Developing an Early Love of Science One Experiment at a Time

In this DIY fire extinguisher science experiment kids will mix two simple kitchen ingredients together to make a small flame go out. This is a quick and impressive kitchen science experiment that will not be forgotten!
DIY Fire Extinguisher | Baking Soda and Vinegar

Why does a candle go out when you blow on it?

One of the possible explanations is that when you exhale you breathe out a lot of carbon dioxide. That carbon dioxide displaces the oxygen around the fire, making it go out. Some fire extinguishers even use carbon dioxide (among other chemicals) to put out larger fires.

In this experiment we made our own fire extinguisher using vinegar and baking soda. The reaction of these two materials produces carbon dioxide, which you can see bubbling up through the solution. Carbon dioxide is heavier than air so it drops right on top of our candle to put the flame out.

DIY Fire Extinguisher | Baking Soda and Vinegar

DIY Fire Extinguisher

We headed to the kitchen to gather the following supplies:
  • A sturdy bottle (preferably glass)
  • A funnel
  • A small candle
  • Matches
  • 5 Tbsp vinegar
  • 1/2 Tbsp baking soda
 Once we had our supplies ready we followed these instructions to put out a flame using a simple chemical reaction:
  • Have an adult light the candle.
  • Add vinegar to the bottle.
  • Using a funnel, quickly drop the baking soda into the bottle.
  • Being careful not to spill the mixture, hold the bottle at an angle so the carbon dioxide can flow out onto the fire.
  • Notice how carbon dioxide is heavier than air and drops right onto the flame to extinguish it!

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By | 2017-12-30T21:30:22+00:00 February 7th, 2015|Five Minute Science, Kitchen Science, Science, STEM Saturday|5 Comments


  1. Christy McGuire February 9, 2015 at 10:03 pm - Reply

    What a great way to teach fire safety!

    • Crystal February 11, 2015 at 4:48 pm - Reply

      Thanks! It’s pretty fun 🙂

  2. Tim February 28, 2015 at 6:19 am - Reply

    How neat! My kids will love this. Thanks for sharing!

    Tim @ Families Again

  3. Tom Fletcher December 7, 2015 at 9:00 am - Reply

    Looks like a fun way of getting across how a fire extinguisher works. Thanks for posting, Tom Fletcher, Director,

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