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How Does A Trick Candle Work? Find Out More!

  • Written By Candace 
  • Updated On
  • 9 min read
how does a trick candle work

How Does A Trick Candle Work?

A trick candle, a novelty candle, or a gag candle is designed to relight itself after being blown out. These types of candles have been around for decades and have been a popular choice for pranks, magic tricks, and adding a bit of fun to birthday parties. In this blog post, we will explore the mechanics behind how trick candles work and discuss some popular uses for these entertaining candles. Additionally, we will touch on the importance of using trick candles safely to avoid any potential hazards.

How Do Trick Candles Work?

When a trick candle is lit, the flame ignites the wick, which is made of combustible material such as cotton or hemp. The heat from the flame vaporizes the wax around the wick, and the resulting gases mix with oxygen in the air to create a chemical reaction called combustion.

The mechanism that causes a trick candle to relight after being blown out is a small amount of magnesium powder or other combustible material placed inside the wax near the wick. When the flame is extinguished, the heat from the wick and the surrounding wax is not enough to sustain the chemical reaction of combustion.

However, gunpowder or other combustible material continues to smoulder and produce heat. Eventually, the heat becomes sufficient to vaporize the wax again, and the chemical reaction of combustion can restart, re-lighting the candle.

It’s important to note that trick candles should only be used as intended and should not be tampered with or modified in any way, as this can potentially be dangerous.

How Do Trick Birthday Candles Work?

Trick birthday candles function in the same way as any other trick candle. A trick birthday candle uses a wick made of flammable material, like cotton or hemp, which catches fire when exposed to the flame. During combustion, gases produced by the evaporation of wax around the wick react with oxygen in the air.

A small amount of magnesium powder or another flammable material is inserted into the wax near the trick candle’s wick, which causes it to relight after being blown out. The heat can no longer maintain the chemical combustion reaction from the wick and the surrounding wax once the flame is extinguished. However, magnesium powder or other flammable material still produces heat while it smolders. After a while, the temperature rises high enough to evaporate the wax once more, allowing the chemical reaction of combustion to resume and reignite the flame.

Using “trick” candles at a birthday party is a common way to keep guests on their toes and increase overall excitement. It’s customary to put out the candles on a birthday cake by blowing on them, as a sign of respect for the person whose birthday it is. But if you use a trick birthday candle, the flame will reignite after being extinguished, much to the pleasure of the birthday boy or girl.

Trick candles, including birthday trick candles, can pose a fire threat if not used properly. Thus, using caution and common sense when utilizing them is crucial.

Why Are Trick Candle Flames So Impossible To Blow Out?

Trick candle flames are difficult to blow out because the heat produced by the flame is not sufficient to sustain the chemical reaction of combustion once the flame is extinguished. However, the candle’s magnesium powder or other combustible material continues to produce heat. Eventually, the heat becomes sufficient to vaporize the wax again, and the chemical reaction of combustion can restart, relighting the candle.

It’s important to note that trick candles should only be used as intended and should not be tampered with or modified in any way, as this can potentially be dangerous. It’s also important to use caution and common sense when using trick candles, following all safety guidelines and precautions to avoid potential hazards.

Are Trick Candle Legal

It is generally legal to purchase and use trick candles in most countries. However, it’s important to use caution and common sense when using trick candles, following all safety guidelines and precautions to avoid potential hazards.

The use of trick candles may be restricted in some circumstances, such as in public places or areas where open flames are not allowed. It’s always a good idea to familiarize yourself with any local laws or regulations that may apply to trick candles.

Popular Uses For Trick Candles

Trick candles have been a popular choice for adding a bit of fun and surprise to birthday parties for many years. When a person blows out the candles on a birthday cake, the expectation is that the flames will be extinguished. With a trick candle, however, the flame will relight itself after being blown out, much to the surprise and delight of the person celebrating their birthday.

Trick candles, also called magic candles, are frequently used as pranks. For example, someone might light a trick candle and give it to a friend or family member to blow out, causing the flame to relight and potentially startle the person.

Trick candles are also sometimes used as self-ignited candles in magic tricks. A magician might use a trick candle to perform a trick in which they appear to control the flame or make it behave unexpectedly.

Use caution and common sense when using trick candles, regardless of the intended purpose. They should be used in a controlled environment and never left unattended.

Difference Between Trick Candle And Normal Candle

A normal candle is a candle that burns predictably and cannot relight itself after being extinguished. When a normal candle is lit, the flame ignites the wick, which is made of combustible material such as cotton or hemp. The heat from the flame vaporizes the wax around the wick, and the resulting gases mix with oxygen in the air to create a chemical reaction called combustion. When the flame is extinguished, the chemical reaction of combustion is also extinguished, and the candle cannot relight itself.

On the other hand, a trick candle is designed to relight itself after being extinguished. When a trick candle is lit, the flame ignites the wick in the same way as a normal candle. However, a small amount of gunpowder or other combustible material is placed inside the wax near the wick. When the flame is extinguished, the heat from the wick and the surrounding wax is insufficient to sustain the combustion chemical reaction.

However, gunpowder or other combustible material continues to smolder and produce heat. Eventually, the heat becomes sufficient to vaporize the wax again, and the chemical reaction of combustion can restart, relighting the candle.

In summary, the main difference between a normal candle and a trick candle is that it burns predictably and cannot relight itself after being extinguished. In contrast, a trick candle is designed to become a re-lighting candle after being extinguished.

How Do You Make A Trick Candle?

To make a trick candle, you will need the following supplies:

  • A candle mold or a small container such as a jar or tin can
  • Wick material, such as cotton or hemp
  • Candle wax, such as beeswax or paraffin wax
  • Gunpowder or other combustible material (such as a small piece of paper that has been soaked in lighter fluid)
  • A candle fuse sustainer (optional)

To make the trick candle:

  1. Melt the paraffin wax in a double boiler or a microwave-safe container.
  2. While the wax is melting, prepare the wick by threading it through the wick sustainer (if using) and securing it to the bottom of the candle mold or container.
  3. Once the wax is melted, add a small amount of gunpowder or other combustible material. Stir to combine.
  4. Pour the wax mixture into the candle mold or container.
  5. Allow the wax to cool and harden completely.
  6. Trim the wick to the desired length.

It’s important to use caution when handling gunpowder or other combustible materials and to follow all safety guidelines and precautions when making a trick candle. It’s also important to use the trick candle as intended and to never tamper with or modify the candle in any way, as this can potentially be dangerous.

Safety Concerns

As with any candle, it’s important to use caution and common sense when using trick candles. They should always be placed on a stable, heat-resistant surface and never left unattended. It’s also a good idea to keep a fire extinguisher or a bucket of sand nearby in case of any accidents.

In addition to the general safety guidelines for using candles, there are a few specific hazards to be aware of when using trick candles. One potential hazard is the risk of inhaling the fumes from the gunpowder or other combustible material inside the candle. Inhaling these fumes can harm and cause respiratory irritation or other health problems.

Another potential hazard is the risk of the trick candle relighting unexpectedly or behaving unpredictably. This could startle the person using the candle or cause them to drop it, potentially causing a fire or other accident.

It’s important to use trick candles as intended and follow all safety guidelines and precautions to avoid potential hazards. 

Conclusion

In conclusion, trick candles are a type of candle that is designed to relight itself after being blown out. They use a small amount of gunpowder or other combustible material placed inside the wax near the wick. When the flame is extinguished, the heat from the wick and the surrounding wax is insufficient to sustain the combustion chemical reaction. Still, the gunpowder or other combustible material continues to smolder and produce heat. Eventually, the heat becomes sufficient to vaporize the wax again, and the chemical reaction of combustion can restart, relighting the candle.

Trick candles can be a fun and entertaining addition to certain occasions, such as birthday parties, pranks, and magic tricks. However, it’s important to use caution and follow all safety guidelines when using trick candles to avoid potential hazards. Inhaling the fumes from the gunpowder or other combustible material inside the candle can be harmful. There is a risk of the trick candle relighting unexpectedly or behaving unpredictably, potentially causing a fire or other accident. Always use caution and common sense when trick candles to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

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