Recycling incense, an actual burning question!

Hello all, 

I am wondering if anyone has any ideas on recycling powder from packages of incense.  When I buy incense, I buy it in half kilo or kilo increments.  There's always some powder from shipment and currently I have about 100 grams of it.  I was at my local 99 cent store and I came across these cute little molds for ice cubes.  I was thinking these could be used for what I was thinking to do!  The thing where I'm stuck is what should I use to mix with my powdered incense.

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Qcks2 years ago

The powder is probably already a pretty complex mixture, so i don't think solvation is necessarily the answer to getting into the form you're looking for.

Really I'd just try to get a better binder to hold the stuff together. This does not require a solvent.

For something like an incense cube, I would use something like granulated white sugar, and maybe some small amount of nitrate fertilizer, depending on the desired burn rate. Adjusting the burn rate is something that might happen over time, rather then in your first attempt.

The main bit is using granulated white sugar mixed with the powder as it is poured into a form. You may need to mist water over the powder so that it will compact correctly. Applying pressure to the sugar causes the powder to heat up. The heat combined with the moisture causes the sugar to become plastic, and the sugar takes on some properties of a liquid. As soon as the pressure is released, the sugar stops flowing and hardens into a solid form.

Waxes can work too, but they will tend to burn cleaner, and production of smoke is kind of the goal with incense. There are videos of homemade smoke bombs using sugar and nitrate fertilizers, but i suspect that the incense powder you have has something like it in it already.

Toga_Dan2 years ago

if this is leftover powder from mfg incense, then one might assume that it already has a binder in it. The simplest experiment would be to mix with h2o, put it in a mold, (or roll around a stick) and let it dry. Take care when burning, the original mfg probably researched a lot of process involved in making something that doesnt crumble or spark when burning.

Toga_Dan User12 years ago

if cold water doesnt work, try boiling water. the binder has to become soluble. if boiling water doesnt work, try alcohol.

You'll need a natural binder. Pine sap would be a good option. If you have pine trees in your area. Just heat it up and mix it all together into the form you want.

pine sap causes allergic asthma, and may be implicated in COPD

Triclaw2 years ago

you could even just burn it in a small pile in a cone burner

Toga_Dan2 years ago

as for forming the paste, u might try a syringe. pack with paste, then squeeze it out onto wax paper, aluminum foil, etc. kinda like a caulk gun. u can get a large syringe from a vet supply. the sort o syringe they may use on horses. a pastry bag may also work. this is somethin they might use for decorative frosting on cakes.

caitlinsdad2 years ago
Kiteman User12 years ago

Candle wax is easy. There are plenty of instructables, you'll just need to add the powder to the mix:


Triclaw2 years ago

make thin candles and mix it in the wax