Candles have been lighting up our lives for centuries, adding warmth, ambiance, and a touch of magic to our homes. While the glow of a burning candle is captivating, knowing how to extinguish it properly is crucial for both safety and preserving the beauty of your candles. Let’s explore the art of extinguishing candles, combining safety measures and a touch of style.
The Basics of Candle Safety
Before delving into the various methods of extinguishing candles, it’s essential to understand the basics of candle safety. Follow these fundamental rules to ensure a safe candle-burning experience:
- Never leave a burning candle unattended. Whether you’re stepping out of the room or leaving your home, extinguish the candle to prevent accidents.
- Keep candles away from flammable materials. Ensure there are no curtains, papers, or any other flammable items near the candle. This reduces the risk of a fire hazard.
- Place candles on stable surfaces. Ensure that your candles are on flat, heat-resistant surfaces to prevent them from tipping over.
- Trim candle wicks before every light. Long wicks can cause uneven burning and excess smoke and the candle will burn faster if it is hotter. Trim the wick to about 1/4 inch before each use.
The Gentle Blowout
The most common and straightforward method of extinguishing a candle is the gentle blowout (I don’t endorse this) However here’s how you can do it:
- Prepare to extinguish. Ensure that the area around the candle is clear of drafts. Move away any lightweight objects that might be disturbed by the air movement.
- Position your face away. Lean over the candle, placing your face slightly to the side or above it to avoid inhaling any smoke.
- Blow gently. Blow across the top of the candle flame rather than directly into it. This helps to avoid hot wax splatter.
- Observe for any remaining embers. After extinguishing the flame, watch for a moment to ensure no embers are still glowing. If needed, use a candle snuffer to eliminate any remaining light.
The Elegant Snuff
For those who want to add a touch of elegance to their candle rituals, using a candle snuffer is an excellent choice. Here’s a step-by-step guide:
- Hold the snuffer correctly. Grasp the handle of the snuffer firmly, keeping the cone-shaped extinguisher above the flame.
- Position the snuffer. Hover the cone over the flame without touching it. The lack of oxygen will cause the flame to extinguish.
- Wait briefly. Allow a moment for any remaining smoke to dissipate before removing the snuffer.
- Adjust if necessary. If the flame is not completely extinguished, gently touch the snuffer over the wick to ensure it’s out.
Wick dipping – my personal favourite
An alternative method, only suitable for container candles, is the wick dip. This involves using the unlit end of the wick to dip it into the melted wax and then straightening it up. Here’s how to do it:
- Prepare the wick. Ensure the wick is straight and unburnt. If needed, use a wick trimmer to tidy it up.
- Dip and straighten. Dip the unlit end of the wick into the melted wax, then pull it out and straighten it. This process helps prevent smoking upon relighting.
- Observe for any remaining embers. After using the wick dip method, watch for a moment to ensure no embers are still glowing.