What to Do With Fireplace Ashes? 10 Clever Things You Can Do With It

Have you ever sat in the living room in front of your fireplace and started to wonder, “What to do with fireplace ashes?”    

I’m pretty sure you have! Contrary to the idea of throwing away waste, fireplace ashes belong to the category of, reuse, reduce, and recycle. Crazy, right? What can dust do for you? How could you possibly repurpose it?

Nowadays, as technology took over not just in business but also in real estate, homes have also been upgraded and equipped with advancements including high-tech fireplaces. But if you are someone who leans more towards traditional fireplaces — ones that includes wood burning inside your home, hearing the crackling, burning woods while enjoying the nostalgic warmth under a cold weather, then you are in for a treat!

Fireplace ashes are one end waste with a lot of usage. Why immediately toss the ashes away when you could use it for other problems around your home? Check out this list where I’ll break down 10 DIY options for repurposing your wood ashes to make our lives much easier!

1. Add to Compost

You’re probably wondering how fireplace ashes can be beneficial to your compost, well if you haven’t heard it yet, fireplace ashes contains natural potassium and calcium which add nutrients to your end soil or the “compost tea”.

Incorporating wood ashes in your compost pile doesn’t only promote good recycling habits but is also helps boost the nutrients in the compost.

2. Cleaning Glass and Polishing Metals

We all know that the availability of cleaning materials for glass and metals is just one drive away from your house, even the convenience store sells one. But we cannot deny the fact that these are mostly costly and ineffective. So, believe it or not, fireplace ash is to the rescue! It is not just a free glass and metal cleaner but is also the most effective one.

 Wood ash is a mild abrasive, just mixed the ash with water to create a paste and this will do the magic of cleaning those dirty glasses and buffing up tarnish on your jewelry, silverware or other materials that are made of metal.

Note: Use a cotton or microfiber cloth when applying the paste. Wear hand gloves to protect your skin.

3.   Absorbs Odor

It is not new to us that some places in our homes have this unlikely smell that would just kill off the homey vibe such as our kitchen, trash bags and even our refrigerators. And if you don’t know it yet, wood ashes can be a great help in making these pungent smells go away.

Wood ashes, just like baking soda, are rich in alkaline which helps absorb moisture and neutralize odors from the air. Simply, adding a cup of ash to your fridge, trash bags, or any musky rooms inside the house to get rid of that unlikely smell. It’s not just an easy chore but is also a cost-efficient way of making your own air freshener.

4. Put out Fire

“Put out a fire with something that was in the fire? No way!” After reading the header of this fourth listing, that might be the thing that runs through your mind. But it’s true! Just like fine sand, fireplace ashes can also put out a fire.

When you’re sitting next to it, may it be a fireplace in your home or in a camping site where you were simply enjoying the warmth of the flame roasting some marshmallows; you still need to be always prepared if in any case you will have to extinguish any wayward embers. Having a bucket of wood ash is one of the most efficient ways to do it. Simply submerge your fire in the ashes and it will be put off quickly.

5. Natural Bleaching

A fireplace ash as a natural bleaching powder used in your laundry might not sound quite compatible, would it? Well, somehow it fills the role perfectly. Fireplace ash / wood ash when mixed with water create a substance called Lye water which is a common ingredient that is found in soap. Lye water is proven to be an effective bleaching agent that would not just brighten your whites but will also be a good alternative for your daily bleaching need; just simply add a cupful of ash and toss it on your laundry and it’ll probably do the trick.

I would completely understand if you’re still contemplating this right now, but just give it a try?

6. Soil Fertilizer

Fireplace ashes, particularly wood ashes, carry nutrients such as phosphorus, potassium, calcium, boron which substantial in plants growth. Ash is also one material that produces great amount of alkaline which helps increase the soils pH level.

The University of Vermont states that the main benefit of wood ashes is to raise the soil pH or make it less acidic. Soil pH is a measure of acidity in a 14-point scale, 7 being neutral, below 7 is acid; above is alkaline.

In using fireplace ash as a fertilizer, make sure first that you know your plants preference in soil acidity. Blueberries and potatoes for instance like fairly acidic soil, so you might not need to add one. Measuring the soils pH level is also one of the expert’s recommendations before adding any fertilizers such as wood ashes.

7. Slug and Snail Repellant

One of the gardeners’ nightmares is waking up and seeing their crops feasted on by slugs and snails.  These pests are usually found in gardens and lawns for it is a very suitable habitat that gives them ample amount of almost everything they need to survive.

Wood ashes can be used to repel pests such as slugs and snails, just simply sprinkle small amount or create a circle of wood ash on the plant beds. The ash barrier is only effective when it’s not wet, so in an instance of rain or watering of plants you’ll need to reapply on the areas suspected.

8. Melt Ice and Snow

Every year, in the cold months of winter, one thing that you might not want to do is to shovel ice and snow away from your drive way, because let’s not deny it’s like the most laborious chore every year.

There are many readily available products developed that hasten the melting of ice and snow, but if you don’t know it yet, fireplace ash can be an effective way to get rid of it.

The primary role of fireplace ash is to provide traction on icy and snowy surface; it also melts snow by darkening the area which helps absorb more of the sun’s heat that speeds up the melting process.  Just always remember to keep your shoes outside of the house, this could get messy!

9. Clean up Driveway Oil Spills

You try so hard, but oil somehow still ends up on the driveway when changing your car’s oil, right? Don’t worry, we’ve all been there. Luckily, that fireplace ash you’re trying to give a new purpose can help with this too. Wood ash is a natural desiccant, meaning it will readily absorb moisture. Just sprinkle a good amount over the oil stain, let it sit for a few minutes, and sweep it up. No more messy oil stain!

10. Clean the Soot from your Fireplace!

We’re making a full circle back to the fireplace, but this time the ashes you’re trying to get out of the fireplace are going to help clean it!

Want to give your fireplace glass window a shine again? Just mix the ashes with some water to form a paste. Then apply the abrasive paste to the soot-covered window with a cloth or sponge. Put in a tiny bit of elbow grease, then voila! A nice and clear window from which to become mesmerized by the flickering flames once again!

How to Dispose of Fireplace Ashes

After reading the list of DIYs written above, I know you’re excited to try it out but before doing so, keep in mind the importance of safety. Before utilizing the fireplace ashes as a home toolkit, make sure you have given it enough time to cool down. A week or so might be enough, but even after that I always assume that it is still hot.

To avoid accidents such as flying embers that might cause unwanted fires, secure some non-combustible cleaning materials such as the broom, metal dustpan and ash bucket. Always remember to use gloves when dealing with fireplace ashes to avoid skin burns.

One way of easily cleaning your fireplace ash is by using an Ash Vacuum; always remember not to clean the fireplace when the ash is still hot. One disadvantage of using this is that you can no longer keep the ashes for future use.

That’s All Folks!

It’s really surprising to know that things you think are useless can carry that huge scale of worth in our day-to-day needs, such as fireplace ashes. With the list of options stated above, we hope that the frequently asked questions as to what to do with fireplace ashes are answered. We’re sure this useful end waste material has many more creative uses to come!

References

Leave a Comment

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap