I discovered that when there's a fire burning above a
tea light candle filled with water mixed with oil and
soap, the water boils away and the oil is consumed in
As the oil micelles boil, turn to gas and burn, new
micelles take their place at the surface, creating a
I took a small tea light candle emptied it from its
contents, and filled it mostly with water and a thin layer
of soy bean oil. I then took a burnt match, dipped it in
oil and lit it.
When I dip the flame into the oil it diminishes, because
there is not enough heat to bring all the oil to the
temperature of combustion. But if I hold the match
above the oil almost touch it, there is a continuous
I then added detergent (or soap) to the candle and
mixed the oil so it completely dissolved in the water.
When dipping a burnt match into the solution, then
taking it out and lighting it, there are first a few sparks
while the water boils and then a steady flame, just like
the clean oil burning.
When I dip a lit match in the solution it is extinguished,
just like dipping it in water.
But when I put the burnt match, now lit after dipping in
the solution as described above, with the fire close to
the solution and not touching it, there is a steady flame
as described at the beginning.
I have no idea what this is useful for. Maybe you can
think of something.