Getting Some Mileage Out of Your Fireplace and Stove Ashes
When you’re finished using your fireplace or wood-burning stove, what do you do with the ashes? If you’re like most people, you dump them. But maybe there are some other alternatives you should look at.
Ye Olde Brit Chimney Sweep of San Bernardino, CA, would like to share eight ways to consider using your fireplace and stove ashes.
Remember the following guidelines when working with ashes:
- Let ashes cool for 24 hours or more before handling them.
- Wear eye and breathing protection (like a mask).
- Don’t work with ash outside when the wind is whipping up.
- Keep a damp towel nearby to wipe ash dust off your arms and hands.
What can you do with your ashes?
Some of these uses for fireplace and stove ash date back thousands of years. Give a few of them a try, and see what you think.
Fertilize your lawn
Ash contains lime, potassium and other trace elements that are good for feeding grass.
Add to soil around plants
Ash can likewise be useful as a fertilizer for plants and flower beds.
If you keep a compost pile, ashes will help balance the pH, which tends to run a little on the acidic side.
NOTE: Before using ash for fertilizer directly or as a compost ingredient, check with your local home and garden center or do some research online. You don’t want to over-neutralize anything or add too many nutrients.
Get rid of household odors
Ash does a great job at absorbing odors in the air. Just place some in a container and put it out of the way. You can also use ash in place of baking soda to remove odors in the refrigerator.
Use as a bug-repellant
Many soft-bodied bugs won’t travel through ashes, which attach to the bugs’ bodies and suck moisture out of them, potentially killing them. It’s unknown whether or not bugs know that ash has this effect, but either way, people have had good success using ashes as a repellant.
Ticks can carry Lyme disease. Ash is a natural tick-repellant. Granted, you’ll look a little odd traipsing through tick-infested areas with ashes coloring your exposed skin, but it’s better than getting bit by a tick – and it doesn’t cost anything.
Make your own soap
In the time before grocery stores and door dashes, people had to make their own soap (and just about everything else). Making homemade ash soap can be a little time-consuming, but if you like this kind of project, get some instructions online and see what you can come up with.
Clean your fireplace doors
Ash is a great fireplace door cleaner. Dampen the glass, throw on some ashes then rub with a damp sponge. You can do the same for any glass surfaces around the house. You can even use ash to clean jewelry – but consult with a jeweler before doing it the first time.
You use your ash, and we’ll clean your chimney
It’s up to you to deal with leftover ash in your fireplace. It’s up to Ye Olde Brit to deal with creosote, soot and ash in your chimney. Call (909) 880-2120 for expert chimney cleaning along with chimney inspections and repair work. You can also reach out with our contact form.