We all grew up blowing out the candles on a birthday cake. As a candle connoisseur, you choose your favorite scented candles with loving care, but have you ever thought for a moment about the best way to put out a candle?
There’s a bit more to it than Lauren Bacall saying to Humphrey Bogart in the movie classic Casablanca: “Just put your lips together and…” We have a few tips on why this candle care moment is much more important than you might think.
How to Put Out a Candle
Why does how you put out your candle matter? Some say blowing out candles shows disrespect to angels and spirits. What we do know is taking extra care of your candles adds many more hours of life to a scented candle and preserves its original fragrance.
How NOT to Put Out a Candle
By putting out your candle carefully, you’ll avoid a burnt, smoke-scented room that takes away from the mood you so carefully created by lighting your candle. You’ll add more time to linger and enjoy those special candle moments. In that spirit of candle care, here’s how not to put out your candles.
1. Don’t blow them out
That’s best saved for birthday cakes. Your precious candles deserve better than that! The smoke leaves an unpleasant after-scent and soot on your wick. Blowing out your candle can make your wax uneven or push it to the side of the glass container, creating tunneling. A wick buried in wax is also harder to relight.
2. Covering the candle with its lid is not recommended.
Some have rubber seals or other material that can melt. Lids also trap the smoke and leave soot on the wick and candle wax, making you lose some of your favorite fragrances. It’s very unappealing when you relight your candle.
3. Forget using your fingers to extinguish your candle.
That’s just a party trick and not particularly safe. It’s probably best saved to impress your girlfriends at the next book club or wine and cheese get together. So let’s move on to the ideal ways to put out a candle.
Two Best Ways to Put Out a Candle
We recommend two tried and true ways to put out a candle. They’ll lengthen the life of your candles while also keeping them sootless and aesthetically pleasing during future burns.
1. Candle Snuffers
Candle snuffers, also known as douters, date from the mid-17th century, and there’s a reason why snuffers are still used today after centuries of use. They work well with most candles, quickly extinguishing the flame and minimizing smoke. Antique candle snuffers are beautifully designed and highly collectible these days.
Modern candle snuffers are fashionably designed, inexpensive, and put out candles safely and quickly without lingering smoke. The most popular is a rounded bell shape, but they also come in delightful forms such as a beehive, disk, or pyramid.
2. Candle Wick Dippers
Our favorite way to put out a candle flame properly is with a wick dipper. Wick dippers have long handles, and you use its tip to quickly press the wick down into the oil. That eliminates oxygen and immediately puts the flame out with little or no smoke. It’s quick, simple, and effective.
Immediately reposition your wick with the dipper, and when you’re ready to enjoy your candle again, it will relight cleanly and quickly, releasing the original fragrance. Candle wick dippers come in many attractive designs, and antique dippers are also prized by collectors and candle connoisseurs.
So don’t take Lauren Bacall to heart. Putting out your candles carefully protects their wonderful fragrance and adds many more pleasurable hours of candlelight and enjoyment.
A gentle thought for today: “Lighting someone else’s candle first will make yours shine brighter.”
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