How To Put Out A Candle With Science

how-to-put-out-a-candle-with-science_clip_image002Ok, I know putting out a candle isn't exactly the most challenging thing in the world but why not do it without blowing it out, how about putting it out with science instead!

What do I need:

  • A plastic bottle
  • White vinegar
  • Baking sodahow-to-put-out-a-candle-with-science_clip_image004
  • Candle
  • Matches
  • Funnel (optional, you can always make one from paper or just make a mess!)

How do I do it?

STEP1 - Fill your water bottle around one quarter of the way full with white vinegar!

how-to-put-out-a-candle-with-science_clip_image006STEP2 - Add 3 (or more!) teaspoons of baking powder to your bottle! You can use your funnel, if you've got one to hand! Those bubbles being formed are bubbles of carbon dioxide!

STEP3 - It's time to light your candle! Now that it's lit...we can put it out the scientific way! We're going to do this by 'pouring' the carbon dioxide onto the flame, as shown. This is easiest to do if your bottle is about one third full of the fizzing mixture. That means you can tip the bottle right over the candle without spilling any liquid and ruining your experiment!

Mad-Marc-Slime-ForwardWhat's going on?

When you mix your baking powder with your white vingegar you're making a chemical reaction! The result is those bubbles of carbon dixoide. When you 'pour' the carbon dioxide over the flame there's no room left for oxygen and so the flame goes out!

More Fun Please - Experiment like a real scientist!

  • Does it have to be white vinegar and baking powder? What else could you safely use?
  • Does adding more or less baking powder make it easier or harder to put the candle out?
  • How many candles can you put out with the perfect mixture?

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