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How to Burn Incense Sticks & Cones

Step-by-Step Instructions

How To Light Incense Sticks, Cones, & Molds

Incense Sticks, Cones, and Molds are burned by simply lighting one edge, waiting a few seconds until the tip glows red, then gently blowing or carefully fanning out the flame.

The incense stick, cone, or mold needs to stand, sit, or lay in a fire-proof incense burner such as an incense bowl or cup filled with ash, sand, sea salt, etc.

You can use a seashell filled with ash, a ceramic cup, metal bowl, etc. The limits are bounded only by the need for a safe, fire-proof material.

There are many specialty incense stick holders available, if you choose one just make sure it will work for the thickness and length of the sticks which you’ll use and/or make.

Burning Incense Sticks, Cones, & Molds


1. Use a fireproof burner filled with white chaff ash (or sand, crushed rock, etc.). Or use an incense leaf or boat that holds the stick in place and captures the ash.

See our article on incense burners that includes our favorite choices for each style of incense burning.

burning incense sticks home

2. Light the tip of the stick, cone, or mold… wait a few seconds until the tip glows red… then carefully fan or blow out the flame.

light incense stick with flame

3. Stand the stick or cone in the burner… and enjoy!

For incense molds just lay it down in on top of the ash or sand.

Optional: if using white chaff ash, you can lay sticks down on their side – the ash will allow it to breathe. This is also a much safer and cleaner method.

Caution: Never leave burning incense unattended and keep it and all burning materials away from children.

incense stick in bowl
lay down incense stick to burn

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