10 Uses for Fire Pit Wood Ash
Now we all know that after you’ve burnt a fire you are left a pile of ashes. Most people will tend to just put their leftover ashes straight in the bin but not only is this a waste but it’s also bad for the environment.
There are however a number of great uses for wood ash. Below we will cover 10 uses for fire pit wood ash and how you can use it for great benefits.
1) Boosting PH levels in your garden
Your garden lawn and plants require a specific PH level that will optimize growth. Many people use lime but wood ash can also be used to great effectiveness. First, you’ll want to test the PH level of your garden’s soil with a PH Strip testing device. Simply take a sample and place it into distilled water then dip the PH strip into the water to see which colour it turns. You’ll want your average garden soil to be at 6-7 PH. Using wood ash will boost the PH levels of your garden soil so if it is lower than 6 sprinkle some wood ash around and it should bloom. However, some plants may require different PH levels so it is best that you research before you do this.
2) Adding nutrients to your plants
Wood ash also contains other nutrients that plants may need. These nutrients include aluminum, calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and sodium. You’ll want to check your plant’s needs before using wood ash though because as stated before it will boost the PH level. Plants such as blueberries and azaleas prefer to have more acidic soil so adding wood ash to these will make them unhappy and they may wither and die. You’ll want to use the ashes on plants such as hay, corn and tomatoes as these will require soil amendments and will thrive on the nutrients provided.
3) Compost or wood ash tea
Those people who use compost to give a better life to their plants will also find wood ash useful. Adding wood ash to your compost bin will improve the compost to be used for your plant’s compost tea. Wood ash can also be turned into their own kind of compost tea by themselves by soaking them in water for four or five days. You can then apply that wood ash tea to your soil as and when you need to. You’ll want to bear in mind that this will change the PH levels so use it on the plants that need it and use it sparingly as too much will boost the PH level above what the plant loves.
4) Repel pests
In the same way, salt is used, wood ashes can also be used to repel pests such as slugs and snails. It can also deter ants from coming along and eating your precious foliage too. Just sprinkle rings around the vulnerable plant and be sure to reapply the ashes if it rains.
5) Cleaning inside your home
You can also use wood ash to improve your home. Wood ash can be used as a cost-free cleaner for metal and glass by mixing it with water to form a paste. This paste can be used for a variety of different cleaning capabilities. It is best to test the paste before use so you can see the results and decide if you want to proceed. You’ll want to avoid contact with the paste by wearing gloves and applying the paste to a cloth. Then it can be used to buff dull metals, clean smeared glass or remove glue and anything sticky.
6) Making soap
When soap was first made it was made from lye. Lye was made from a combination of water and wood ash. The ashes burned from the hardwood of beech and ash contain enough potassium to create lye. Be sure to follow instructions from a quality source before trying to make your own soap in this way though as it can burn to the touch. However, if you’re careful enough, you can produce your own homemade soap but with a lot more effort than just buying a bar of it from your local shop.
7) Traction on those snowy days
On the snowy days of winter, you can find people scattering grit and salt on roads and paths for safety. Sometimes it can be difficult to get your hands on it for your own purposes. Wood ash can be used as a proficient substitute. Just be sure to wipes your shoes on your welcome mat before entering your home to avoid scattering ash everywhere.
8) Spills in your driveway
If you’ve been working on your car or doing something in your driveway you may end up spilling oil or stainable liquids. Rather than let the stain be there forever you can use wood ash to absorb the spill. The dark colour of your driveway will mask the ashes you’ve placed on top of the spill and later you will be able to sweep it up preventing the stain from ever happening.
9) Dousing a fire
To prevent damaging your fire pit, ideally, you need a way to extinguish the fire without using water. One well-known way of doing this is to use wood ashes. So if you want to douse your fire without the use of sand, soil or a fire extinguisher then smother the fire with wood ashes. This will prevent the fire from getting the oxygen needed to keep burning. Be sure that any capability of it bursting into flames again by doing a thorough check that there are no embers left to burn.
10) Fresh smells
If you have a cat you may also have a litter box for it to do its business. Sometimes the odor of the cat litter can be overwhelming. Fortunately, if you use wood ash you can prevent this catastrophe. Just put wood ash and some small bits of charcoal into the clean cat litter as part of its preparation. With this handy tip, you can keep your house smelling fresh and clean without too much of an inconvenience.
Wood ashes can be used in many more ways and these are just ten of the reasons to recognise that wood ash isn’t something to just throw away. Wood ash can be a very valuable resource even as technology advances. I hope next time you have a fire you take the ashes to be used to your benefit.