Candle Science Magic Trick

Candles are extinguished with an invisible substance.

Scientific name: The experiment shows carbon dioxide gas being poured to extinguish a candle flame.


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Baking Soda, Vinegar and Candle

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Wear goggles and disposable gloves.

Always follow general safety recommendations. Please note that conducting chemistry experiments you must comply with the relevant legal procedures in your country.

Reaction formula

2CH3COOH + Na2CO3 → 2CH3COONa + CO2 + H2O

Step-by-step instruction

  1. Light the candle.
  2. Pour some vinegar (about 100 ml) into a glass.
  3. Add half a tablespoon of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) to the vinegar.
  4. Wait for some time for the reaction to proceed.
  5. Carefully pour the gas from the glass on the candle. The flame will go out.

Scientific background

When vinegar and baking soda come into the contact they react with the production of CO2 gas:

2CH3COOH + Na2CO3 → 2CH3COONa + CO2 + H2O

CO2 does not support burning and can be used to extinguish fire. The gas is heavier than air and settles at the bottom of the glass. It can be easily poured out of it like a liquid. When CO2 is poured on the candle it prevents burning.


Published on 28 January 2015

  • Fire
  • Heating with fire
  • Explosion
  • Poisoned gas
  • Organic
  • Electricity
  • Solution
  • Oxidation reduction
  • Color change
  • Precipitate
  • Gassing
  • Catalyst