Fire Extinguisher – Home Experiment

You will need

  • Candle
  • 2 Glasses (need to be higher than the candle)
  • Vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Teaspoon
  • Match to light the candle

What to do

  1. Put the candle in one glass and light it.
  2. In the other glass, place 1 teaspoon of baking soda.
  3. Pour vinegar over the baking soda until it is just covered.
  4. Wait for the baking soda and vinegar finish frothing.
  5. Take the glass with the baking soda and vinegar and slowly tilt it over the glass with the burning candle. Be careful to not to let the vinegar drip over into the glass with the candle.
  6. Observe what happens to the candle.

Background

When vinegar reacts with baking soda, the gas carbon dioxide is formed. Carbon dioxide is heavier than air and stays in the glass. As you tilt the glass with carbon dioxide over the candle, it replaces the air with the oxygen needed for the flame. The non-flammable carbon dioxide gas smothers the flame.

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