When you think of uses for fireplace ash, the first things that probably come to mind are ways to use it during the burning season. For instance, a small 1 – 2 layer of ash is great for nesting future fires! Its insulated nature can get things started quicker, and it will help the flames efficiently spread to other logs, too. And when you’re ready to extinguish any flames, ash works well for this, too.
But what about when you’re done burning for the year, and you clear all of that ash out of the firebox? Can it still be used for anything or should it simply be tossed?
Well, as it turns out, there are actually all kinds of ways you can put leftover fireplace ash to use!
We’re here to go over some of these, but remember to always use caution when removing your fireplace ash at the end of the season. Use a metal scoop to transfer it to a non-combustible bucket with a lid, and secure the lid tightly to prevent oxygen from getting in. Then, leave the closed bucket on a non-flammable surface well away from your home for at least a few days. These precautions ensure any hidden embers (that can stay live for days) are fully extinguished!
Incorporate Ash Into Your Garden Routine
One of the best ways to use fireplace ash is in your garden! Many use it to deter pests like slugs and snails, both of which are notorious for feeding on plants, but it can actually be used to enrich the soil of numerous plants, too. Just be cautious… ash is known for reducing soil acidity, and while this is good for some plants, it isn’t so great for others.
For instance, azaleas, mountain heather, rhododendrons, camellias, daffodils, blueberries, nasturtiums, holly, potatoes, parsley, and ixoras are all plants that love acidity and would not benefit from wood ash in their soil!
We recommend limiting your use of ash in plants that would benefit from the calcium boost and raised pH levels. These include (but aren’t limited to): lavender, rose, citrus plants, stone fruit trees, onions, garlic, chives, lettuces, asparagus, and tomatoes.
Helpful tip: Wood ash is also beneficial to your compost pile. It’s good for the worms (which are important keeping your compost pile healthy), it helps breaks down any veggies in there, and it can keep those bigger animals (who might steal the any food leftovers) out of there, too.
Put Ash to Work In Your Household
Did you know ash can be used in your household tasks, too? Here are some different ways to utilize it:
- Clean Your Glass Doors: By simply wetting newspapers and dabbing them into your cooled down fireplace ash, you can create an effective cleaning tool for smudged up fireplace and wood stove doors. Sweeps and homeowners swear by this method!
- Polishing Silver: Make a paste out of your wood ash by mixing it with a bit of water, then use it to scrub any silver you have in your household! Just be sure to rinse and dry it thoroughly afterward.
- Clear Up Cloudy Headlights: An ash paste can also be effective for cleaning all of that dirt and debris from the road off of your clouded headlights. Not only will your car look better, but those headlights will shine more brightly, too, ensuring you stay safer!
- Repelling Pests: Sure, ash can keep pests out of your garden, but it can also be sprinkled in the dark corners of your home to deter cockroaches and moths, too.
- Removing Sticky Residue: Need a quick way to remove leftover adhesive glue or sticky residue? Ash and water will get the job done.
- Deodorizing Your Home: Like baking soda, wood ash is known for soaking in bad odors, so try using it around your home (or in your fridge) to remove any lingering smells you no longer want around.
- Cleaning Your Pets: If you’ve ever dealt with skunk smells, then you know how hard they can be to get rid of. And if you furbaby has a run-in with one, it may feel like the odor is impossible to totally eliminate. Well, try rubbing them down with wood ash! Like we said, it helps to neutralize odors, so it might make more of a difference than you think. And it’s known to kill off pests, like fleas and ticks, too.
Clean Up Your Outdoor Space
There are a few effective ways to use ash outdoors, too!
Slippery sidewalk? Ash is great for creating some traction.
Ants making an unwelcome appearance? Some ash on their anthills will deter them in a hurry.
Oil stains in your driveway? Some ash should soak it up.
Own a pond? Sprinkle in some ash for good algae control!
Own chickens? Add some ash to their pen, so they can control pests with a dust bath.
These are some of the more common outdoor uses, but if you dive deep with your research, you may find more!
Need Springtime Chimney Care?
With spring comes the end of the burning season, and we urge homeowners to invest in their annual inspection and yearly maintenance sooner, rather than later! Save yourself time, money, and stress this fall by making your appointment with our sweeps soon. We look forward to serving you!