If you already identify as a candle connoisseur you probably have a candle snuffer somewhere in your collection but if you’ve just discovered the joy of burning candles, you may find yourself asking “what is a candle snuffer?”, “should I use a wick dipper or snuffer” and, perhaps more importantly, “why shouldn’t you blow out candles?”. There are three different styles of accessories designed specifically to help with extinguishing candles.
The most common and most traditional is the bell style snuffer, often crafted from silver or brass, you’ve probably seen this delicate tool with a small inverted cup and long handle on the sideboard at your grandmother’s house. The bell style snuffer is undoubtedly classy and sophisticated but can lead to unnecessary smoking which is not only smelly but can make the candle more difficult to relight.
Pinch style snuffers and wick dippers are newer to the lineup but arguably better suited for the job as they have been designed to suit specific candle styles.
A wick dipper is an elegant metal tool about 8 inches long with a bend in one end. For larger diameter candles, use the curved end to push the wick in to the wax pool and re-straighten it. This ensures a smokeless experience and primes the wick perfectly for next time you light it. If you’re the type that thinks candle burning accessories are frivolous and unnecessary (no judgement here!), you can fashion a DIY wick dipper out of an unbent paperclip.
Pinch style snuffers resemble a mini pair of kitchen tongs and are great for candlesticks or other smaller diameter candles. Use the small tongs to gently pinch the flame and wick. It should fully extinguish the candle immediately producing very little smoke. This leaves molten wax to harden within the wick priming it for the next light. If the candle is not fully extinguished quickly the wick can smolder which can cause the fuel (wax) left in the wick to fully combust making it slightly more difficult to light next time. A smoking wick is an indicator of smoldering and a second quick pinch is sometimes required to halt the smoke.
Finally, if you don’t have any candle accessories handy, you CAN simply blow out your candle, this won’t cause the world to end, we promise. However, if this is your method of choice, we recommend doing it gently (no huffing and puffing - you’re not the big bad wolf) and placing a hand behind the flame. Also be aware that you run the risk of spraying wax droplets over your table settings or furniture. The wax spray is sometimes so fine that you don’t notice it at first. In fact, I didn’t believe this was an issue until I was in my twenties. I dread to think how many tablecloths I have unknowingly damaged over my lifetime.
I hope you have found this information about how to properly put out your candles helpful!