How To Burn Incense - A Step-By-Step Guide!

How to burn incense?

We are living such a high-pressure life that it’s important to unwind and relax often. The truth is that we’re constantly stressed out, which is why learning how to burn incense can help. It’s an amazing way to relax, bring more positive vibes into your life. Plus, it can also help push back negative thoughts. In doing so, you will feel better, you’ll unwind and not worry about health issues as much. That’s what makes it great to burn incense, and the results can be exceptional.

An incense stick is an aromatic biotic material. What it does is it spreads fragrant smoke in your room. That scent can be different based on the incense stick you buy. However, all of these provide amazing, unique scents that will help you relax. Plus, these are perfect for meditating and unwinding, which means it’s extremely good for any person dealing with anxiety or stress.

Where do incense sticks originate from?

Incense sticks are not a new invention. Learning how to burn incense is something that people have been doing for millennia. In fact, one of the earliest documents used as proof for burning incense comes from ancient China. They used a combination of sandalwood, styrax, cinnamon, and cassia for ceremonial rites. They were burnt in a similar way we are burning incense today.

Additionally, some combustible bouquets were used in ancient Egypt as well. These were meant to protect homes from dangerous spirits. At the same time, it was said they would please the gods with their unique and incredible aroma. Plus, Babylonians were also using these in order to better connect with the Oracles. And yes, incense burning signs were also found in the regions where the Indus civilization lived. It goes to show that burning incense is something people have been doing for thousands of years, albeit for various purposes.

What is incense made of?

The ingredients have changed quite a bit over the years. However, in general, the focus here is to combine aromatic plant materials together. Sometimes, there will be some essential oils. Another thing to note is that some incense is direct burning, so you just lit it with a flame and let it burn. However, indirect burning incense will always need a separate heat source.

Generally, depending on where you get the incense, you’ll have it made using local ingredients. Most of the time, the base is combustible and it will have wood powder or charcoal as the means to fuel the incense. Potassium nitrate or sodium nitrate can also be used in order to sustain the incense burning process.

As for the plant based binders, they have gums and then mucilage that helps everything stick together. The dry bringing will have 10% of the weight of that incense. Moreover, we should note that the typical composition will burn at around 220 to 260 degrees Celsius.

How much time does it take for a regular incense stick to burn completely?

There are different criteria to consider when it comes to the amount of time it takes to burn an incense stick. For example, in some cases, it can take 20 minutes. Other times, it can take around 40 minutes or a bit more. The quality, length, and thickness of the incense stick will dictate how much it will last.

One of the primary reasons why an incense stick will burn for a prolonged time has to do with its length. But in general, you can take your time and pick the incense based on scent or other criteria. Its burning time is not as important for some people, especially if you want to use it for meditative purposes.

Step-by-step guide to burn incense sticks:

Figuring out how to burn incense is not very difficult. The entire process has been safeguarded for centuries; however, you can optimize and modify it to fit your needs. It also depends a little on the equipment that you’re using as well. Here are the steps that you need to follow if you want to burn incense:

Place the incense burner on a stable surface. It’s very important to have an incense burner, because that’s what will ensure there are no possible chances of burning or damaging anything. On top of that, you can choose from different types of incense, like dhoops, cones, or sticks!

Add the stick inside the incense burner, angle it upwards. The reason why you want to angle it upwards is that you might end up with the incense not burning properly if it’s angled downward. You can also end up with ashes not forming properly, which can be a safety hazard.

Light the free end of the incense stick with a lighter or a match. A good rule of thumb is always to try and burn incense in a very well-ventilated area. That way, you can prevent smoke buildup.

Let the flame burn for a few seconds.

Use a fan or just blow the flame so the incense stick will generate smoke. The best approach here is to keep your incense away from any flammable objects. A lot of people choose to keep it on the table, and that’s a good idea. You should always try to keep it away from clothing, paper, curtains, or any other material that could start burning.

How can you pull out the stick after burning it?

There are situations when you don’t want to burn your entire incense stick. When that happens, then it’s a very good idea to follow these guidelines:

Remove the incense from your holder by using your hand.

Then, you press the lit tip of the stick incense against a heat-resistant surface. The idea here is that you want the ember to break off. The best heat-resistant surfaces are concrete, but also metal, glass, or ceramic.

⦁ Everything should be ok now; the only thing to note is that your ember has to stay on a non-flammable surface until you are 100% sure that it’s not usable, nor flammable anymore.

Tips and tricks to safely use incense sticks

⦁ If you want to use incense sticks, then you should always ensure that you’re around when they are burning. Leaving them unattended can be a potential safety hazard.

⦁ Getting an incense holder is a great idea because it allows you to not only burn the incense properly, you also have it stored in a safe location.

⦁ Make sure that you extinguish the incense after using it. You can refer to the section above on how you can do that safely and without having to worry about any potential issues.

⦁ Regardless of when you learn how to burn incense or where you do it, you should always ensure you keep it in a well-ventilated area.

⦁ Keeping kids and pets away from incense or flammable materials is extremely important.

⦁ Burning incense while sleeping is not recommended. Sure, it might help some people go to sleep. However, ideally, you want to burn incense and extinguish it before going to sleep.

⦁ A good rule of thumb is not to inhale incense smoke directly, as it can be toxic.

What types of incense burners are there?

There are a variety of different incense burner types, each with their own unique features. For example, boat incense burners are very common, and they are mostly used for incense sticks. There are also bowl burners that can be great if you want to burn multiple sticks at a time.

Backflow burners work great for incense cones since they release smoke from the base rather than the top. Other great options are coffin incense burners, hanging incense burners, or cone incense burners. You can also find resin-based incense burners as well.

Why are incense cones better than sticks?

When you try to burn incense, you usually have the option to go with incense sticks as well as incense cones. While both can be a great option, we think that incense cones surpass them. Here are some of the reasons why you should consider using incense cones:

⦁ Incense cones are not very long, they are easy to store, and they also vary in length.

⦁ They burn faster than incense sticks, which can be great from a safety standpoint. Plus, a lot of people burn incense just for meditation, and cones are ideal for that.

⦁ Unlike incense sticks, cones will produce less smoke in general. That can be great for anyone who dislikes dense incense smoke, not to mention people with asthma or other health issues.

⦁ They are great for small spaces. If you know how to burn incense sticks in larger spaces, you can still end up with lots of smoke. That’s even worse for smaller spaces. Yet incense cones are ideal for something like that.

⦁ In general, incense cones tend to have a more subtle aroma. Yet despite that, their concentration levels can surpass incense sticks most of the time.

You can find great incense cones and incense burners here.


As you can see, burning incense is a great way to relax, unwind, and alleviate stress or anxiety. However, learning how to burn incense can make it easier for you to take some incense cones or sticks and burn them anywhere you want. It can help you with meditation, not to mention you can finally push away all the stress and anxiety you are dealing with on a daily basis. All you have to do is check it out for yourself, buy yourself some incense cones, and enjoy complete relaxation!