Does Incense Expire?

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Of all the good housekeeping tips and tricks online, incense appears to be one catering to a select crowd of people. It’s understandable that it’s not for everyone’s tastes., however, the benefits of using it should be properly understood before outright refusing any in your home.  

Incense tends to come in packages with lots of sticks… sometimes they get left at the back of a drawer or cabinet, forgotten for a while. Then rediscovery!

But does incense expire? And if so, what happens if you use old incense? Is there a way to keep it fresher for longer?

This blog will go over some important need-to-know information about incense, as well as how to get the most out of it.


Does Incense Expire? and Can I Keep It Fresher Longer?

Keeping your incense fresh longer is a pretty easy thing to do. It does not really expire or go bad. It’s not going to become toxic. But old incense is simply not going to produce the same fragrance it did when you first purchased it!

What ingredients are included in the incense are going to determine how long it will last, as well as how you store it when you aren’t burning it. The lower quality material used in the incense, such as sticks picked up at a dollar store, the more likely it is to fall apart easily. 

It’s much more optimal to choose high-quality, hand-rolled incense from a specialty store. 


Does Incense Expire?

People often ask themselves, “does incense expire?” Incense is not like food, bleach, or make-up. It doesn’t expire in the traditional sense. Oftentimes, it doesn’t even have an expiration date listed on the packaging. But just because it doesn’t expire doesn’t mean it can’t get ruined. 

If you don’t store incense properly, it can lose the aromas contained within over time. If the sticks dry out, they are also more likely to crumble, leaving you less to work with. 


Keep Your Incense Fresher Longer

The first thing you want to do after purchasing fresh incense is to remove it from the store packaging. Stores often package their incense in tightly sealed bags with holes punched in them. It may be great for keeping it fresh in the store, but it won’t be helpful long-term. 

Once you get it home, it’s best to transfer the incense into a Ziploc bag with a zipper. Alternatively, tupperware makes a great, air-tight container as well. 

It’s important that you store your incense separately. Storing a lot of different aromas together will just muddle them together, and as a result, when you light it up you will get a confusing blend rather than the relaxing, focused scent you wanted. 


To keep your incense fresh for as long as possible, insert an O2 remover in the Ziploc bag. This will take out any oils from the oxygen. It’s also recommended that you store the incense in dark glass, or at least out of direct sunlight. 


How Long Does Incense Burn?

On average, a stick of incense lasts for 20 to 90 minutes after being lit. That’s quite a discrepancy in time, and there are four main reasons why it may vary so drastically. 

The first reason has to do with what the incense is composed of. High-quality ingredients in incense tend to make it last much longer. 

It equally matters what ingredients are included for fragrance, as some take longer to burn than others. If your incense is made from fragrant wood, such as sandalwood, it may not require additional aromas. However, most sticks include some essential oil. 

It also depends on how damp your incense stick is when you light it. The dryer it is, the faster it will burn. 

And lastly, it obviously makes a difference how long the incense stick is. A longer stick, made with high-quality materials, is the one that’s going to last longest, particularly if it is a little damp. 


How Long Does The Incense Smell Last

Depending on the other scents in the area, the smell of incense should remain in your household between one and 24 hours. After a day, the smell should have fully removed itself, though it will obviously be interrupted by other scents, especially if you’re cooking. 


Where Should Incense Be Stored?

It’s recommended to store incense away from both moisture and light. A cool, dark location such as a drawer or cabinet would be ideal. 

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