Your fire produces buckets of ash throughout one burning season. If you burn improperly seasoned firewood, have a less efficient system, or use a small insert or stove, you may have an excessive amount of ashes. There are several ways to recycle and reuse ashes instead of simply throwing them away. Let us tell you how!
Get Creative with Firewood Ash
Firewood ash has been used for various purposes since colonial days. For example, you can use your ashes to make your own lye. Challenge yourself to put your ashes to use by making lye for your very own soap.
Garden with Ashes
You can also use ashes to change the acidity of your soil. Cultivate the ashes into the top soil so that it may be perfect for spring gardening. Even if your soil doesn’t need the extra acid, you can still use the ashes while gardening. Sprinkle some ashes along the edges of your garden to deter bugs and slugs that look to eat your veggies! You can also sprinkle a bit of ashes around tomato plants for a juicier, plump tomato.
Clean with Ashes
Ashes may be the best cleaner you’ve come across. Adding a bit of water to the ashes will make it the perfect solution to clean the stains from your pots and pans, clean the stovetop, and even tackle the grimy oven. With less water you can polish your silver, chrome, and hardware throughout your house. Ashes will have your doorknobs and faucets shining like stars!
Other Uses for Ashes
Ashes can be used to put a thin layer of grit on top of a slick walkway. Toss it onto sidewalks and driveway if you expect it to freeze, and a good rain will wash it away with no mess. Many homeowners also use ashes to toss over oil spills in the garage or on the driveway. It can even be used as a deodorizer for beloved household pets who have run into something stinky, such as a skunk. Simply dust it into their fur and the smells will disappear!
No matter how you decide to repurpose your firewood ash, it’s important to stay consistent. Clean the ashes regularly and use appropriate tools such as a metal trashcan as a storage bin. In addition, avoid moving hot ashes and coals.
Never handle hot or glowing ashes or coals without proper equipment. When you’ve done all you can to clean your fireplace, go the extra mile and schedule professional services. The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and [National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommend routine chimney sweeps and annual inspections for a safe and efficient chimney.