By this time in the year, you’ve likely collected quite a bit of fireplace ash. The average family burns 2+ cords of firewood each burn season, and this creates bucketloads of ashes to deal with throughout the year. You may have been using your ashes this winter to sprinkle along icy walkways, but don’t throw it out now! There are lots of uses for your fireplace ashes this spring.
You can use ashes to keep slugs from entering your home, flowerbeds, and affecting potted plants. You can sprinkle ashes in areas where you see their slimy “trails” on your floor or walls, and sprinkle along the perimeter of your gardens and flowerbeds.
Fireplace ashes are said to make plump and juicy tomatoes when mixed into the soil. Ashes do change the pH in soil, so it’s best to have your soil tested before adding ashes directly into your plant soil. Sprinkling some in between rows can deter slugs and certain insects, however.
Many use kitty litter to clean up spills in the garage or driveway, but kitty litter costs money. Your fireplace ash can absorb spills of oil, gas, and other fluids easily, neutralizing odors and at no extra cost! You can also mix your ashes with a small amount of water to clean metals, shine fixtures, and polish silver. It can also be used to clean bathroom tiles and glass doors and windows.
For Poultry and Pets
Spring can be a stinky time for pets as they begin to roam more when outdoors and other animals are on the move (skunks, for instance). In order to neutralize your pet’s odors without multiple bathing, you can dust a small handful of ashes into the fur. It will improve your doggo’s odor, while also deterring mites. This works for poultry too. Wherever your hens sunbathe and take dust baths, you can sprinkle some ashes onto the dirt, and they’ll do the rest.
Do You Compost?
You can enrich compost by tossing your ashes in with all your other compost to boost potassium levels. This should be done at about every six inches in order to keep the pH level safe for your plants, flowers, and fruits.
If you’re fed up with chemical-filled soaps from the supermarket, you can use this guide from Mother Earth News to make homemade frontier soap from your fireplace ashes. The process can require some practice, but it can be fun for everyone in the family.
No matter what you choose to do with your ashes, make sure you remove and store them safely all winter long. Never let the ashes buildup in the fireplace or appliance deep enough to cover logs and coals. Never remove them without proper tools and never store them inside the house. Ashes should be stored outside of the house in a metal container with a lid.
If you have an ash dump in your fireplace system that hasn’t been emptied in quite some time, call and let the professionals handle it. Schedule an appointment with Mad Hatter today