How to Make Incense Sticks

How to Make Incense Sticks

From ancient times until now, each incense stick has become a beautiful cultural feature of the Vietnamese people. Have you ever wondered how incense is made? What ingredients are used, and is the process of producing incense simple or complex? Read the article below to answer these questions!

How to Make Incense

To create incense sticks, many ingredients need to be combined. Some components that can be used to make incense include:

Main Ingredients

  • Bark powder of the Litsea glutinosa tree: This ingredient helps to create an adhesive quality. The bark contains a natural adhesive similar to glue.
  • Wood powder: Powder from agarwood, cinnamon, or eucalyptus trees can be used. Depending on the type of incense you want to make, you can choose the appropriate wood powder. For instance, cinnamon incense is made from cinnamon wood powder, which has a distinctive cinnamon fragrance. Cinnamon incense is highly valued because the cinnamon tree is valuable, making products from it more expensive. Eucalyptus incense is made from eucalyptus wood powder, a tree that can be easily found anywhere.
  • Various herbs and roots: Such as traditional Chinese medicine, fragrant plant roots, and other herbs.
  • Bamboo sticks: These are used to make the incense core.

Basic Steps

The process of making incense is complex and meticulous. To ensure quality and safety when using clean incense, strict steps are required.
Step-by-Step Process:
Step 1: Check the source of raw materials
To achieve the best fragrance, before grinding, the materials need to be selected, and sorted, and impurities removed thoroughly. If impurities are not removed, the scent of the cinnamon can be altered or even lost.
Step 2: Grind and Pulverize the Raw Materials
How to Make Incense Sticks
Use a grinder to finely grind the cinnamon bark or pieces into powder. The incense maker must have experience in adjusting the grinding intensity and time. Meticulousness, carefulness, and modern machinery are necessary to achieve the finest incense powder. The powder should be as fine as possible for the highest quality final product.
Step 3: Sift the powder and mix with adhesive (plant glue)
Sift the powder and mix with adhesive (plant glue)

  • Sifting the ground powder is crucial to obtain a high degree of fineness. This can be done with specialized machines. The fine powder is then mixed with adhesive, usually, plant glue made from the Litsea glutinosa tree powder. This ensures a clean product that binds well without affecting health or the fragrance. The mixing ratio of cinnamon powder to plant glue varies depending on the product type.
  • Water is added to the mixture to create the adhesive. This step is crucial for the incense’s fragrance. High-quality incense typically mixes 95% premium cinnamon powder with 5% plant glue, without any additional chemicals.
  • The blended mixture is then fed into a specialized machine to form the incense sticks. The powder is fragile, so care is needed to avoid issues like lack of fragrance, breaking, or non-burning incense.

Step 4: Shape the Incense and Dry It
Shape the Incense and Dry It
The mixed powder is fed into a machine that shapes the incense sticks. For the best quality, incense needs to be dried naturally. It can be sun-dried or oven-dried. When making cinnamon incense, weather conditions are important. The right amount of sun and wind ensures the incense dries evenly without warping, which is crucial for product quality.
Step 5: Dehumidify the incense sticks
Dehumidify the incense sticks
After natural drying, the incense is dehumidified to prevent mold and ensure it burns well. This step reduces the moisture content to make the incense usable.
Step 6: Quality Check and Packaging
Quality Check and Packaging
The final incense sticks are checked for quality, ensuring they are straight, free of mold, and properly packaged for storage in a dry place.
This is a common method for making cinnamon incense. Different types of incense may have slightly different methods and standards, but the basic steps are generally similar. This guide aims to provide a clear understanding of the meticulous work of incense makers.

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