10 Uses for Wood Ash When Your Campfire is Finished!

Do you know what my all time favorite thing about fall is?  Outdoor fires in our fire pit.  Not only is it a great way to get rid of some of our yard trimmings, it’s a wonderful excuse to pour a glass of wine and just enjoy the crisp, fall air.   After you roast marshmallows and toss acorns into the fire, eventually the wood burns up and the campfire dies off.  Ever wonder if there an any uses for wood ash instead of just throwing it away? There are a ton of useful ways to use wood ash once they are cooled off.  Here are just a few things to do with your campfire ashes once the fire burns out!

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10 uses for wood ash once the campfire is over

10 Uses for Wood Ash When Your Campfire is Finished

Use to supplement your compost:  One of the easiest uses for wood ash is to add it into your compost but make sure you don’t add too much.  It is a very alkaline substance and too much will throw off the pH of your garden.  Check out this post about using wood ash in your garden for detailed information about how much to add and when.

Melt Ice:  We get a ton of ice storms in the Atlanta area and this is one of the best uses for wood ash that I came across.  Keep a garbage can full of wood ash (make sure it is COOL first!) and shovel it onto pathways and driveways to help melt ice.

Control Pond Algae:  We have a nice backyard pond but during this time of year it always gets over run with algae.  Use one tablespoon of wood ashes per 1,000 gallons.  This  adds enough potassium to strengthen the other aquatic plants that compete with algae, which slows down its growth.

 10 uses for wood ash once the campfire is over

Repel garden pests:  Sprinkling a little bit of wood ash underneath your garden plants will help repel slugs and other nasty critters than want to take over your garden.

Clean fireplace doors:  Growing up, we had an indoor fireplace and my dad would take a damp paper towel, dip it into the ashes, and then scrub the inside of the glass fireplace doors with them.  It always got them super clean!

Make soap:  Soaking ashes in water will create lye which can be used to make homemade soap.  Check out this post about how to make soap from ashes for full details.

Shine your silver:  Make a paste with ashes and a small amount of water.  Scrub this paste onto your silverware for a nice shine.

Neutralize skunk smell: If you dog encounters a skunk and the results are incredibly stinky, you can get rid of the smell using wood ashes.  Just mix the ashes with some water and rub onto your pet. Makes sure you rinse thoroughly!

10 uses for wood ash once the campfire is over

Keep a bucket in the car:  If you live in an area prone to ice and snow, keep a bucket of ashes in your trunk.  If you get stuck, sprinkle it liberally under and around your tires to help get you free from a slippery area.

Unclog your drain:  This was one of the most interesting uses for wood ash that I came across.  Before traditional drain clearing chemicals were made, people used lye to clear their drains.  Since ashes plus water makes lye, wood ashes can be useful to unclog stuffed up pipes.  Check out this post about how to use wood ashes to unclog a drain for full details.

Remember, there are a ton of wood ash uses around your house and in your yard.  Just let the ashes cool completely and store them in a large metal trash can so you have them whenever you need them.

Now, lets go poor a glass of wine and enjoy a campfire!

Have any other uses for wood ash you want to share?


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About Diane

Diane has a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology with a Minor in Health Management and Policy. She spent many years working in cancer research, academics, and biotechnology. Concern over the growing incidence of human disease and the birth of her children led her to begin living a more natural life. She quickly realized that the information she was learning along the way could be beneficial to many others and started blogging as a way to share this knowledge with others. While passionate about health and the environment she can't quite give up her favorite Cheetos and Diet Coke!

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