Should I seal a cremation urn?

Are cremation urns sealed? Do they need to be sealed, or are they waterproof?

Sealing a Cremation Urn

Most of our cremation urns do not require a sealant, but you may apply a small bead of wood glue, caulk, or other adhesive around the edges of the urn opening if you so choose.

In most cases you will receive the cremated remains (or "ashes") from the funeral home inside a plastic bag which will be inside a plastic or cardboard temporary urn.

Usually the best method for placing the ashes into an urn is to simply leave the remains in the plastic bag and set the bag in the urn.

Learn more about opening and filling a cremation urn here, where you'll find video examples as well.

Are Cremation Urns Waterproof?

Typically no, cremation urns are not waterproof. Some designs could be waterproof with proper sealant; for instance, a blown glass urn is one piece with no seams, and only a lid on top. If you were to effectively seal the lid the urn could be considered waterproof.

Most cultured marble urns are made in a single piece as well, with a well-protected bottom opening with a sealed gasket. Other types of urns such as wood or metal urns will eventually allow moisture inside if buried in the ground.

The reality is that most urns will protect and preserve your loved one's remains very well when kept in your home. When buried in the ground, you're returning the departed one back to the earth so it is to be expected that as the years go by nature will take its course.

Next, we'll discuss the options for sealing different types of urns.

How to Seal a Cremation Urn

Wood Urns

With most of our wood urns, the entire bottom panel is removable, allowing you to easily place the ashes into the urn. No need to seal.

Shop wood urns here

Stone Urns

With many of our marble or stone urns, the interior of the urn is accessed by a threaded stopper. Thus, pouring the remains is the recommended method.

Some stoppers include a gasket; if not, you may want to use caulk or plumber's tape to seal the urn.

Shop stone urns here

Ceramic & Glass Urns

Ceramic and glass urns are often accessed by removing the top-opening lid. Depending on the size of the opening, the ashes can either be placed into the urn inside the plastic bag or should be poured in.

Should you choose an urn with a small opening or simply decide to pour the ashes into the cremation urn, sealing is recommended to prevent leakage.

You may also want to apply a sealant upon closure of the urn to ensure permanence, regardless of whether the plastic bag is used or not.

Shop ceramic urns here

Shop glass urns here

How You'll Receive the Remains from the Crematorium

Each crematorium has their own unique way of handling the remains, but generally you can expect to receive the ashes in a clear, durable plastic bag (usually sealed with a twist tie), inside of a simple "temporary urn" (a basic plastic or cardboard box).

To place the remains in the cremation urn you ordered online, simply open the cardboard or plastic temporary urn and remove the plastic bag containing the cremains. Then place the sealed plastic bag into the permanent urn and reattach the urn's lid or bottom opening panel.

You may use wood glue or caulking as a sealant, but this is not required as long as the ashes remain in the plastic bag.

If you are uncomfortable with handling the remains, many funeral homes will transfer the remains into your cremation urn for you.

Additionally, we offer a few urns which will hold some of the standard sizes of temporary urns, so that you can simply insert the entire cardboard or plastic urn into the permanent urn.

The most popular design for this is our Marquis Urn, which is made in the USA and designed to hold the standard 8.6 x 6.5 x 4.5 temporary urn.

What Next?

If you have additional questions, please feel free to contact us by phone (877-900-5309, during daytime business hours) or email.

To learn more general information about urns, memorials, funerals, and more, browse our extensive collection of help articles.

And if you're ready to choose the urn for your loved one but don't know where to begin, start with our 12 Best-Selling and Most Popular Urns.