14 Ways on What to Do With Ashes from Fire Pit? Safety Tips

What to Do With Ashes from Fire Pit

One reason why we advise people to use their fire pits often is because of ashes. You may think that ash is a waste. Well, we are stating categorically that your fire pit ash is one of the most useful substances that we have ever come across.

If you think that ash is waste that should be discarded, take the time to read this piece to the end. We outlined some of the uses of ashes.  For instance, it is a good source of potassium for the soil.

So, people who have a garden should spread it across their soil. Also, do you know that ash absorbs odors? When there is a funny smell in your apartment or in your fridge, you should place a bowl of ash somewhere.

But don’t cover it. You will notice a drastic reduction in the odor within 10 minutes. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Let’s dive into the heart of the issue right away.

Numerous Uses of Fire Pit Ashes:

1. Use it to Melt Ice

One challenge that motorists face during winter is icy roads. When there’s ice on the road, it will be difficult for cars to have good traction. The good news is that you can actually do something about it.

Pouring some ash on the icy road will not only improve your car’s traction, but it will also facilitate the melting of the ice. We bet you never heard that before.  Sounds incredible? There’s only one way to prove us wrong – try it.

2. It Cleans off Stains

If you have a stubborn stain on your driveway, you don’t need to purchase any expensive cleaning product. The ashes from your fire pit will do the magic.

Just pour some on the stain. Make sure it covers the stain completely.  Leave it for at least 2 hours before sweeping it away. By the time you sweep it away, the stain will be gone.

3. Use it to keep Slugs and Snails at Bay

This is another benefit of ash on gardening. In case you don’t know, ash is a desiccant. This means that it drains out water from whatever it comes in contact with. Snails and slugs are slimy and always have liquid around them.

Ash is poisonous to them. So, you can spread ash around your gardening.  Slugs and snails will never cross it. This will make your veggies and other crops safe from pests.

4. You can use it as a Mild Abrasive

Ash is a mild abrasive. So, it can be used to polish silver and other types of metals. Mix it with water and soap to form some kind of paste, and you can use it to polish your cookware and cutlery sets.

You can also use the ash paste to remove soot from your fireplace door.  If the headlights of your car have been dimmed by road dust and fumes from other cars, you can make them brighter with ash paste. Apply it the same way, and your headlights will be brighter.

5. Rub it on Your Pet

If your pet falls into a smelly ditch and he stinks badly, quickly rub ash all over him. The smell will reduce drastically and rapidly.  After that, you may now find a way to wash him properly.

6. It works as a Natural Bleach

The solution of ash and water is called lye. It has the ability to bleach off the dirt from clothes, although mildly.  You can add a little ash to soak any dress you intend to bleach and see how it works.

7. Ash is a Dehumidifier

As explained earlier, ash pulls water. It has a natural affinity for water. So when you place it in a humid room, it will pull the water in the air and eliminate humidity.

8. Chase ants Away with Ash

If ants take over any part of your lawn, don’t fret. Sprinkle ash on the infested areas and they will either die or relocate fast.  And when they do, they’ll never come back to that spot again.

Apart from ants, it also chases roaches away. Just apply it to areas that cockroaches stay. The ones that are able to escape will be looking for a way out of your apartment completely.

9. It Extinguishes Small Fires

This may sound impossible, but it is true.  Just like sand, you can use ash to kill a small fire. Pour a bucket of ash on the fire, and it will go out immediately.

10. Treatment of Flea

Are you suspecting that your dog or cat has fleas on his body? Here is a very fast solution. Rub ash on the body and leave it for up to 24 hours. You can then wash it off. The fleas would all be dead, if any.

11. Feed Your Chickens with Ash

When you mix your chickens’ supplements with a small quantity of ash, the chickens will lay eggs sooner, and the smell of their droppings will reduce.

This is because ash is rich in both calcium and potassium.  Another way to use it for your poultry is to add it to their dust bath.  It will chase fleas and other insects away from your chickens.

12. It balances the PH of Your Soil

Remember that ash is alkaline in nature. So, if your soil is acidic, you can pour some ash to it and till the soil. This will help to balance the pH of your soil.

13. Repel Household Pests with it

Even household pests, like rats and mice, find ashes offensive. To keep them off your home, you may need to sprinkle some ashes in the corners of your pantry, basement, garage, and attic. They will stay away from those places.

14. Kill the Smell from Your Fridge with it

If your fridge has begun to give off some funny smell, place a small bowl of uncovered ash in the fridge. It will absorb the smell from your fridge. Ensure you change the ash every day.

Now that we have outlined the uses of asheslet’s talk about something else.  Another hot topic related to fire pit ashes is the safe disposal of ashes. We have been asked questions bordering on the safe disposal of fire pit ashes numerous times. So, we have decided to explain the steps here.

How to Dispose of Ashes from Fire Pit Safely?

Before giving you the steps involved in the safe disposal of wood ashes, we must give you the three safety rules first. You must follow the rules.

1. Wait for 24 Hours

It will take up to 24 hours for the ash to cool fully. Even if the ash at the top is cool, the one beneath may still be hot. So, you must wait for at least 24 hours before you think of disposing of the ash from your fire pit.

2. Use a Shovel

Waiting for 24 hours does not guarantee that the ash will be cool by then. A part of the ash may still be hot. That is why it is not advisable to use your hands to scoop the ash. You need to use a shovel.

3. Place it in a metal bucket

Because it may still be hot, you should never scoop the ash into a plastic bucket.  This could lead to another fire because plastic is combustible. Instead, you should place it in a metal bucket. That is a safer option.

3 Steps Involved in the Safe Disposal of Ashes from Your Fire Pit:

1. Wait for at Least 24 Hours

Even if the ashes look cool, it may still be warm and capable of starting a fire. So, it is advisable that you wait for at least 24 hours when the ash would have cooled off completely.

You can then stir it with a shovel in the preparation to scoop it. Waiting for 24 hours is not an option. It is a safety rule that you must follow.

2. Try to Inspect the Ash

After 24 hours, what is next is to inspect the ashes to be sure that it is cool inside-out. Don’t touch it with your hand as its inner part may still be hot.

Use either a metal poker or a shovel to spread the ashes. If it is still hot, some smoke will come out as you stir the ashes.

3. You can then Scoop it

If you are able to confirm that the ash is cool, you can then scoop it into a metal bucket.  As explained earlier, never scoop it inside a plastic bucket. A fire could be ignited because plastic is combustible. And don’t overfill the metal bucket.

After scooping it into a bucket, the next step depends on your intentions. You have three options at this juncture. You can discard it along with your garbage if you think you don’t need it.

The second option is to sprinkle it on your soil and till the soil. The third option is to leave it in the bucket until when you decide what to do with it.

Are Fire Pit Ashes Good for Your Garden?

The simple answer to the question is yes, with but. Yes, fire pit ash is good for your garden for several reasons. First of all, ash is a good source of potassium in the soil.

So, when you add your ashes to your soil, the soil will be rich in potassium.  Also, ash also contains a lot of calcium, which is also beneficial to the healthy growth of your crops.

However, you should not add ashes to your soil in large quantities. When water mixes with ash, it will turn to salt and lye, which can burn your plant. So, you should apply the ash in small quantities or compost the ash. This will allow the lye and salt to be leached away.

How to Use Fire Pit Ashes in Your Garden?

1. Sprinkle Some Ash on Your Lawn

The first way to use ashes is to sprinkle it on your lawn. This will facilitate the healthy growth of your grass and clover.

2. Apply it to Your Tomatoes

You can sprinkle some of your ashes around your tomatoes, but it will be more beneficial when you make a teabag for your tomatoes. Pour 5 pounds of ashes inside a permeable cloth.

Dip the cloth inside a garbage can, filled with water.  Leave it there for four days before you pull out the ashes. You can apply the tea to your tomatoes. This will make the tomatoes grow healthy.

3. Use it to Balance Acidic Soil

Remember that ash is alkaline in nature. So, if your soil is acidic, you can pour some ash to it and till the soil. This will help to balance the pH of your soil.

However, you must be sure that the soil is acidic before you add wood ash. If it is already alkaline, adding ash will make it even more alkaline, and this will kill your crops.

4. Use it to keep Slugs and Snails at Bay

This is another benefit of ash on gardening. In case you don’t know, ash is a desiccant. This means that it drains out water from whatever it comes in contact with. Snails and slugs are slimy and always have liquid around them.

Ash is poisonous to them. So, you can spread ash around your gardening.  Slugs and snails will never cross it. This will make your veggies and other crops safe from pests.

Fire Pit Safety Tips:

1. Clean your fire pit regularly

Any other object apart from wood will hinder the smooth burning of your fire pit. This is why you need to clean it regularly. You should clean off the ashes and soot after every use. It does not have to be immediately after.

Wait for 24 hours before you start cleaning. Clean the fire pit and its surroundings.  Ensure there is no object around the pit. A flying ember could ignite another fire if it lands on a dry leaf. This is why there should be no object near your pit.

2. Coat the stones

To make your fire pit last longer, you may coat its stones with a heat-resistant sealant.  Constant exposure to heat will eventually take its toll on the walls/material of your fire pit. So, you can extend its lifespan with the sealant.

3.  Never use plastic as fuel

People tend to use any combustible material as fuel for their fire pit. One common item is plastic because it is very combustible.  Here is the problem. Plastic burns very fast, and when it is done burning, the fire goes off.

Secondly, the residue of burnt plastic is very difficult to scoop out. It does not turn to ash. In addition, most plastics are made of chemicals, so in addition to increasing the smoke, burning plastic gives off some chemicals into the air, and that may be dangerous to your health and the health of your family members.

For these reasons, we’ll advise you to also stop using accelerates. They’ll do you and your fire pit more harm than good.

Any material apart from wood is not advisable to burn in your fire pit. Also, avoid wet wood. It takes time to burn, and it causes a lot of smoke. Most importantly, it is hard to control.

4. Don’t Douse your Fire Pit with Water all the time

We really don’t advise you to extinguish your fire pit with water.  The sudden change in temperature of the fire pit will destroy the material it is made of gradually. At the same time, we understand that you may not have the time to allow it to cool on its own every time.

That’s why we are saying that you may douse it with water occasionally. Don’t do it all the time. Here is a helpful tip. When it is about an hour to the time that you want to extinguish the fire, stop feeding it with more wood.

About 30 minutes to the time, you may use your shovel to scoop out some chunks of wood for later use. When you reduce the amount of wood in the fire, you’ll weaken the fire considerably. This will facilitate its going off spontaneously.

5. Always Put out the Fire

Just because you can’t wait for the fire to go out, don’t leave it on. Things can quickly get out of hand. Remember Murphy’s Law. What can go wrong will go wrong.  You may even be found guilty of negligence if it is found out that you left your fire to burn on its own.

6. Get a Screen or a Spark Guard

Another danger associated with using a fire pit is flying ember.  Depending on the size of the fire, some of them can fly over a distance of 20 feet and still ignite a fire wherever they land if the surface is combustible.

The wind can even take them further. That’s why we will advise you to cover your fire pit with a screen or a spark guard.

Final Word

Now that you have seen the numerous uses of ashes, do you still think it is a waste? When next you scoop out ashes from your wood-burning fire pit, put it to some of the uses listed above, at least to confirm or negate this report. Most importantly, follow all the safety tips given in this write-up.

June Brandt
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