Vacuuming with a Candle | Experimonkey | Cool science experiments for kids


  • A Bowl
  • Water
  • Food Coloring
  • A Tea Light Candle
  • Match
  • A Drinking Glass


  1. Pour enough water into the bowl just to cover the bottom. Alternatively, you can use a plate if you don't have a bowl that is flat enough. The idea here is to have enough water to seal off the bottom of the glass without covering the candle (see the picture for help).

  2. (Optional) If you like, you can add some food coloring to the water now––one drop should do it!

  3. Do not go any further without adult permission and supervision. Now, place the candle in the center of the plate and light it with the match.

  4. Place the glass upside down over the candle. Make sure that the water forms a seal on the glass, so that no air can enter the glass.

  5. Observe your candle-powered vacuum in action. After the water level has stopped changing, what can you say about the air pressure in the top of the glass? Should it be higher, lower, or almost the same as the pressure of our atmosphere?

Analysis and Conclusion

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During your lifetime, you will produce enough saliva to fill approximately two swimming pools.

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