How to Put Out a Candle

a picture of smoke flowing off an extinguished candle

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Homesick’s scented candles are thoughtfully created to recall your fondest memories and moments and bring a soothing aroma to a space. But when you are ready to put out the flame and preserve it, the last thing you want to do is blow it out with a giant, forceful breath, leaving behind smoke.

Often, a wick can even put out indoor air pollutants and allergens. While Homesick candles feature 100 percent organic cotton wicks, other candles — like those with lead-based wicks — do not. To avoid any kind of smoke from occurring, you must extinguish the wick and the flame properly. Here is how to put out a candle correctly — free of soot, splatters, sparks, embers and more!

How to Put Out a Candle

For the same reason you shouldn’t want to keep a candle near drafty windows and vents, you shouldn’t blow out a candle with your breath. If you did so, it could cause sooting and unwanted drips or splattered wax. So how exactly should you put out a candle? Two age-old tools are most effective: the candle wick dipper and the candle snuffer. Below, we break down how to use each to extinguish a flame.

a woman about to blow out a homesick Philadelphia candle that shes holding

The Candle Wick Dipper Method

A candle wick dipper is a long metal rod with a shepherd's hook-like end that essentially bends the wick backward into the melted wax. By extinguishing the candle’s flame within its own wax, it eliminates smoke, soot debris and splatters entirely. 

The trick to this method is to remove the wick from the hot, melted wax before it hardens again. As soon as you push the wick down into the wax, use the same dipper tool to immediately pull the wick back up straight, preparing it for your next use. It’s worth noting that coating the wick in wax makes it easier to light.

Also, make sure to wipe or scrape off any wax that accumulates on the dipper’s hook.

The Candle Snuffer Method

A candle snuffer also features a long metal rod, but in lieu of a hook, it has a bell-shaped cone at the end. It’s this cone that is used to snuff out and block air from the flame. While wick dippers are ideal for container-based candles, the candle snuffer has its place, too, often used for tapered and pillar candle styles. Still, if you like the look of a candle snuffer, it works on containers, too!

If you choose to go this route, do yourself a favor and find one with a dangling snuffer. Once you learn how to burn a candle all the way down, you might struggle to extinguish the flame as the candle wax becomes shallower. 

Once you see a wisp of smoke escape the snuffer, you’ll know the flame is out. Just be cautious as the snuffer might be warm.

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Smoke-Free Candle Alternatives

Should your candle create smoke, don’t fret! Invite in some fresh air from a nearby window, clearing out any smokiness from the indoor air. However, if you are concerned with smoke in your home, but still enjoy the soothing scents of a wildflower candle or beach candles, there are several wonderful alternatives.

Soy Wax Candles

Candles use many types of wax, paraffin being the most common. However, paraffin puts off a greater amount of smoke than others. Instead of choosing a paraffin wax-based candle, go for soy! A soy-based wax or soy wax blend, like our Homesick candles, provides a more natural, healthier option that promotes cleaner air in the home. 

Reed Diffusers

If for whatever reason you want a flame-free household, you can always replace candles with reed diffusers. Families with children and pets prefer reed diffusers, creating a safer environment. But something like a reed diffuser also offers a lovely all-day scent that greets you when you arrive home, instead of burning a candle unattended. 

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Additional Candle Care Tips

a person trimming the wick of a homesick southern california candle

Knowing how to put out a candle properly ensures your candle will have a long life. If that’s your aim, you’ll appreciate these additional candle care tips:

Keep the wick trimmed: Between uses, make sure to trim the wick. A wick trimmer can reach down into the candle and cut off the burnt end, keeping the pool of wax free of debris. Ideally, for a longer, cleaner and safer burn, your wick should be trimmed down to one-quarter inch.

Avoid moving the candle: Until the wax has completely cooled, leave the candle where it is! Otherwise, it can cause an unevenness, like tunneling, that can ruin a candle. 

Lengthen the life of your candle and prevent soot, smoke and more by putting out a candle the right way. Once you learn how to put out a candle correctly, you’ll never huff and puff the wick out again.