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What To Do With Ashes From A Fireplace

By Lawrence Macmillan August 15, 2021

Did you know there is a proper way to discard your fireplace ashes? Getting rid of them improperly might result in injuries such as burns, pose a fire hazard, or even a carbon monoxide risk.

It is simple to dispose of fireplace ash safely; simply follow a few steps to verify that the ashes have completely burned out and are ready for disposal. Alternatively, there are some great ways to recycle your fire ashes and put them to practical use. 

Dispose of them correctly

If you don't have the time or resources to recycle or make use of your fireplace ash, or if you have too much and can't recycle all of it, here's how to safely dispose of it. Allow the wood and ashes to cool fully.

Avoid pouring water into your fireplace as this could damage it. Smother the flames with sand or flour if necessary. Allow the embers to cool for several hours after that. Transfer the ashes to a metal bucket with a metal shovel, then fill the bucket with water to fully saturate the ashes.

Wait at least seven days after placing the bucket outside, away from the house, and any combustible materials. Pour out any excess water and empty your bucket into the garbage can on garbage day. If your neighborhood has compost bins, you may usually deposit the ash in them.

Compost them

Compost them

According to the University of Maine Cooperative Extension Office, wood ash has a high calcium concentration, making it a great liming agent, as well as potassium and other trace minerals that increase the nutritious value of your compost. A liming chemical that can assist in raising pH levels and neutralizing acidic soils.

When added to your compost as brown matter, wood ash breaks down with green materials such as grass clippings or food scraps to produce a more balanced garden fertilizer. Making compost from ash is preferable to applying ash straight to a garden plot because it can harm acid-loving plants like blueberries and rhododendrons.

However, adding too much wood ash to a compost heap could raise the overall pile’s pH rating. In turn, this can damage your plants that thrive in acidic environments when this compost is then used as a fertilizer.

Use them as a pesticide

Wood ash can be used as a non-chemical pest deterrent. Combine one cup of wood ashes and one cup of hydrated lime in two gallons of water to keep leaf-eating bugs away from your plants.

This liquid should be sprayed over the tops and bottoms of the vegetation. Crawling bugs and slugs dislike ashes, therefore spreading a circle of ashes around a plot or individual plants will help repel pests like slugs and snails.

Make some homemade soap 

You can craft your own soap by boiling your ashes in water for about 30 minutes and then allowing the ashes to fall to the bottom of the pan. Lye is the conventional term for sodium hydroxide, which is a fundamental ingredient in soap-making.

The lye that accumulates on top of the water during the ash-boiling process can be skimmed off. Hardwood ashes are preferable for creating lye since softwood ashes are too resinous and generate lye that does not mix well with the fat used in the soap-making process.

Use them to control algae growth

If algae has taken over your beautiful pond, you don't have to use chemical algaecides to get rid of it. For every 1000 liters of water, add around one tablespoon of wood ash. The potassium in the ash enhances other water plants, which compete with the algae and keep it in check by reducing its growth. 

Use ashes as a cleaning agent

Wood ash is a powerful cleaning agent. Wood ash can be used in any type of cleaning that involves scouring in the kitchen. This is attributed to its special texture. It can also remove oil and filth, sticky residues from labels and stickers, and tarnish from cutlery and glass.

If you've been trying to get rid of persistent spots on wood furniture for months, all you have to do is make a paste out of wood ash and water. In addition, if you have a livestock enclosure with animal droppings or if you have pets around the house, you can sprinkle wood ash on the ground before sweeping, which makes cleaning a lot easier.

Fertilize your garden with them

Making potash from wood ashes is a straightforward process. All you have to do is filter the ashes to eliminate any large bits of charcoal and then softly scatter them throughout your yard. This is fantastic and beneficial to your plants.

You, too, can use wood ash to fertilize planting beds by dusting them throughout your yard. Because wood ash rapidly seeps into the soil, use it sparingly. This is especially beneficial in the winter, although wood ash can help plants flourish in any season. It can help get rid of weeds and make gardening much easier.

Make some brew ash tea

While this isn’t safe for humans to drink, plants love it! Because of its nutrient composition, ash tea is effective in preventing or even curing potassium deficits in plants.

Tomatoes, apples, sugar beets, and currants are all susceptible to potassium deficiency. Reduced crop production, brown patches, sluggish plant growth, yellowing in leaf veins, and curled leaf tips can all be alleviated by ash tea. 

All you have to do is collect five pounds of ash and seal it in a cotton bag. Fill a 50-gallon garbage can with water, and then, exactly like preparing a normal mug of tea, lay the ash bag inside the bin and let it steep for a few days. After you've 'brewed' the ash tea in this fashion, pour about a cup around your plants. This can be done on a weekly basis.


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