In addition to installing the priests, G‑d told Moses to install the Altar by anointing it and offering up specific sacrifices upon it. An expression of the Altar’s holiness is the fact that once something has been placed upon it, it must remain there to be burnt up, even if it had become disqualified for use as a sacrifice.
The Power of Holiness
כָּל הַנֹּגֵעַ בַּמִּזְבֵּחַ יִקְדָּשׁ: (שמות כט:לז)
[G‑d told Moses,] “Whatever touches the Altar will become sanctified.” Exodus 29:37

Spiritually, this principle applies to each of us in our relationship with holiness. Even if all we do is “touch” holiness – without taking the relationship any deeper than an external touch – we become holy. Once we have had a spiritual experience, we are forever changed. We may try to forget, ignore, or run away from it, but our contact with the Divine realm will never again allow us to completely immerse ourselves in mundane life, whether to indulge in empty diversions or to try to improve the world through purely secular means.

True, the rule that whatever touches the Altar becomes sanctified applies only to things that are worthy of being brought upon the Altar in the first place. But spiritually, each of us falls into that category, for every Jew possesses intrinsic holiness; the true desire of every Jew is to do what G‑d commands.1