Candle snuffer

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A candle extinguisher in use

A candle snuffer, candle extinguisher, or douter is an instrument used to extinguish burning candles, consisting of a small cone at the end of a handle.[1][2][3] The use of a snuffer helps to avoid problems associated with blowing hot wax. Extinguishers are still commonly used in homes and churches.

Historical usage[edit]


Before the mid-19th century, the term "snuffer" referred to a scissor-like device with two flat blades. This tool was used to trim the wick of a candle without extinguishing the flame, to maintain efficient burning. A small receptacle catches the trimmed bit of wick.[4]

This tool was rendered obsolete by the invention of self-snuffing wicks, which curl out of the flame when charred. This allows excess wick to burn away, preventing the wick from becoming too long.


  1. ^ Candlesnuffer at
  2. ^ Extinguisher at
  3. ^ Douter at
  4. ^ Geake, Helen (17 August 2017). "Candle snuffers and wick trimmers". Portable Antiquities Scheme.