How to put out a candle

Whatever the reason is for burning a candle, you’ll definitely have to put it out at the end of the day. What better way to put off the flame than using any of the five methods outlined below!

Each one of them has its own advantages and disadvantages, and we’ll be going through each one of them carefully so you know what suits you better and also the type of candle you’re working with.

How to put out a candle

Putting out the burning flame of a candle is super easy, here are the various ways to do it.

  1. Blow out the flame using a fast thin breath.
  2. Wet your fingers and use them to put out the flame.
  3. Use a candle snuffer or a candle dipper to extinguish the candle flame.
  4. Place the lid of the candle on the flame to put it out.

1) Use your breath

The first method on this list is one that almost everybody and their moms are familiar with, and that’s to use YOUR breath!

I mean, why not? It’s a GOD-given fire extinguisher that never demands a dime from you! Plus, it has always been effective for this purpose since the middle ages, and from the look of things, it will always be!

With all the praise words aside, i must confess that this method is not exactly suitable for all types of scenarios, and for everybody.

Not everyone and their moms fancy a waft of ugly scented smoke all over the perimeters of their room when they put out a candle flame, especially when they burnt the candle for the exact opposite reason – to get fragrance.

If you’re the type that easily slides into this boat, then dragon breathing on your candle flame is obviously ruled out for you, except, of course, an occasion really calls for it such as a birthday.

In that case, the brief discomfort tied with this method is easily worth it, but care must be taken to minimize any wax drips on edible products such as cakes and cupcakes all cost (more on the proper steps for breathing on your candles below).

Another scenario that might not prove game for breathing on candle flame is when you have candles contained in jars and tumblers, especially those having the wax already consumed half way.

Putting off the flame on these type of candles will require the use of pressure to create enough force behind the stream of air coming out from your mouth, and this can end up burying the wick inside the wax pool which can be very tricky to dig out when things turn solid.

(You can always use a tweezers to pick up the wick after putting out the flame, and then making sure the tip is straightened  until the visible wick is able to stand on its own, but if you’re not careful, you might end up spending too much time than you actually planned for).

Blowing out the flame of a candle contained in a jar can also create unevenness around the uppermost layer of the wax which can cause some thing called tunneling (or even accelerate it when it’s already present).

This can lead to unevenness in the size of the burning flame, which can then lead to the accumulation of carbon residue all over of the jar.

The accumulation of sooth is also possible from the direct blowing method which is extremely damaging to the overall aesthetics of the jar.

So with all these in mind, if you’re still not singed out on the idea of using your breath to put out a candle flame, then feel free to follow the instructions below to learn how to properly do it, but at your own risk.

How to put out a candle with your breath

  1. Come close to the candle flame. No, not that close! Move back a little bit. Back until you’re some solid 4 inches away. Make sure you’re not directly over the candle as you’re going to have a hard time putting the flame off, and that’s not counting the brush of heat you’re likely to get on your face from the rising heat.
  2. Now blow gently at the candle flame using a fast stream of air (made thin) in order to quickly put it off. If you’re not successful at one gust, it means you’re not doing it correctly. Your lips should be pulsed together and not wide apart which will create a thin wave of breath that knocks off the flame from the wick. While doing this, make sure to go as gently as possible so you avoid a hot splatter of melted wax on your skin and other delicate areas that are close by.
  3. Once off, move away from the resulting smoke and let it rise and disappear. Preferably, put off candles near ventilated areas to avoid the collection of smoke.
  4. And that’s it. You’ve successfully put off a candle flame using your breath.

2) Use your thumb and index fingers

Warning, if you’re shit scared of flame even as tiny as that of a candle, DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME please. This one is for the pros, and it’s a quick and easy way to put off a candle with little smoke.

To do that, simply get your fingers wet under a cold running tap (the ones mentioned above), and then bring them together for a pinch with the tip of the wick in between. Next, release quickly in the case of any failed attempt. Repeat the same procedure if the wick wasn’t put off from the first attempt.

Alternatively, you can moisten your fingers with little saliva (by licking on them, don’t be such a kid to drench them with a pound worth saliva) and then proceed to put the flame off.

This method works great for tapers, votives, tealights and any form of jar-less candles.

For jar candles, especially those having three wicks or those built in very narrow jars, you’ll have better luck sticking with the first or third and fourth methods on this list respectively. You could end up burning yourself!

3) Use a candle snuffer

We’re starting to approach the more expensive methods for putting off a candle, but these work super easy, and are extremely efficient having many benefits.

Using a tool like the snuffer will produce insignificant amount of smoke that poses little to no threat to the integrity of your jar (if you have the jar type of candle), and also end up disrupting the lingering candle scent (if you burned a scented one).

A snuffer like this one here on amazon, is a little bell attached to a stick, that’s the best description i can currently bring out from the top of my head. Anyways, it’s the bell shape tool that does most of the work. The stick helps you carry the bell around.

To use a candle snuffer, simply place the bell shaped tool directly on the flame (for a few seconds) in order to deprive it of oxygen and cause it to suffocate. The flame instantly goes off and you have a candle nice and ready for another day!

4) Use a wick dipper, a pair of tweezers or a pair of scissor

The wick dipper (if you don’t already have one) is another expensive approach that works as efficiently and as neat as the candle snuffer, and it even has some added advantage.

With the wick dipper, you simply bend the head of the wick into the pool of wax below so the flame is deprived of oxygen, suffocated, and then finally put off.

This method is slightly better than the snuffer method for the advantage that it makes relighting the candle very easy due to the layer of wax that gets coated around the wick.

This coating also serves as a life jacket to prevent the wick from downing in the surrounding pool of wax around it.

When you don’t have a candle dipper, you can always use a pair of tweezers, a pair of scissor, or any household item that is long enough to keep a distance from the flame, and also sturdy enough to bend a wick easily, as a decent alternative.

5) Use the lid

If your candle came with a non-flammable lid, and you’re not careless enough to have it misplaced, then you can simply purpose that to extinguish the flame.

Simply place the lid on the flame to suffocate it and then take it off when the flame has extinguished.

Make sure to wipe off any sooth that may have accumulated around the inside of the lid.  This method also does good job at putting off a candle without any significant sooth or smoke.

And that’s it, whichever method you end up using, so far you stick to the procedures and follow them carefully, you should have a seamless experience putting off your candles.

Happy wick drowning!