5 uses for wood ash you’ll love

You may be wondering what to do with all that ash in your ash pan.

hand-of-god-1192082-640x480By now you may have had a few fires in the stove as temperatures continue to drop and those dark nights draw in. Winter is certainly coming.

You may be wondering what to do with the ash that gathers in your ash pan. You can leave it in there to accumulate, but eventually it will start to restrict the flow of air around your stove.

Oftentimes people dispose of their cooled ash in their household waste, which is fine, but it is also a waste of a great natural by-product which has many uses.

Below are five uses for wood ash, but there are many more out there. We recommend you use only wood ash and not multifuel, treated wood, coal or paper ash as this may have detrimental results. We also suggest avoiding the internet recipes for making soap from wood ash as this involves making lye, which can be very, very corrosive if you get it wrong. Leave that to the experts. We are also assuming that the ash has cooled sufficiently and is being stored safely. Only an idiot would sprinkle red hot ash on their petunias.

Melt snow and ice: With recent predictions suggesting this winter will be bitterly cold and snow-swept, this tip may be worth knowing – especially when all the grit has been panic-bought and the shelves are empty. Sprinkle your wood ash on your pathways and drive to melt the snow and ice, giving you a nice safe walkway. The ash also provides a little traction underfoot as well.

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Removes bad odours: Especially effective against the smell of urine, throw some ash over cat litter, or should your dog fall foul of a skunk, rub ash into his coat to remove the stench.

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Keep creepy crawlies off your flowers and vegetables: Bugs, particularly snails and slugs hate crawling through ash. Sprinkle an even line around your flower beds and you’ll find those pesky pests high-tailing it out of there. Don’t forget to reapply after rain.

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Feed your plants: Wood ash contains plenty of great natural nutrients that your plants will thrive on. Be sure to check the PH of your soil first, however. Wood ash is an alkaline, which is handy if you want to neutralise acidic soil. However if it is already an alkaline soil, you may do more harm than good, and some species of plant, like blueberries, love acidic soil. There is a bit more information on the RHS website.RHS_PUB0002454_502298Clean your stove windows: If the ceramic glass on your stove could use a spruce up, rub some wood ash with a damp sponge and you’ll see sparkling results. If the windows keep becoming dirty, check the moisture content of your wood. For best results use one of our dedicated stove glass cleaners.

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We hope this tips come in handy, and help you recycle your wood ash. To get the ash out of the stove and to store it, please check our website for a great range of ash pans, ash vacuums, brushes and ash caddies.

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