How To Dispose Of Wood Ash
There really is nothing more relaxing and calming than sitting around the fireplace on those cold winter evenings. The smell of hickory or oak can fill the entire house and give off a dramatic, emotional feeling. Not only this, but certain firewood can be extremely efficient and can produce large amounts of heat.
With the right type of wood, you shouldn’t have a problem with heating a moderately sized home. Of course, this is not to say that owning a fireplace doesn’t come without a lot of work. This is especially true if you are going out and chopping your own wood.
Even if you aren’t you still have to have a suitable storage location far enough away from the home not to attract termites. Not only do you have to worry about all this, but you have to also worry about the leftover ash.
Firewood produces ash when it is burnt and it will eventually overcrowd your fireplace if you don’t clean it on a regular basis. Not to fear because there are a number of unique ways that you can turn this ash production into an advantage.
A Back-Up Plan For The Winter
If you are already firing up your fireplace there is a good chance that winter is coming. It might already be there, which means that there are probably going to be some snowy and icy conditions in your future.
This is exactly where wood ash can come in handy. Emptying your excess wood ash after it has cooled into a five-gallon bucket and sitting it on the porch is never a bad idea in the winter because it can be used to melt snow. The potassium salts in the ashes can even melt ice and snow in fairly cold conditions.
Some people will even place a container of fire ashes in their trunk during the winter months just in the event that their vehicle needs a little more traction. Placing wood ash under your tires can help give your vehicle the traction that it needs to get off icy patches and slick spots on the road.
Use It To De-Skunk Fido
If you have dogs that like to pester skunks, it is likely that they have returned home smelling pretty foul.
While some veterinarians recommend homemade de-skunking solutions that consist of dishwashing liquid, baking soda, and hydrogen peroxide, you can save yourself a lot of trouble by utilizing wood ash.
Wood ash is rich in lye. This ingredient has been utilized for many decades to make body soap and laundry detergents. Lye is extremely safe for humans and pets. It contains properties that are capable of neutralizing strong, foul odors.
If you have a pile of wood ash laying around somewhere and your dog comes home smelling like skunk spray, you will be in luck.
Just apply the wood ash to the dog’s fur, taking care to avoid the eyes. In no time, the odor will begin to gradually diminish.
Raising a garden is extremely hard work. You are always trying to keep wild animals, insects, and gastropods at bay. Of course, you can utilize over-the-counter, commercial-grade insect sprays to keep these pests out of your garden. But, why spend money on these products, if you have access to wood ash?
Just apply a small layer of wood ash around the exterior of your plants. This will help prevent snails and slugs from damaging the plants. The only downside to wood ash is it only offers a temporary deterrent solution. You will need to frequently apply another layer of wood ash if you want to permanently block gastropods out of your garden.
Wood ash is rich in calcium, which is exactly what some vegetables thrive on. Plants, such as spinach, beans, tomatoes, avocados, and garlic, can greatly benefit from wood ash. The calcium found in the wood ash will strength these plants.
It will also help deter gastropods. So, it is like getting two for one. Applying a small layer of wood ash near the root of the plant will do the trick.
Use As A Toothpaste
Contrary to belief, wood ash is not harmful to humans or pets. In fact, some people utilize it instead of traditional toothpaste. To make toothpaste out of wood ash, you will need to get rid as much of the charcoal as possible. You can do this by utilizing a sieve. Pour a small amount of wood ash into the sieve and gently shake it back and forth until nothing is left by charcoal remnants.
Some people recommend mixing the wood ash with baking soda for whitening purposes. You can also add lemon or orange peels to improve the flavoring.
Pep Up Your Garden
If you are using your fireplace your garden is probably the furthest thing from your mind, but spring and summer will be back around before you know it. Collecting your excess wood ash can be a great way to boost up your garden. This is especially true if you are constantly dealing with acidic soil.
Wood ash contains about seventy percent calcium carbonate so it can actually help increase the pH levels in your soil. In fact, wood ash basically does the same thing as lime when placed in soil, but it just does it much faster. Thanks to the smaller particle sizes of wood ash it can help increase the pH levels faster than lime.
Get Rid Of Those Bad Odors
There really isn’t much worse than a smelly refrigerator. And, refrigerators can get smelly all too easy because they are usually stuffed with leftover food. Even trying to seal leftovers in airtight containers won’t really help. This is why most people keep a box of baking soda in the refrigerators.
Baking soda is pretty much an alkaline that can absorb those nasty and unpleasant odors. Well, wood ash is alkaline too and it can serve the exact same purpose as baking soda.
Simply putting some ashes into a small bowl and placing in the fridge can do wonders. Not only this, but you can also place wood ash in musty rooms to help eliminate undesirable smells.
Make Your Own Soap
Did you know that you could make your own soap with wood ash? Probably not, but you certainly can and it is a fairly simple process. All you have to do is mix the right amount of wood ash with water, which will then turn into lye. Lye is a common ingredient that is commonly used in modern soap-making.
From this point, all you have to do is throw in a little fat plus a lot of boiling and stirring and you will have your very own homemade soap. This is not only an educational and scientific process that you can share with your kids, but you can use it to save a little money.
It Also Makes Bleach
You just learned that when wood ash is mixed with water it creates lye. Lye is one of the most common ingredients found in soap. When mixed with lard, you can create your own homemade soap, but lye can also be used as a sole agent. When used as a sole agent it can produce bleach like effects. A cup full of pure lye mixed in with you whites will do wonders.
Draw Out Humidity
Humidity is a common problem during both the summer and winter. Humidity not only creates unpleasant odors and smelly rooms, but too much can ruin your home. Instead of running out and dropping a few hundred bucks on a dehumidifier, you can just opt for wood ash.
Because wood ash is a desiccant it can be used in humid places to draw out humidity. Simply just place some wood ash on a small tray or in a small bowl and place it in the corner of the room and the humidity will be gone before you know it. This is a trick that works extremely well in damp basements, crawlspaces, and poorly ventilated bathrooms.
Bathe Your Chickens
Do you have chickens running around your yard? If so, you can help keep them clean. One of the best ways to do this is by giving them wood ash so they can puddle in it. This is a great way to great rid of parasites like mites and lice. At the same time, this will ensure that the chickens are able to clean their feathers.
Well, one of the best combinations is ash and sand. By combining wood ash and sand, you’ll be able to create an effective dust bath that will be sure to get your chickens clean. Not only that, but you can guarantee that your chickens are going to absolutely love it as well!
Create Ash Tea
Who doesn’t love a delicious cup of tea? The truth of the matter is that there are tons of different types. Some are better than others. For instance, some people like green tea. Surprisingly, you can actually brew a cup of ash tea. What? Yes! You can make tea directly from your ashes.
However, this isn’t the type of tea that you’re going to consume. Instead, it will be beneficial for your plants. This is one of the best ways to deal with potassium deficiencies. All you have to do is fill a pillowcase with some of the ash. Generally, five pounds will do the trick.
Make sure that the pillowcase is secured. Then, you should fill a garbage can with water. Place the pillowcase inside and wait a few days. Once you’ve done that, you should pour a single cup of the tea within close vicinity to your plants. This will help deal with potassium deficiencies.
Dealing With Algae
There is no denying the fact that algae can ruin your aquarium and pond. If you want your water decoration to remain beautiful for many years to come, you need to deal with the algae immediately. There are plenty of ways to achieve this goal.
However, some of the chemicals you purchase at the store might be dangerous. They could also harm the fish calling the pond home. Instead, you should try using the fireplace ash. This method works exceptionally well.
You just need to add a single tablespoon of ash for every 1,000 gallons of water. This will add more potassium to the water. In return, that is going to strengthen the plants that are actually competing with the algae for nutrients. This is a good way to prevent the algae from growing so quickly.
With a little bit of luck, the algae will actually disappear completely.
Cleaning glass is undoubtedly one of the most difficult tasks in the world. You just can seem to stop the glass from developing streaks. Even the best glass cleaning products in the world aren’t going to cut it. With this in mind, you should make the switch to ash.
Believe it or not, ash is a great way to clean certain types of glass. If you’re trying to clean the glass on your fireplace door, you will definitely want to use ash. You just need to dampen a sponge and dip it into the ash. Then, you can go ahead and scrub the windows.
Within a matter of seconds, the soot residue will disappear. Ashes can be used for other windows too. However, the effectiveness of this method will depend on what you’re dealing with. Either way, this is the best way to use your ash and get your fireplace doors cleaned!
There is absolutely no doubt that polishing metal can be very difficult. You’ve looked wide and far to find a product that was great for this purpose. Nevertheless, you were left with smudges and blemishes. Isn’t there a really good solution to the problem at hand? The answer is yes.
You just need to utilize your wood ash. After all, you’ve already got a whole bucket full. Well, you can use ash to shine that silver to perfection. All you have to do is create a paste with it. You can do that by using a little bit of ash and some water.
Once you’ve finished, you’ll have a non-toxic polisher that will get the job done right. Why would you spend money on metal polishers ever again? You have everything you need in your tap and your fireplace!
People do not realize that wood ash can actually be very beneficial. It is true that it is downright nasty. If you drop the ash on the ground or on your clothing, it is going to create a mess. Therefore, you have to be incredibly careful with it. Nevertheless, there are numerous ways to use the ash to your advantage.
Above, you have discovered some of the best ways to take advantage of the ashes produced in your fireplace. If you’re going to be burning wood in your fireplace, you should definitely put that ash to use for you!