The art of burning incense sticks is usually a pretty straight forward process but for those who are unaware, I have written some basic instructions below dependent on which type of incense stick which will be burned.

How to Burn Incense Sticks

  • Lit the end of the incense stick. Most commercial incense sticks will have a bamboo or wooden core. Do not light this end. Make sure you light the end that is covered in incense.
  • Extinguish the flame by blowing on it. When the incense stick is hot enough to burn, a glowing red ember will remain, while smoke runs out of the end. If you’re burning Tibetan or some styles of core-less Japanese incense, then you could light either end.
  • Place the unlit end into an incense burner. Using an incense burner can help mitigate risks.

How to Burn Incense Cones

  • Light the incense cone at the smaller end.
  • Extinguish the flame by gently blowing upon it. Similar the incense stick, when your cone reaches the appropriate temperature, it will light a glowing red ember and release a pale smoke while it smolders.
  • Put your incense cone into an appropriate incense burner. Be sure to use one that can handle the direct heat of an incense cone. Natural sand or ash can be used to create a layer for burning if necessary.

Tips:

If your incense burner is to small then it may result in your incense cone not receiving enough oxygen. Another thing to keep in mind is that if it has a lid, the lid can also limit the incense cone’s surrounding oxygen. If you are having problems keeping it lit then try removing the lid or cap from your incense burner.

Be sure to store your incense cones in a room without excess moisture. If they soak up to much moisture, they may have a hard time remaining lit.

How to Burn Incense Coils

  • Light the tip of your incense coil.
  • Extinguish the flame by gently blowing upon it. Similar the incense stick, when your cone reaches the appropriate temperature, it will light a glowing red ember and release a pale smoke while it smolders.
  • Hang your incense coil from it’s specialized burner. Often times you can find really cool hanging burners, or incense coils which are intended to be hung from the ceiling. It’s recommended to ask your incense vendor for specific instructions.

Tips:

Incense coils can burn for a long time. Often for many hours, or even up to a couple days depending on size, shape, and thickness.

How to Burn Dhoop Sticks

  • Light your dhoop incense stick. Most dhoop sticks are core-less and may be lit from either end.
  • Extinguish the flame by gently blowing upon it. Similar the incense stick, when your cone reaches the appropriate temperature, it will light a glowing red ember and release a pale smoke while it smolders.
  • Place your dhoop stick into an incense burner.

Tips:

Dhoop sticks are often shorter then most commercial incense sticks and burn for less time.

Sometimes dhoop sticks might stick together in the packaging and you may have to separate them. This is considered normal.

If your dhoop sticks come with an incense burner, it is probably best to use that one. This is because dhoop sticks are not always a standardized thickness like most Indian incense sticks.

This is a guest post by Thomas Reed.
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