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Burning Incense: Using The Direct Burning Method for Combustible Incense

All you need to know about self burning incense sticks, cones, flat coils, hanging spirals, and dhoop. Step-by-step instructions that will really get you smoking.

Incense Sticks, Incense Cones, Flat Coils, Hanging Spirals, Dhoop (Dry & Moist)

Burning Incense Sticks

  • Light the tip of the incense stick. If your incense has a bamboo stick, hold the uncoated portion of the bamboo stick and light the opposite "coated" end. If it's a solid stick you can light either end.

  • Gently extinguish the flame by blowing or fanning. Your incense should glow red and give off a delicate wisp of pale fragrant smoke indicating that it is slowly burning or "smoldering."

  • Place the unlit end in an appropriate incense burner.

Burning Incense Cones

  • Light the tip of the incense cone.

  • Gently extinguish the flame by blowing or fanning. Your cone should glow red and give off a delicate wisp of pale fragrant smoke indicating that it is slowly burning or "smoldering."

  • Place on/in a cone burner with point facing up or in a bowl burner on a bed of sand or natural ash.
Burning Tips:
If the cone goes out, it may not be getting enough oxygen to keep it burning. This could happen if your burner is too small. If your burner has a lid, try removing it.

Always store your cones in a cool dry place. If they pick up too much moisture they will not burn properly. Or you may just have a poor quality incense.

Burning Incense Coils (Flat)

  • Light the tip of the incense coil.

  • Gently extinguish the flame by blowing or fanning. Your coil should glow red and give off a delicate wisp of pale fragrant smoke indicating that it is slowly burning or "smoldering."

  • Use a special coil burner or place coil flat in a bowl burner on a bed of natural ash.

Burning Incense Spirals (Hanging)

  • Light the tip of the incense spiral.

  • Gently extinguish the flame by blowing or fanning. Your spiral should glow red and give off a delicate wisp of pale fragrant smoke indicating that it is slowly burning or "smoldering."

  • Hang from a special spiral incense holder.

  • Burn time could be anywhere from hours to several days depending on the type and size.

Burning Incense Dhoop Sticks (Dry Inflexible Type)

  • Light the tip of the incense stick

  • Gently extinguish the flame by blowing or fanning. Your dhoop should glow red and give off a delicate wisp of pale fragrant smoke indicating that it is slowly burning or "smoldering."

  • Place it in an appropriate incense burner.
Burning Tips:
Some dhoop sticks come joined side by side and will need to be gently separated. They made break in half and you'll have two short pieces. You may also end up with two halves stuck together. No worries… these can be burned in a bowl burner with sand, salt or natural ash.

Safety Tips:
If your dhoop comes with an eyelet burner built into its cardboard storage box, it's best to use a proper incense burner. Cardboard is flammable so these built-in burners can be real fire hazard.
Read More about incense safety.

Burning Incense Dhoop Logs (Moist Soft Type)

  • Break off a piece of dhoop about an inch long.

  • Roll this small piece between your fingers gradually shaping it into a cone.

  • Light the tip of the dhoop cone.

  • Gently extinguish the flame by blowing or fanning. Your incense should glow red and give off a delicate wisp of pale fragrant smoke indicating that it is slowly burning or "smoldering."

  • Place it in/on a cone burner or in a bowl burner with sand, salt or natural ash.
Burning Tips:
One log may burn for hours so a small piece goes along way. Its putty-like consistency allows it to be molded into different shapes. The molded cone shape is most typical.

Safety Tips:
If your dhoop comes with a lightweight aluminum burner make sure you place it on a heat resistant surface.
Read More about incense safety.

Related Articles:

Helpful Articles

Burning Incense I
Burning Incense II
Burning Incense III
About Stick Incense
About Incense Burners
Bowl Incense Burners
Charcoal Tablets
About Frankincense
The Art of Smudging
Origins of Aromatherapy
Spotlight on Lavender
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Hicksville, NY 11801
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