Tackling some spring cleaning? Then, make sure to clear out that fireplace ash that has been piling up in your firebox! Most homeowners don’t put their system to use very much throughout the warmer spring and summer months, which is why we urge them to get every last bit of ash out to ensure no damage occurs.
How does ash hurt your fireplace? Well, it tends to draw in moisture which can cause the metal components to rust and the masonry to deteriorate. Along with this, ash is acidic, which can lead to lots of decay throughout your flue if exposure is prolonged.
If you’re ready to get this process started, then keep in mind the following ideas for disposing of fireplace ash. It can be quite useful in various areas of your life! Just remember to empty the ash into a metal bucket (using metal tools), then cover it tightly and store it on a non-flammable surface for a few days before handling it. This ensures all sparks and embers are totally extinguished – they can stay alive for quite some time!
Use It In Your Garden
One of the most popular uses of ash is pest prevention in gardens. Slimy snails and slugs hate that dry, powdery ash, which means they will steer clear of your plants if it’s blocking them. Just sprinkle some around the perimeter of your garden, and be sure to reapply it after any rainy days. Then, sit back and enjoy your healthy flowers all season long.
It can also be used to help certain plants, like tomatoes, carrots, broccoli, and more, grow stronger and healthier. Just make sure you’re only adding it to plants that like extra calcium, and be sure to regularly check the pH levels of your soil to ensure everything is in order. Also, never add them to plants that love acid, like azaleas and blueberries, as wood ash neutralizes acidic soil.
Make A Paste For Polishing
By mixing your ash with a bit of water you can make a paste that is great for polishing silver, turning dull metals bright again, and even removing cloudy spots from glass throughout your home. Just spread the paste on, let it sit for a bit, then scrub it off – you’ll be amazed at the difference a bit of ash and elbow grease makes!
Remove Bad Smells
Wood ash is absorbent, and it can be quite effective at removing foul odors from your living space. Place some in a bowl, then stick it in a room that has some persistent bad smells. Some common spots include next to a dirty diaper bin, in the room with the litter box, inside your fridge, or in the bathroom. Keep in mind that it should be replaced every few days to get the best results.
Use It On Your Pets
Yep – you read that right. Ash is great for assisting with many pet-related issues, and it can ensure your animals stay happier and healthier for the long haul. How so? Well, one way is as a dust bath for chickens. These birds need to “bathe” now and then to ensure pests stay away from their feathers, and by adding some ash to their regular bathing spot, you can help them do this more effectively.
You can also rub down your dog or cat to help control fleas and keep their coat smelling fresher. Did your playful pup have a run-in with a skunk? Even the best bath doesn’t always remove that smell, but some leftover ash could be your ticket to get rid of the odor once and for all. And if you have any other pets or livestock, lather them in some ash, too! You’ll have the happiest critters in town.
Remove Outdoor Oil Stains
Do you have oil stains throughout your garage and driveway? These are unsightly and hard to remove, but sprinkling some fireplace ash over the stain could solve your problem. Just cover the spot with the ash, let it sit for a few minutes, then sweep it all up – you should be good to go!
Keep Pests Away
We mentioned that ash keeps snails and slugs away from your garden, but did you know it can keep mice, cockroaches, ticks, and other pests out of your home, too? Sprinkle some in the more vulnerable spots of your home (like that cupboard under your sink), then sit back and relax knowing your home is better protected from it all.
Own A Pond?
Do you have a pond on your property? A small amount of ash (like one tablespoon per 1000 gallons) can make a big impact when it comes to controlling algae. It basically gives your aquatic plants that extra boost they need to thrive which winds up leaving the algae without the nutrients it needs to survive. It’s a great way to keep your water clear and looking great!
Honestly, we could go on for a while listing the many uses of wood ash. From making soap to wound care to cleaning grills and more, a little ash can make a big difference throughout your home. Make your life easier by researching this topic further to get the most you can out of your leftover fireplace ash – it will be well worth it!
And if you want to have your chimney inspected and swept this spring, be sure to contact our CSIA Certified Sweeps to help you out. The Chimney Doctor crew is here for you, and we will do everything we can to ensure your system is safe and ready for use when things cool off again next fall. Call today, and we can get started!