Burning Candle Experiment With Water: Watch The Smokey Glass “Suck” Water In!

You start with a lighted candle on a plate of water. Cover it with glass and this is what happens.Cover a burning candle with glass and the surrounding water goes up inside the glass.

This burning candle experiment with water is pretty neat and one that will amaze many kids.

If you like quick experiments that you can do without buying a science kit for kids, this one is a good one to start with.

Before we move on, just a little reminder. This educational activity uses fire, so adult supervision is recommended.

With that out of the way, vamos a empezar! (Let’s start!)


oxygen, air pressure, candle experiments, water experiments

Doing This Experiment In The Gally Kids Headquarters!

As usual, we started this activity with colored water.

This is optional. But you get to see the water better when it’s a different color.

We chose  red.

Step 1: Pour water into the plate




Then we followed the instructions which are all straightforward.

The first try wasn’t exactly a success as there was very little water that went  into the glass.

We gave it another try and this time, it was a lot better. It was what we wanted and expected.

Then of course, we couldn’t stop there. We wanted to see if more water would get in if we put in another source of heat. So we put the lighted match in with the candle.

We change it up a little bit by adding another source of heat.. The result? amazing!

There didn’t seem to be much of a difference in the water level.


The smokey effect is pretty cool.

Step 3:Voila .. See the bubbles and the water gets "suck" in.

So we were happy with it.

Burning Candle Experiment With Water Materials

You will need:

  • candle
  • water (colored ones are the best)
  • plate
  • glass
  • matches

Burning Candle Experiment With Water Procedure

  1. First, pour water into the plate.
  2. Next, put the candle in the middle of the plate.
  3. Then, light up the candle. Wait 30-seconds to 1 minute to make sure the candle is properly burning.
  4. When it’s ready, cover the candle with the glass.
  5. The candle will continue burning for a few seconds. But then when the candle turns off, this happens.
  6. The water rises inside the glass!

Why Does The Water Rise In The Candle Experiment?

The water rises in this candle because of air pressure.

But that’s not all there is to it.

What happens is that when you cover the candle with the glass, the air inside it expanded because of the heat. But then when the candle burned off, the air inside it got colder. Cold air contracts so this left a space inside the glass. This also allowed the air inside the glass to have less pressure.

But, the air outside has more pressure. So it pushes the water in until the pressure inside and outside are the same.

Pretty cool and fun activity that educates as well!

Video: Water Rises Up Inside The Glass

Here’s the video of the burning candle experiment with water which we posted on our Gally Kids channel in Youtube. Don’t forget to visit us there! And if you want to get notified every time we post a new video, make sure you subscribe!

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