This Viral TikTok Gave Us a Germ-Free Alternative to Blowing Out Birthday Candles, and It’s Time We Revisit It

published Feb 16, 2023
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Single slice of birthday cake sits on a plate with a candle on top
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Stylist: Jesse Szewczyk

Imagine for a moment that it’s 2021 again: It’s your friend’s birthday, and it’s time for the longstanding tradition of blowing out the candles. Now imagine how many germs and spit particles are projected onto the cake you’re about to eat once the candles are blown out. Gross, right? Some traditions could use an update, and luckily there are some clever hacks to avoid germs while blowing out candles that we should definitely be taking with us into this year and beyond.

TikToker @krystal_rochelle_ shared an easy, germ-free hack for blowing out candles, and it couldn’t be simpler. Instead of tossing that clear plastic lid from your store-bought cake to the side, simply light a candle and melt wax onto the cover, giving the candles something to adhere to. Once your candles are stuck to the top, place the lid back over the cake and light the candles normally. Not only does this save your cake from potential germs, but it also prevents excess wax from dripping onto the cake — which might not be dangerous, but it definitely isn’t appetizing. 

If your cake is homemade, however, you’ll have to take a different approach, and the internet is rich with ideas. There are devices like the Blowzee and the Original Blow-Out, which offer ways to keep the fun of blowing out candles without any extra hassle, germs, or spittle. You could even use a paper plate or a hair dryer — make sure the hair dryer is on the cool setting — to fan the flames out. The possibilities are truly endless. 

Regardless of which method you choose to extinguish your candles, if it’s your birthday, you should have your cake and eat it too. If you have another hack for blowing out candles, let us know and save a piece of cake for me!