18 Practical Ways to Use the Ashes from Your Fireplace
Do you heat your house with wood? What to do with the ashes is a question for most. Obviously, you want to take great care to dispose of them in a way that won’t start a fire, but did you know that the ashes have all sorts of uses?
Here’s an article from my good friend Lizzie Bennett of Underground Medic, where this was originally published.
18 Uses For Wood Ash
Wood ash is suitable for much more than the compost heap.
Wood ash is composed of calcium, potassium, phosphorus, and magnesium, but also contains trace amounts of iron, manganese, sodium, boron, zinc, copper, and molybdenum. As it’s alkaline handle it with care especially when it’s wet and never mix it with nitrate based fertilisers unless you actually intended to produce ammonia gas!!
Did you know that:
- Putting wood ash on an ants nest forces them to relocate…the ash seems to cause them problems so they pack and leave.
- A pan of ash in the corner of a basement or other dark area will deter mice and roaches…not tried that one but assured by a friend it works.
- Decent sized lumps of wood charcoal will filter impurities out of water.
- Wood ash in a metal or ceramic container will dehumidify a damp space very well.
- Putting ash on a fire will snuff the flames instantly. We actually keep a decorative bucket of it near the fireplace just in case an ember hits the carpet.
- Neutralise acidic soil by adding wood ash, never use around tender young plants though as it’s too strong and will kill them off.
- Sprinkling wood ash around the edge of a young plant bed will deter slugs and snails from having a midnight feast. they don’t like it’s drying effect on their undersides. re-apply after rain.
- At up to 70% calcium carbonate wood ash can replace lime in a pinch.
- If you keep chickens ash mixed with sand makes a great dust bath for the birds.
- Make soap. Here’s a recipe
- Ash on paths and driveways prevent slipping and melts snow and ice. Messy as hell so make sure you have a mat so boots can be wiped before coming indoors. A bag of ash in the trunk is great for giving some grip if you get into a wheels spinning but going nowhere situation.
- The mildly abrasive nature of ash makes it excellent for cleaning up dull silver, metals and cloudy glassware, Make a thick paste and rub lightly. leave a few minutes and then polish off. Always wear gloves…it’s caustic.
- Wood ash neutralises bad smells. Great for home gyms, shed, garages etc, replace with fresh ash every few days.
- Blot up oil stains on drives and floors. Put the ask on the stain, stomp it in, leave for a few minutes and brush up.
- If your four legged friend got to close to a skunk help is at hand. Rub ash into the dogs coat and let him run around a while and then brush him…no more eau de skunk.
- Control algae in your pond. 1 tablespoon of ash per 1000 gallons of water improves the robustness of aquatic plants and inhibits algae growth.
- Clean glass on oven and wood stove doors. Make a thick paste, slap it on and wait a while. Scrape off the excess and then polish.
- Clean your teeth with pure wood ash…not ash from painted, varnished or treated wood. Clean your teeth with a dab of ash on the brush, rinse well and feel how clean they are.
Be sure to check out Underground Medic for more excellent practical articles like this.
Here are some other multi-purpose articles that can help you to use things which others would throw away.
About the Author
Please feel free to share any information from this site in part or in full, leaving all links intact, giving credit to the author and including a link to this website and the following bio. Daisy is a coffee-swigging, gun-toting, homeschooling blogger who writes about current events, preparedness, frugality, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, The Organic Prepper. Daisy is the publisher of The Cheapskate's Guide to the Galaxy, a monthly frugality newsletter, and she curates all the most important news links on her aggregate site, PreppersDailyNews.com. She is the best-selling author of 4 books and lives in the mountains of Virginia with her two daughters and an ever-growing menagerie. You can find Daisy on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.