W​hat to Do with Incense Ash? (Explained)

I​f there’s one thing you can count on when burning incense, it’s ash. While you might be inclined to simply throw it away, what if I told you that you can actually put that delicate gray dust to some use outside of being food for your garbage can?

I​ncense ash is a great addition to your compost and makes a nutrient-rich fertilizer for plants. The ashes from incense are also great for keeping away bugs and negative energies, and can be used in air fresheners or spiritual practices to increase potency.

F​inding yourself with a lot of incense ash and are looking to repurpose them? Keeping reading for our comprehensive list of the best ways to give your incense ash a second life!

I​ncense Ash for Plant Fertilizer

Y​our incense ash can make a fantastic meal for any plants you want to fertilize. All-natural incenses are made from a variety of resins, barks, herbs, essential oils, and other plant-derived combustible aromatics. This all-natural concoction of organic matter is broken down into a delicate, easier-to-process form when burned, becoming a delicate gray ash.

T​his ash is still full of nutrients and plant-friendly goodies, including potassium and tons of natural minerals, so why not use it to help your plant friends out?

I​f you’d like to make your incense ash into fertilizer for your plants, you can either mix it directly into the soil or mix it into the water you use to water your plants with.

Use incense ash to feed your plants!

M​ake sure that the incense ash you’re using has come from all-natural incenses before using it to feed your plants. Some incenses use man made fragrances or chemical accelerants in their blends, which may be harmful to some plants.

I​t is also important to be mindful of the toxicity of the incense you’re burning if you plan to use the fertilizer on edible plants. Introducing toxicity into the soil of an edible plant may be harmful to your health if you eat from that plant, so discretion in these cases is important.

I​ncense Ash in Composting

J​ust as incense ash is great when mixed into the soil of your favorite plants, it makes a great addition to the soil itself.

M​ix any all-natural incense ash with your compost for a more mineral- and nutrient-rich soil to use in your garden or to pot any plants with. Simply add the ash to your compost as you would add any other plant material, and compost as usual.

F​or the same reasons mentioned before, if you choose to use incense ash in your compost, it is important that you make sure your incense is derived from all-natural ingredients. This is especially important if you’re using your composted soil outdoors and in the natural ground, as toxicity can seep into the natural soil and pollute it.

I​f you would like to use this soil on edible plants, be very mindful of the toxicity of the ingredients in your incense. Just as toxins can taint soil, they can leak into the roots of edible plants as well, potentially posing health risks for anyone who may eat from said plant.

I​ncense Ash as a Bug Repellent

A​nother great way to use your incense ash is to use it as a natural bug repellent. Blood sucking bugs, such as some spiders, flies and mosquitoes, detect their prey via their sense of smell. The fragranced nature of incense messes with their sense of smell and makes it difficult for them to find you and bite you.

T​he ash of incense still has the fragrances that bugs dislike, meaning you can use this ash to your advantage. To keep these critters out of your home and from biting you, try mixing your incense ash with water to create a thin paste.

Y​ou can spread this ash in doorways, on windowsills, and even on yourself to keep away biting bugs and other creepy crawlers.

F​or usage on skin, make sure the incense you plan on using the ash from is made from ingredients that are skin safe. Most incenses are made from plant matter and essential oils, but some essential oils can irritate the skin, especially for those who have sensitive skin.

I​ncense Ash to Increase the Potency of Air Freshener

M​any store bought air fresheners are full of toxic chemicals and carcinogens that get released into the air upon using. Why not repurpose your burnt out incense and make your own natural human-friendly air freshener?

S​ince incense ash retains some of its original fragrance, you can use it to boost the potency a homemade air freshener.

To make a homemade air freshener with your incense ashes, mix a few drops of your favorite essential oil with water in a mister bottle. Add some of your incense ash, and voila! You’ve got an all-natural incense ash based air freshener for whenever the air in your home is feeling a little stale.

I​ncense Ash in Spiritual Practices

M​any modern spiritual practices use the power of incense to heighten and enhance the power of various rituals, spells, and offerings. Smoke and fragrance are powerful tools that can better connect people with their practice. But what if I told you that the ash from incense can be used in spiritual practices also?

Y​ou can use the ash from incense as a fragrant, physical, handleable addition to many spiritual practices. These ashes can be used in offerings to different deities, gods, spirits, ancestors, etc. They can also be used in different spells and rituals as a stand-in for the element of fire, or to create circles and physical patterns.

I​ncense ash can be mixed with inks to add spiritual power to your writings. They can also be mixed with potions for added potency.

I​f you choose to add incense ash to any magical potions you create, make sure you are not planning to drink that particular potion. While all-natural incenses are less toxic than those with chemical add-ins, it is not recommended that you ingest the ash directly. Some ingredients in certain concentrations can be harmful to human health if digested directly.

I​ncense is not regulated by the FDA, meaning there is a possibility that chemicals were added in manufacturing and not listed in the ingredients. While this is not common, it is better to be safe than sorry. Do not add incense ash to anything that you will then directly be ingesting.

I​ncense ash is a fantastic tool in warding off negative energy, as well as spiritually cleaning any tools and objects you have in your space or use in your practice. Try adding a bit of ash to a cleansing salt (sea salt, Himalayan pink salt, or whatever salt you prefer to use to spiritually cleanse your space) and clear the space of negative energy as you normally would.


Next time you burn incense, think twice before throwing those incense ashes in the garbage bin. Whether you plan on helping your plant friends grow or banishing bad vibes from your home, incense ash just might help you do the trick!

D​id you like this article? Make sure to share with your family and friends!

Grace Young

I love candles! I have personally tried over 100 brands of candles. The total burn time of these candles is over 5000 hours. I also talk about essential oil diffusers and reed diffusers. Essential oil diffusers and diffusers are also an important part of the scent in my home.

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