Burning incense is a great way to help cleanse the negative energies from your home while also providing a lovely scent. But since you’re burning something in your home, you’ll want to take a few precautions first. These include buying an incense holder, making sure you have a well-ventilated area of the home, and a proper place to dispose of the ashes.
Here is how to use incense in 12 easy steps.
1. Decide Between Incense Sticks and Incense Cones
There are two main types of incense to choose from, incense sticks and incense cones. Incense sticks currently take the top spot in the incense market. They often burn for longer and are used for a variety of reasons, ranging from spiritual to protection.
Incense cones are a little more niche. They don’t tend to burn as long as incense sticks and are more commonly used when you’re looking to set the mood throughout the home. Though they still get the job done when it comes to cleansing.
2. Pick Out an Appropriate Incense Burner
Once you’ve decided on the type of incense you’d like to burn, it’s time to move on to the burner. The incense burner will change depending on the type of incense you pick out, so it’s best if you buy them at the same time.
Certain incense burners will only support incense sticks, only incense cones, or a combination of the two. There are also incense burners that support specific types of incense, such as backflow incense burners.
3. Choose the Incense Scent
You’ll want to pick out a scent that matches your reasoning for burning the incense. There are around 25 different incense scents that are common and each complements a different reason for burning. For instance, sandalwood is a complement to cleansing, whereas vanilla is more sensual and is meant for setting the mood.
Incense sticks do tend to have a wider variety when it comes to scents than incense cones. There are also incense scents out there that solely focus on creating a specific scent, like the scents of the sea or even fresh linen.
4. Find a Well-Ventilated Area of the Home
Once all the products have arrived, you’ll need to decide where to burn the incense. Ideally, you’ll want a well-ventilated area in the home. This includes areas such as a window, door, or garage.
If you’re unsure if any area of your home has proper ventilation, you can always burn incense outside. Though you’ll need to take extra precautions to ensure there’s no risk of the incense causing a fire.
5. Place the Incense in the Holder
Take a single incense out of the packaging and place it in the burner’s designated spot. For incense sticks, this will be a hole either in the middle of the burner or near the edge. If the burner has holes near the edge, place the incense into the hole so the incense stick burns over the rest of the burner.
For incense cones, you’re likely going to place the incense cone in the middle of the burner. This ensures all the ash falls into the burner itself and not onto your windowsill or table.
Please Read Steps 6 and 7 Before Lighting the Incense
6. Use a Lighter or Matchstick to Light the Incense
After the incense is secure, using a matchstick or a lighter, light the incense at the tip. To avoid burning oneself, do not light the incense before placing it into a burner. Only light the incense at the tip and not anywhere else.
Lighting anywhere other than the tip could cause it to burn in two different directions, speeding up the burn and possibly leading to an open flame.
7. Blow Out the Incense After Around 7 Seconds
After the tip has been lit for around 7 to 10 seconds, blow the fire out. Be sure to keep adequate distance between you and the open flame. You don’t want to inhale any of the smoke after it’s been blown out or run any risk of catching your hair on fire.
8. Let the Incense Burn Through
Now it’s time to let the incense do its job. Let the incense run through, which will take anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour and a half. Incense cones tend to burn for around 30 minutes on average while incense sticks tend to burn for around an hour on average.
Don’t leave the incense burning unattended. If you know you need to step out of the room, ensure you put out the incense first. You can do this by blowing out the embers or pouring a little water on them.
If this happens, you’ll likely want to restart the incense burning process over, as the cleansing effects of incense may not have taken hold.
9. Ensure the Incense Is No Longer Burning
If the incense burned all the way through, ensure that there are no embers left burning. Incense sticks tend to burn out when they hit the wooden portion of the incense whereas incense cones simply burn through their shell.
10. Dispose of the Incense Ash
Dispose of the incense ash if you’re certain there are no embers left. Ash can be thrown away in most instances. If you’re using incense made with organic material, you can consider using it in a compost bin.
In a pinch, you may need to wash ash down the drain. To do so, you’ll want to dilute the ash with water first and ensure the sink runs for around a minute to fully flush the ash down the drain. This should only be done when there’s no other option available and there’s only a tiny bit of ash.
11. Clean Out Your Incense Burner
Your incense burner will likely need a quick rub down to remove and ash or burn marks from it. Though some people do tend to let it build up so that the incense burner fits shows wear and tear and is not just a talking piece.
To clean your incense burner, you a wet cloth to wipe down the area. Then, use a dry cloth to get any excess moisture up. This ensures there’s no water damage to wooden incense burners.
12. Store Your Incense In a Safe Place
When you’re all finished, store your incense in a cool, dry storage area. This ideally means a cabinet or a drawer. Always keep it away from areas of heat to avoid any accidental lightings.