21 Uses for Your Fire Pit Ash
If you spend hours enjoying your fire pit, you know that the ash can add up fast, but did you know that there are many versatile uses for wood ash? Not only can reconstituting your wood ash save you money, but it is also a fantastic tool in an emergency or survival situation. Curious about the many applications for this powerful byproduct? We have listed 21 uses for your fire pit wood ash.
1. Ice Melt
Yes, you read that right! Wood ash contains natural minerals that have the same impact on ice as salt does. This makes wood ash an excellent alternative to chemical de-icing salt, a potentially toxic compound to children and pets. A bonus is that this alternative will save you money!
Phew-ew! Has a skunk ever sprayed your poor unsuspecting pet or unguarded house? That smell can be overwhelming and almost impossible to remove thoroughly! So instead of panicking, grab some wood ash and sprinkle a little on your pet or the area of your home/yard to rid yourself of the smell. The wood ash will quickly absorb the scent!
3. Cleaning Glass Stovetops/Woodstove glass
Is your stovetop in need of a little extra TLC? Try mixing a few tablespoons of water into a cup of wood ash to create a paste. This mildly abrasive concoction works as an abrasive and will remove stains and cloudy soot from your glass.
4. Cleaning Headlights
If you’ve been scrubbing with Windex and a towel for an hour and your headlights still won’t come clean, you might want to opt for some wood ash. Make a rubbing paste from wood ashes and water, scrub, rinse, and watch the cloudy road grit and grime wash away!
5. Cleaning Oil Spills
Time to retire that bag of kitty litter and replace it with all the extra wood ash you have! Wood ash easily and effectively absorbs oil spills and stains on concrete. A bonus? It’s free!
6. Good-Bye Algae
Are you tired of your poor pond, fountain, or water feature becoming overrun with algae? Consider adding a small amount (1 tablespoon per 1,000 gallons of water) of wood ash to your water. Wood ash is full of potassium, a compound that naturally slows algae growth and gives your other plants a fighting chance to grow and flourish.
7. Garden Fertilizer
What is wood ash? Well, essentially the essence of a tree. Wood ash holds all the valuable trace minerals found in a tree’s bark. While wood ash doesn’t contain carbon or nitrogen, you can get these compounds from compost. The University of Vermont recommends about 5 gallons of wood ash per 1,000 square feet of garden. However, keep in mind that wood ash will also raise the pH level of your soil; because of this, it is not the ideal choice for acid-loving crops like blueberries or potatoes.
8. Lye, Anyone?
Lye is an essential ingredient found in natural soaps. To make lye with wood ash, boil the ashes (softwoods, such as pine and spruce, are not ideal for lye making as they are too resinous to mix with fat) in a little soft water; rainwater is ideal, for 30 minutes. Give the ashes time to settle to the bottom of the pan and then skim the liquid lye off the top Take your wood ash and mix it with water. Finally, allow it to soak.
Please note: Lye is VERY alkaline and will burn your skin if it comes in contact with it. Please educate yourself on how to handle lye safely before making it.
9. Smelly Fridge?
Wood ash is an excellent absorber of smells and is a perfect substitute for baking soda in your fridge. Place some wood ash (ideally, with a few small pieces of charcoal) in a bowl and place it in your fridge. The ash will absorb any unpleasant smells.
Is the humidity level high in your area, or is an area of your home prone to moisture? Well, wood ash can be an excellent option to help absorb the excess water in a room. Simply place a cup of wood ash into a bowl and let it sit in your humid space. A cup of wood ash is an excellent way to prevent mold growth in a damp basement, cupboard, or bathroom.
Activated charcoal has antibacterial properties making it an excellent option to apply as part of your daily skincare routine to help prevent breakouts. Additionally, activated charcoal might be beneficial to apply to cuts or scrapes as it has an antibacterial effect by absorbing harmful microbes to help prevent infection.
12. Removing Hair Dye from Skin
Dyeing your hands in the process of dyeing your hair can be very frustrating. No one enjoys scrubbing their hands for hours simply to walk around for days with dark stains lining their fingers. Luckily, wood ash can remove dye stains from the scalp or skin. Just dab a damp cloth in some wood ash, scrub at the dye spots, and watch them disappear!
13. Hair Removal
There is a rumor that wood ash can help remove unwanted hair. Women have been using it for years as a natural wax agent. An excellent area to try would be your nose hairs. Mix a small amount of wood ash with water, gently rub a thin layer around those pesky nose hairs, allow it to sit for several minutes before gently wiping away the ash with a damp cloth. Before testing this out, make sure to test a small patch of your skin to avoid any reactions. The best part? It’s pain-free!
14. Hasta La Vista Slugs!
Place a small circle of wood ash around your precious produce to prevent slugs and snails from invading your bounty. It is a non-toxic and effective solution and works especially well for leafy produce, such as lettuce and spinach. However, keep in mind that your blockade of wood ash only works until the ash becomes wet, so you will need to reapply the ash regularly to remain effective at keeping pesky slugs out! On the plus side, the wood ash is easy to wash away when you’re ready to pick and eat your produce.
15. Picture Perfect Tomatoes
Are you struggling to produce bright red, tasty tomatoes? Ugly black spots are often the result of a calcium deficiency. Yes, produce needs vitamins too! Wood ash is an excellent option for adding much-needed calcium to your tomatoes. Simply add 1/4 cup of wood ash to your tomato planting hole and rub it into the soil prior to placing your precious tomato plant in its new home!
16. Prevents Frost Damage to Plants
Did you plant early or are not quite finished harvesting, and a late or early out of season light frost is threatening the wellbeing of your plants? Dusting your plants with wood ash before a light frost can prevent damage. Due to its natural chemical composition, wood ash combats frost by lowering the freezing point of water without hurting the plant.
17. Natural Flea, Tick, and Lice Protectant
If fleas, ticks, and lice are prevalent in your area, you can deter these pests from making a home in your pets’ coats by sprinkling wood ash on their fur before letting them go outside.
18. Lawn Fertilizer
Wood ash is full of trace minerals that help keep your grass lush and green! Add a light dusting of wood ash to your lawn and water thoroughly to allow it to soak in. Then, sit back and watch your yard transform into a green oasis!
19. Scrub Those Dishes Clean!
Are you camping and forgot your dish soap? If you don’t have the option of traditional soap, you can sprinkle wood ash and water on your dirty dishes. Rub the ash onto your dirty plates, pots, pans, and forks to remove pieces of leftover food and grease.
20. Go Away, Mice!
Do you have a mice infestation? Pesky rodents are a challenge to remove. However, mice and roaches both hate wood ash. If you sprinkle a small amount in an area they frequent, they quickly move onto greener (less ashy) pastures leaving you pest-free!
21. Chicken Supplement
Have you heard about giving your chickens back the shells of their eggs to eat or providing oyster shells for an extra boost of calcium? Well, wood ash serves this purpose and won’t cost you a thing! High in calcium and potassium, wood ash makes an excellent supplement for helping your chickens stay healthy. Remember to remove any wood ash from bowls that could fill with water to avoid making lye.
Interested in trying out some of these incredible uses for wood ash, but maybe you’re lacking in the ash-producing department? We have you covered! Check out some of our quality fire pits! Are you not finding the perfect design for you? Contact us about a custom fire pit design today! Fire pits are a perfect tool to create ambiance and a taste of the outdoors in your own backyard, and the ash they produce provides a variety of uses!