Barbecues and restless evenings are what mainly trigger homeowners to get outdoor firepits. Fire pits grace patios with warmness and ample light for cold nights and harsh winters. While fueling the fire pits with wood is all you have to do to get its benefits, the residue can be useful too.
Most people collect the leftover burnt wood and ash and dispose of it. Should you dispose of wood fire pit ash? Is there a way to properly collect and use the fire pit ash? Should you consider the type of wood before using the ash? And how useful can ash prove to be in your home? These are some common questions that patio fire pit owners ask themselves to ensure they capitalize on an unknown asset.
So how much do you know about outdoor fire pit ash?
How to Collect and Store Wood Fire Pit Ash
Before addressing the several beneficial ways of using fire pit ash, it is essential to consider the best approach to gathering and storing wood fire pit ash. There are several tips and tricks to efficiently collect this functional "powder" and keep it before use.
It’s best to wait a whole day after extinguishing the fire to safely handle the outdoor fire pit ash. This depends entirely on the size and temperature of the fire you lit in your outdoor space. While some fires won't last long, some embers can smolder for several days.
Once your fire pit ashes are safe, you can begin the collection process. You would want to use a shovel or scoop and transfer them into a metal container. Beware of any burning coal just in case there’s any present, and set them aside. You can also use a fire ash bucket with all the necessary tools and a handy lid to contain the fire pit ash.
You should avoid placing ashes on a wooden, cardboard, or plastic container as any presence of an ember can ignite or melt these materials. Like any other product, you can store your ash in your garage or safely in the outdoor space to avoid spillage and keep it out of reach of children.
So, with these factors straight up, how can you use patio fire pit ash?
Uses of Patio Fire Pit Ash
Many people would throw away or leave the ash in the firepit. This is ideal because it seems useless, and the general idea of it being waste sinks deep. However, countermeasures have proven reliable, with recycling becoming a big deal globally. Traditionally, wood ash was used for cosmetic purposes, pottery, and food preservation.
However, evolution slowly eradicated these ideas, and ash didn't seem useful anymore. Proper knowledge and techniques can help homeowners use ash properly to benefit them in several ways. Some uses of wood fire pit ash include;
1.Boosting Your Lawn by Amending Soil
Wood ash contains several beneficial nutrients, including phosphorus, salts, and potassium. However, wood ash is alkaline so testing your soil’s PH is essential before mixing it up with ash. This is crucial as the results determine whether you’re enriching the soil or endangering your plants. Soil test kits are available online for the testing process to make sure that it’s the right move for you. You should also consider the amount of ash you use and the process should involve even spreading and mixing the soil with ash for equal distribution all over your garden.
2.Cleaning Metal and Glass
Ash can be used as a cleaning agent. A proportionate mixture of wood ash and water to form a paste can be a cost-effective way to clean metal and glassware. You can use this mild abrasive to clean dirty glass, remove sticky residue and adhesives, and buff tarnished metals. The cleaning process involves applying the paste on the affected part and gently cleaning it off with a clean cloth. Before proceeding, you should experiment with a small section to see how effective it is.
3.Deter Garden Pests and Ants
Wood ash is a perfect solution to keep away from unlikely visitors in your home. Wood ash has been widely used to deter snails and slugs, and repel ants. This will keep your garden free from unwanted visitors, ensuring that your plants are in perfect condition and free from pests. You can sprinkle a fair amount of wood fire pit ash around the susceptible plants. Be careful to reapply when the wind blows or it rains to wash it off.
4.Soak Up Driveway Spills
If you accidentally spill a stainable substance or changing your car’s engine oil gets messy, wood ash can come in handy. Patio fire pit ash can absorb the spill and avoid staining. The ash's color will be masked with the driveways' dark asphalt. You can quickly sweep the spill once the ash's absorbing properties work perfectly.
5.Instrumental for Home Compost
An exciting part of gardening is owning a home compost pile. Homeowners often pack this pile with kitchen waste and other components; wood ash can be a vital inclusion. Wood ash is alkaline, and its nutrients can contribute to the general nutrient composition of the pile. A small amount on each layer will be enough.
6.Making Soap at Home
A mixture of wood ash and water was the homestead’s first ever invented soap. This combination forms lye which is an essential component of soap. You should ideally use ash from burned hardwood as it has the right amount of potassium to make lye. A careful procedure can make home soap, but you need the proper steps, subsequent ingredients, and protective gear to avoid burning.
7.Adding Traction to Slippery Walkways
Wood ash can act as gravel on snow-covered streets on slippery walkways. It can provide traction underfoot. Whenever it’s that season, or you happen to be walking through a slippery walkway, wood ash can help you out. All you need to do is set aside an amount in a closed metal container and store it in your truck or car for emergencies. Be sure not to track the ash to your house as you walk in.
Have you tried the wood ash hack to put out fires during camping events? When soil, sand, or fire extinguishers aren't accessible, you can use wood ash to control or blast the fire. You can smother a fire by shifting wood ash over hot coal on a campsite. While at it, you should check for any embers. If you don't put out the fire effectively, it can reignite.
9.Dust Bath for Chicken
Did you know that chicken enjoy dust baths? You can help facilitate this healthy, hygienic habit by supplementing the dust bath area with wood ash. You can sprinkle a bucket of wood ash around the spot but avoid water contact or don't pour the wood ash if there is a sign for rain. Wood ash benefits your birdies by preventing pests like mites from chickens.
Other methods to utilize this vital substance include;
- To melt ice
- To get rid of bad smell
- To clean headlights
- To slow the growth of algae
- To absorb excess water in a room
- For antibacterial properties
- To eliminate hair dye from the skin
- To remove unwanted hair
- To shield plants from frost damage
- To eliminate ticks, lice, and fleas.
You don't have to dispose of your outdoor fire pit ash since it can be used in multiple ways. Depending on your preference and your needs, wood ash can be instrumental in different ways. It can take care of your garden by improving soil quality and keeping pests away. It is also a cost-effective way to clean your metal and glassware efficiently.
Where would you get wood ash to enjoy all these benefits? Reach out to COSIEST for the best outdoor fire pit installations.