How To Use An Incense Waterfall?

Burning incense has a long history in many regions across the world. The different forms of incense have evolved over time, from dried leaves and resin to ground powder.


There are also different types of incense burners, such as an incense waterfall which require certain types of incense cones.

Once you have your incense (see also ‘What Does Dragon’s Blood Smell Like‘), you just place it at the top of the waterfall, light the cone and watch the incense smoke gently glide down the waterfall.

In this article, we find out how to use your incense waterfall and how you can clean it up.

How Do Incense Waterfalls Work?

Before we take a closer look at how you can start burning incense with a waterfall burner, it’s a good idea to find out more about how an incense waterfall works.

Typically, the smoke of incense sticks and cones always rises. However, with an incense waterfall, the smoke moves the opposite direction. It glides downwards.

This is because the incense cones that are used for this type of incense burner work in a different work.

Known as backflow incense, these cones have a small hollow tunnel at their center which has a hole in the bottom.

This means when you light your backflow incense cone, then the smoke can travel through the tunnel inside the cone out the bottom hole down the waterfall burner.

The reason why the smoke goes downwards and not upwards is in the hollow inside the cone. It allows the smoke to cool which makes it denser.

The dense smoke descends rather than rises.

How To Use An Incense Waterfall

When you want to burn incense with a backflow incense burner, then there are a few things you need to look out for.

Make sure that the incense burner is made of a fire-resistant material.

We would also recommend placing an extra saucer underneath your backflow incense burner to ensure everything is fire-safe.

If you want to enjoy the full effect of a waterfall incense burner, then it’s a good idea to place it in a spot where there is no draft.

Once you know where you want to put your incense waterfall, it’s time to light your incense.

Light The Backflow Incense Cone

Hold your incense cone between your thumb and your finger. You can also use tweezers to hold the incense, if you don’t feel comfortable touching the cone.

Then, take a lighter or match to light the small pointy end of the incense cone. You can also hold the end into the flame of a candle for a short moment.

Just make sure that the incense is in the flame for long enough, so the incense can ignite with a small flame.

If you are used to using incense sticks, then it’s worth knowing here that incense cones may not show immediately that they are lit.

Blow Out The Flame

Once you see the small flame on your incense cone, gently blow it out or fan it, so the flame diminishes to glowing embers.

Spending on your type of incense and cone, it can take a while for the flame to develop properly and create the embers.

Check For A Glowing Ember

After you blow out the flame, check the tip of the incense cone for a bright red or orange glow.

If you see the small embers and smoke is coming out of the bottom of the cone, then your incense is correctly lit.

If you are not sure if your cone is lit, then just wait a minute and check again. If you can’t see anything, then simply try lighting your incense again.

Place The Cone On Your Incense Holder

When your incense is lit, you can just place it on your incense waterfall. There should be an allocated spot for the incense.

It’s essential that you line up the cone correctly with the hole in the incense burner. This can vary depending on your backflow incense holder.

However, there should always be a hole for the smoke to go downwards in your burner.

How To Put Out A Backflow Incense Cone

How To Put Out A Backflow Incense Cone

You may have lit your incense cone by mistake or you weren’t quite ready yet for it to be lit. That’s when you may want to put your incense cone out before it has burned down.

The easiest way to put your incense out is simply by letting it burn down. Once the embers inside the cone start, it’s almost impossible to put them out fully.

Some people also recommend putting your cone into water, but then you definitely cannot use it again.

How To Remove The Ash From Your Incense Waterfall

The way to remove the ash from your incense waterfall depends on your specific incense holder.

Ash can make quite a mess because it’s so light. That’s why, it’s important to be careful.

Allow the incense ash to cool fully for at least five minutes before you clean up. You can then move a trash bag close to your incense holder.

Next, gently pick up the metal plate where the incense cone sits on, and tip the plate with the ash into your trash bag.

This is one of the easiest methods. However, you can also use a vacuum cleaner or dustpan and broom to remove any ash from your incense burner.

Some people also recommend sprinkling some water over your ash before you clean up but it’s such a small amount of ash that it’s not really worth it.

How Long Can A Backflow Incense Cone Burn?

The exact burn times of incense waterfall cones depends on the incense cones. As a rule of thumb, these cones can burn for between 10 to 15 minutes.

Final Thoughts

It’s not very difficult to use an incense waterfall. You just have to light your backflow incense cones, place it on the incense burner and enjoy the smoke moving downward.

It’s best to allow your incense cone to burn down to enjoy the full effect, and then clean up later after the ash has cooled.

Andrea Daehma