Are Fireplace Ashes Good For Anything?

When the fire goes out in your fireplace or you clean out your wood stove, don’t dump the messy ashes in the trash. Instead, recycle them for several beneficial uses.

One of the best fireplace ash uses is to absorb foul smells. Just like baking soda, ash is alkaline and will attract and eliminate odor-causing germs. A small bowl of ash in your fridge or musty room will deodorize within a few days. Ashes can also be used as a mild abrasive to remove sticky label residue from glass jars.

Ashes are a great natural fertilizer and can be mixed with compost to give plants extra nutrients. Ashes are rich in potassium, calcium, boron, phosphorous, and lime, all of which growing plants need to thrive. Because it’s very alkaline, ash helps raise the pH levels in garden soil that’s too acidic to grow certain types of crops.

It is especially effective at raising the pH level in clay soils. However, do not use ash in sandy or loamy soils as it can cause excessive leaching. Ashes can also be used to control algae in ponds. In addition, if you have a pond with fish, wood ash will kill the mosquito larvae and help your fish survive.

Wood ash can be sprinkled on slippery sidewalks and roads to provide traction in snow. It is much cheaper than buying salt and won’t leave the corrosive white marks that salt does on cars and driveways. Ashes are an excellent alternative to chemical ice melters as they won’t damage your concrete or grass.

Besides improving the health and appearance of your yard, adding wood ash to your garden can increase its productivity. Ashes contain nitrogen, which can encourage the growth of flowers and vegetables. It can also be spread under fruit trees to help them bear better.

In addition to nutrient-rich soil, wood ash is great for reseeding lawns that have been damaged by frost. It can also help control weeds, as it is an effective weed barrier.

Ash can be used to help remove oil stains from asphalt or concrete driveways. Simply sprinkle a layer on the stain, let it sit for a few hours, then sweep up the ashes.

Ashes are also a natural tick repellent. By spreading a thin layer of ash over your clothes before going for a hike, you can avoid the risk of contracting Lyme disease or Rocky Mountain spotted fever from ticks.

When you’re ready to start using your fireplace ashes, remember that they’re only safe for outdoor use when they’re completely cool. It’s also important to wear rubber gloves when moving ashes, as the hot material can burn skin and hands. It’s a good idea to put the ashes in a metal container and cover it with a lid before transporting them. If you don’t have a metal container, a bucket with a lid will do the trick. Just make sure the lid is securely fastened to prevent spills.