget38 Glad that you enjoyed.

Michelle Liew from Singapore on November 28, 2012:

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

Nancy Yager (author) from Hamburg, New York on October 23, 2012:

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

Michele Travis from U.S.A. Ohio on October 23, 2012:

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.

Nancy Yager (author) from Hamburg, New York on September 28, 2012:

Great suggestion. Thanks for stopping by.

Kat from USA on September 28, 2012:

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!

Nancy Yager (author) from Hamburg, New York on September 17, 2012:

Thanks for stopping by. Hope you enjoyed.

Don A. Hoglund from Wisconsin Rapids on September 17, 2012:

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.

Nancy Yager (author) from Hamburg, New York on September 12, 2012:

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

ignugent17 on September 12, 2012:

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!

Nancy Yager (author) from Hamburg, New York on August 19, 2012:

Thanks. I am happy you approve.

Kate McBride from Donegal Ireland on August 18, 2012:

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

Cheers .

Nancy Yager (author) from Hamburg, New York on August 09, 2012:

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

Farhat from Delhi on August 09, 2012:

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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