How To Make Incense Burn Slower

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Incense is incredibly calming and pleasing. It can often get too smokey too quickly, though. How do you slow down the burn? To slow it down, you should:

  • Sprinkle water on incense long before you light it
  • Position it at an upright angle

Have you noticed that your incense burns too fast? Before you know it, the incense cone is out, and you have to burn many more to keep up? You’ll notice that you are spending more money on incense cones than you should not.

If you have this experience, you should read this article till the end to know how to make incense burn slower.

But before you can do that, you need to know why the incense is burning fast in the first place.

Why your Incense May be Burning Too Fast

Your incense cone is burning too fast because of convection. If you place incense sticks in upright positions and the heat is allowed to rise without touching the burning part of the stick, the area beneath the burnt area will begin to burn out quickly.

This is one of the reasons why your incense stick is burning very fast.

Your incense is burning too fast because of convection. If you place incense sticks in upright positions and the heat is allowed to rise without touching the burning part of the stick, the area beneath the burnt area will begin to burn out quickly as the fire spreads.

Another reason is if the fire is too hot. When lighting incense sticks, one mistake many people make is to place the incense in the fire for too long. This will increase the burn rate and cause the incense to burn out quickly.

Normally, incense sticks are supposed to burn for 40 or so minutes. It depends on their length and thickness. But if yours appears to burn out in less time, it means you are not lighting and positioning it properly.

Why Your Incense Sticks Burning Out Fast Is Not Ideal

If your stick incense is burning out too fast, that’s not great. If you burn incense recipes to improve the ambiance of your home, the fragrance will not be sustained if it burns out quickly.

Often it’s smokier than it needs to be when it burns hot, as well.

For those who burn stick incense for spiritual cleansing, the longer the stick burns, the more fragrance will permeate the space.

In India and Far East Asia, Hindu and Buddhist traditions are very strong. The incense is held sacred and part of their religious practices.

Good brands of incense contain high-quality materials of different combinations. It includes natural essential oils like lavender, sandalwood, cedar, and lemongrass, to mention a few.

These sticks create a high volume of smoke that Ayurvedic healers and yoga masters value. So for religious practitioners, fast-burning stick incense is not ideal.

The next category of users is those who burn it to help them relax or to maintain alertness. After a long day, they prefer to relax in a calm room filled with an appealing fragrance. Most of the time nourished by essential oils and incense smoke.

Most natural stick incense made with essential oils has a soothing effect on the nerves. They are stress relievers. This is why they are highly valued by herbal practitioners.

Yet again, you see that if you burn incense and essential oils for the sole aim of relieving stress, you want it to burn for as long as possible, right?

So the biggest gripe people in this category have is that their incense burns out quickly for their liking.

Despite their best efforts, their sticks go out within 40 minutes or less. Regardless of whether they use an incense fan or burner, the result is always the same.

How To Make Incense Burn Slower

If you don’t want your incense to burn fast, you have to make it burn slower by reducing the burn rate. The best way to do that is to use it properly.

1. Use A Burner

If you must burn incense in an incense holder, always use a burner as this helps. Burners are very easy to use, but you can still burn them without one. A burner not only protects your hands. It also protects your furniture and prevents the ash from messing up your room.

2. Prop The Stick

Place the incense stick on the burner with one end and let the other end hang over the burner or tray. This should be well-positioned so that the ash will gather inside it. Once you secure it properly, light the incense with a match or lighter and watch burn continuously.

Once you notice the glowing ember from the tip, stop the match, so it doesn’t burn too much. Blow out the fire in the tip and leave the ember to burn down.

3. Blow Air

If the incense is not burning well enough, try blowing air to the tip of your mouth or with wax paper. Do this slightly to increase the ember a little. This will make it burn better.

If your incense stick is long and thick in width, it should burn for at least two hours due to the slow burn rate. But some incense sticks burn in less time since they are not as long or thick.

The average burn rate should be at least 40 minutes and above. But rest assured that if you light it properly, it will last long.

Note: To preserve your incense for much longer, consider putting it out once the scent has permeated your room. You can always reuse it at a later time.

Extra Tips To Make Incense Burn Slower

Here are some extra tips to make your incense burn slower.

1. Sprinkle With Water

One option is sprinkling with water, but you have to be careful because if it is wet, it will not burn at all. This method is unpopular because it may affect the quality of smoke it produces. better still, you can douse it with a few drops of fragrance oil. This will reduce the burn rate and improve the fragrant scent.

Ensure you place it under direct sunlight to dry before you light it.

2. Regulate the temperature

Another method is to regulate the temperature using an incense heater. If you turn down the rate to the barest minimum, the incense will not burn too quickly. Keep the stick away from direct sunlight when it is lighted.

3. Upright Position

Placing it in an upright position will cause it to burn much slower than sideways or upside down. If you must hold the tip for any reason use a paper towel to protect your hand.


If you want your incense to burn slower, you need to reduce heat, and therefore the burn rate. Place it in an upright position.

Also, consider extinguishing the flame once your room is saturated with the scent. You can reuse the incense later.