7 Ways to Burn Incense Without a Holder

If you’re stuck with incense but no holder, don’t fret—there are plenty of solutions to this predicament. A true, by-the-label incense holder is not a necessity. Although they are meant to hold burning incense and are designed with such in mind. Thankfully, there are a number of ways you can make or modify existing materials in your hold to operate as a makeshift incense holder.

Before Burning Incense Without a Holder

Warning: Please be careful when burning incense without a holder, burning incense with a makeshift holder, and burning incense in general. Never leave incense unattended.

From personal experience, at one point, someone in our previous apartment even left their unattended in a bathroom once, and the entire bedroom went up in flames. Please always use proper holders when possible and always keep your eyes on how it’s burning.

1. Can

You can use a can to burn incense if you don’t have a holder available. To use a can, you would stick the incense stick in vertically. You can either angle the incense stick so that it rests against the edge of the can and the ash falls off to the side. Or you can choose to use dirt or sand to hold it upright so the ash falls into the can itself.

2. Vase

A vase can also be used to burn incense without a holder. As with a can, this will only work well with an incense stick inserted vertically. Nothing really changes between these two methods, other than ensuring your vase doesn’t get too dirty from the falling ash.

3. Plant Pot

Plant pots are another option for incense sticks inserted vertically. Again, nothing really changes between these options, though we’d like to recommend using a plant pot without a plant in it to avoid catching it on fire or having a fire.

Be careful with the soil used in this case. You want soil that will not react to the burn embers from the incense. Sand and loamy soil will likely be better options but do your research and avoid using pots that have had fertilizer added.

4. While Holding

You can also hold your incense stick as it burns, being careful not to burn yourself. This is commonly done during meditation or during spiritual ceremonies. Though holding an incense stick for 30 minutes to an hour may be a little tiresome, so prepare accordingly.

5. Binder Clips

You can use a binder clip, attached to a plate or dish to act as a makeshift boat holder. As long as you use a plate or dish that is safe to have ashes drop onto, you’ll be good to go. Simply slip the incense base through the binder clip “hooks’ then let it rest at a somewhat horizontal angle.

6. Polymer Clay

Using clay is a great way to have a custom incense burner if you don’t own one already. You can always purchase a clay burner created by an artist but you can also make your own. These can be modified based on your type of incense and whether you want to burn a stick vertically or horizontally.

7. Plates

Ceramic, metal, or general heat-proof plates are an option for burning incense cones on. But we’d only recommend the cones, as there’s really no way for you to keep an incense stick upright while it burns. Unless you have some serious balancing skills, but even then, it’s a major fire hazard.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Burn Incense On a Plate?

Yes, you can burn incense on a plate. Be mindful of the material of the plate, using materials like ceramics that are able to withstand the heat from the burning incense. You can easily burn an incense cone on a plate or use sand to prop up an incense stick.

Can You Burn Incense In a Glass?

You can burn incense in a glass if it is a fireproof surface that can withstand the heat. The glass will need to be properly insulated so the surface it is resting on isn’t ruined by the heat. It is usually best to burn incense in a holder you know is safe for burning. Otherwise, you may end up with a shattered glass that couldn’t handle the heat.

Do You Need a Stand to Burn Incense?

You don’t necessarily need a stand to burn incense. Incense can be burned in containers that are safe for incense burning. You can also hold the incense stick as it burns as long as you are careful and use common sense to avoid injury. So while you do need some sort of rest, you don’t have to have a specific stand to burn incense.

Can I burn incense on aluminum foil?

You can use aluminum foil to catch the ash falling to avoid burning or ruining your improvised incense burner. But it’s not recommended to burn incense on only aluminum foil.

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