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March 16, 2021 5 min read

How to Burn Incense Sticks Without Holder

The incense sticks, cones, and even resins were traditionally used for ritualistic and ceremonial purposes. However, it is commonly used in modern days while practicing meditation or yoga. Incense, in general, is not limited to just a few specific types of use; there are many ways you can creatively use it to help make your day better. However, what limits your aromatic experience is the availability of the necessary items that come with burning it.

Suppose you are burning incense sticks and don’t have a holder or even a lighter; this can create a situation where you can’t burn incense effectively. The necessary items that we can forget about when it comes to burning incense sticks and cones are actually fundamental like:

  • Lighters or matches
  • Incense holders
  • And the incense sticks or cones itself

Suppose out of the three that we have mentioned, you don’t have the incense holder; what do you do then? Burning incense can be dangerous, and we often suggest not to burn it if you don’t have a holder specifically. This is especially because it is a flammable substance and can create a fire if misplaced or not put on a heat-resistive surface.

In this scenario we will strictly be talking about incense sticks and cones and not resin incense. Resin incense requires a few more ingredients like an aromatic burner, vegetable oil, and even sands or rocks. If you want to learn more about resin incense and how to burn it, consider reading our blog on ‘How to Burn Resin Incense

Substitute Holders

Let’s cut to the chase! What do you do when you don’t have a holder? Well, a few options are lying around the house that you can use effective immediately.

Such as:

  • Soda cans
  • Flower pots
  • Plate & binder clips
  • Bar of soap

However, a few safety requirements are a must. That is why we suggest you also keep some dirt, sand, or rocks at hand. These elements are heat resistive and can help the cleanup process after!

Soda Cans!

You will need the soda can itself, a funnel, and some dirt for this method. Keep in mind there are a few other DIY methods mentioned online that suggest you create a hole in the bottom where you place the incense directly without any sand or dirt; we advise against it. Especially because the can, if heated, can become a fire hazard.

You will want to start by:

  • Placing the funnel on the tear strip of the can
  • Pour in 2/3 amount of dirt into it
  • Place your incense on the dirt through the opening
  • And light it up using matchsticks or lighter

However, there are a few pros and cons to this method. The benefit is the availability of all the elements being used and how easy it is to make it. The disadvantage, however, is the can itself.

The biggest word of caution here is to make sure that in no way does the burnt tip of the incense come into contact with any part of the can. If need be, you can consider using a pocket knife to cut off the top part of the can and place the incense directly on the dirt. In which case, make sure to use protective gear like gloves when cutting the can to avoid any sort of injury.

Flower Pots

This method is much easier if you are a gardener and have a spare pot lying around the shed. This method can be used with every type of pot and requires you to have some dirt or sand. However, as per safety measures, we advise not burning the incense directly on the pot.

You will want to start by:

  • Placing the pot on a heat resistive surface
  • Fill it to the brim with dirt
  • Place your incense onto the dirt
  • Make sure it stays firm in place
  • Burn the tip using matchsticks or lighters

However, if you are using a plastic flower pot, you will want to make sure that the incense stick is in no way in contact with the burnt tip at any point. Also, make sure that it is kept in a corner out of reach of carpets with enough ventilation. However, if placed on the ground, also make sure to keep it out of reach from children and pets.


Plate & Binder Clips

You guessed it. You will need binder clips and a plate for this one. The binder clip in question here is being used to ensure that the incense is kept in place and the plate is used to hold all the ash. For safety reasons, we suggest using a ceramic plate instead of a disposable paper or plastic one.

You will want to start by:

  • Pressing down the binder clip for it to open
  • Place the incense inside the binder clip and keep one end of the stick elevated
  • Place your ceramic plate on a heat resistive surface
  • Burn the elevated end of the stick using matchsticks or a lighter

This method's benefit is easily the convenient way in which the ash is stored on the plate while burning. This makes it easier to clean after usage and helps you avoid a mess. However, you need to make sure that the plate with the incense stick is not kept in a drafty area. Wind can cause the incense stick to fall and create a mess, if not a disaster.


Bar of Soap

This method is applicable for you if you are willing to use a spare bar of soap lying around the house that you don’t enjoy using anymore. You will also need a ceramic plate for this process.

You will want to start by:

  • Lighting the incense stick with matchsticks or a lighter
  • Softly push the burnt end of the stick on the flat side of the soap
  • Extinguish your incense and clean the end
  • Place the soap on the plate
  • Place the incense stick on the soap
  • Reignite the incense stick

This is not a particularly effective method of burning incense. But it is an option that is available for you. The disadvantage to this method is that you would be ruining an entire bar of soap, and it can create a bad aroma if you don’t clean your incense stick.

Burning Incense has many benefits and practical uses. Hopefully, with easy DIY guide you can now burn Incense without a holder effectively. Consider leaving us a comment so we can help connect with you and answer any questions you may have regarding incense, fragrances, and types.


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