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7 Unique Ways to Repurpose Your Fireplace Wood Ash

The burning of wood always leaves behind ash. Whether the ash is in a log burner, bonfire, or fireplace, you must dispose of it safely and effectively. But instead of throwing away the wood ash, you can use it for various purposes around the house.

Below are seven ways to utilize wood ash waste in your home and garden. 

1. Abrasive Cleaning

Fireplace ash is an excellent substitute for toxic cleaning agents. You can use wood ash as a natural detergent in its dry or paste form (lye).

Lye water is a powerful polishing agent that you can use to clean your oven glass or steel ware. Scrub the surface with a damp cloth dipped in ash or lye water to clean glass or metal.

When handling lye, ensure you use gloves as the paste can be irritating due to its high pH level.

2. Refrigerator Odor Removal

Wood ash is an excellent deodorizer and is more effective with pieces of charcoal. Like baking soda, wood ash absorbs moisture and unpleasant odors, leaving the air fresh.

To remove odor from your refrigerator, fill a bowl with ash and place it inside the fridge. For the best results, replace the ash every couple of days.

3. Natural Teeth Whitening

Wood ash is a natural toothpaste that you can use to whiten your teeth. Wood ash whitens teeth as it contains potassium hydroxide, a bleaching agent.

Do exercise caution, however. Wood ash is very abrasive, and too much, too often, can damage your enamel.

4. Fire Control

Wood ash forms an airtight barrier when put over a naked flame, making it an effective fire extinguisher.

In the absence of a fire extinguisher or soil, fireplace ash can be an excellent substitute as it smothers the embers of a fire. You can store a few ash buckets in areas prone to a fire breakout, like your kitchen or barn.

5. Soil Correction

Acidic soils need periodic liming to maintain agricultural productivity, and fireplace ash is a natural liming agent because of its calcium. Compost pits tend to become acidic, and introducing wood ash under every layer brings balance. Moreover, ash improves the microbial environment, thereby speeding up decomposition in the compost.

Plants need nutrients and micronutrients such as zinc, sodium, and manganese, naturally occurring in wood ash. The potassium in wood ash may also encourage flowering and fruiting in crops. Introducing fireplace ash to your garden will replenish the missing nutrients.

For quick results, apply wood ash on the soil surface and water adequately to help dissolve and sink the nutrients.

6. Frost Protection for Crops

Frost is every farmer’s nightmare. The cold forms crystals that pop holes in leaves, permanently damaging them.

Wood ash contains mineral salts that reduce water’s freezing point, preventing crystallization. Lightly dusting wood ash on leaves will prevent the frost from biting your plants. 

7. Slug Repellent

Snails and slugs can cause havoc in a garden. Fireplace ash tends to repel snails and should keep them away from your plants. 

Wood ash absorbs slime, thereby inconveniencing snail movement in your garden. To apply, scatter wood ash around the threatened plants.

As with all fire matters, vigilance is highly advised when handling ash. Ash may appear cold but may still have live embers burning underneath. Therefore, after collecting the wood ash, pour it into a metallic fireproof container, wet the ashes, and cover the container tightly. You can use the ashes after they are cool, or you can dispose of the container of ashes with regular garbage on garbage removal day. But make sure the ashes are far from combustible materials. 

If you need waste removal services, we can help. Our staff has extensive experience collecting and disposing of residential waste, and we have a comprehensive recycling program. Contact us today at Tiger Sanitation for more information.

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