How to Use a Backflow Incense Burner

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buddha and karma's author

Using a traditional incense burner is simple. You just need to light your incense stick and place it on the holder.

But what about backflow incense holders? How do you create the popular smoke waterfall effect with this type of burner?

When you think about it, incense burners aren’t that complicated. It's just a holder for incense cones, to begin with, so using it is a breeze.

Below, we’ll walk you through the steps on how to light and put out your backflow incense cones. Learn how to properly place the incense cone on the backflow burner to create a beautiful smoke waterfall effect.

What is a Backflow Incense Burner?

A backflow burner is a type of incense holder that lets smoke (aka plume) flow downwards instead of upwards. It does the opposite of the traditional incense burner, hence the name.

How Do Backflow Incense Burners Work?

Backflow incense burners usually come in the shape of a hollow cone. This type of burner also features a little tunnel at the center, which smoke travels through. At the bottom of the burner, you'll find a hole where smoke exits.

Now, when you light a backflow incense cone and place it on the burner, smoke will start to fill up the cone. Once it reaches the top of the cone, smoke will start flowing through the tunnel and out of the hole at the bottom. This is what creates the waterfall or cascading smoke effect.

We believe this is caused by the difference in air pressure between the inside and outside of the cone. Since smoke is lighter than air, it flows from the area of high pressure (inside the cone) to the area of low pressure (outside of the cone).

How to Use a Smoke Waterfall Incense Burner?

Since backflow incense burners are not as common as traditional incense holders, many of our customers wonder how to use it to create the smoke waterfall effect.

Below, we provide a step-by-step guide on how to make a backflow incense burner work:

  1. Hold the incense cone with your hand or a pair of tweezers.
  2. Light the tip of the incense cone with a match or a lighter for 10-15 seconds. Some incense may need longer time before they properly light up.
  3. Gently blow on the flame to put it out.
  4. Place the lit incense cone on the burner. Make sure that the lit end of the cone is pointing upwards.
  5. Wait for the smoke to start flowing out of the hole at the bottom of the burner.
  6. Enjoy the show!

To put out the incense cone, simply blow on it or use a metal plate to extinguish the flame. Do not use water to put out backflow incense cones.

Dispose of the ashes properly.

How to Clean a Backflow Incense Burner?

Once you're done using your backflow incense burner, it's time to clean it.

Cleaning a backflow incense burner is easy. All you need is a soft brush, some warm water, and mild soap.

  1. Use the brush to remove any ashes from the inside of the cone.
  2. Rinse the burner with warm water.
  3. Add a drop of mild soap and gently scrub the inside of the cone.
  4. Rinse the backflow incense burner again to remove all traces of soap.
  5. Let the burner air dry completely before using it again.

Tips for Using a Backflow Incense Burner

Take caution while burning incense, as you would with another combustible item. A few things to keep in mind:

  • Make sure the incense is never left unattended.
  • Keep drapes, books, and other flammables far away from the area where the ashes may fall.
  • Place your burner on a heat-resistant surface.
  • Give the incense cone and burner some time to cool down before touching them.
  • Keep the incense away from curious hands and paws.

The Bottom Line

And that's it! Now you know how to use a backflow incense burner. Enjoy creating beautiful smoke waterfall effects in the comfort of your own home.

Celina Wang

Celina Wang, a seasoned Feng Shui and crystal healing enthusiast, shares a decade of expertise on the Buddha & Karma blog. Inspired by her travels in East Asia and love for nature, she guides readers through the transformative world of Feng Shui and crystals, infusing her writing with insights from her peaceful garden meditations.

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