Spending some quality time around the fire pit, whether it’s alone, with your loved ones, or a bunch of good friends is an extremely underrated activity. There’s something about fire pits that sets the mood for sharing memories and bonding. But today, we’re not going to try and sell out the amazing benefits of actually owning a fire pit. Instead, we are going to focus on something that a lot of people have been asking and wondering about: what to do with fire pit ashes?
Ingenious Uses for Fire Pit Ashes
Most people think of fire pit ashes as dirt and debris that should be thrown away with the first chance they get. But what if we told you there are some other ways that you can put ashes to good use?
Ash that comes from wood is sometimes used to boost the pH of lawn soil. Ash has water-soluble properties, which makes it a better boost when compared to limestone, for example.
Because wood ash contains a series of different nutrients, such as sodium, magnesium, or phosphorus. This can help you grow certain vegetables and flowers, which would make ash beneficial for your garden. You can also add ash to your compost bin in order to add more nutrients to it.
When used correctly, ash can also become an ingredient that helps you clean surfaces made from metal and glass. People mix wooden ashes with water to create a paste that’s slightly abrasive and can clean up a dirty glass or tarnished metal. If you do decide to create your own ash-based paste and use it to clean the surface, you should remember to wear protective gloves to shield your hands.
Back in the day, people would make soap by mixing wood ash and water to make lye, which was an important ingredient in the soap-making process. That’s because the ashes that remain after burning certain types of wood contain good levels of potassium that make them proper for making lye (this includes wood like hickory and beech wood).
Another ingenious use for ash is sprinkling it around plants that are susceptible to attracting ants, snails, or slugs.
By now you’re probably familiar with how salt is sprinkled over slippery surfaces, especially when winter frost makes it impossible to walk out on the street or the driveway without increasing the risk of you falling and hurting yourself. But did you know that ash can be used instead of salt in such a situation?
When you sprinkle ash over a slippery surface, you actually make it so that your feet will get better traction. You will, however, have to be careful with getting ash all over the soles of your shoes and bringing back inside the house.
Clean Up Spills
Wood ash can also be used to soak up spills on your driveway. If you spilled liquids that might leave a stain (such as car oil, for example), you can sprinkle wood ash over that spill to help absorb it.
Last, but not least, you can use ash to create an air-tight barrier that helps put out fires. Of course, you would need a lot of ash to put out a huge fire, but you might just have enough to put out a campfire. If you don’t have a fire extinguisher or something like sand available in your reach, you can use ash for this purpose.
Disposing of Fire Pit Ashes
In the end, some of you might not want to actually do something else with the ashes from the fire pit, which is why you’re probably wondering how to get rid of it in the correct way. Here are the steps that you have to follow (take note that some of them might vary depending on how your fire pit is actually designed):
- If your fire pit has a cover screen, you can remove it once the ashes have gotten a chance to cool down. In some cases, you might have to wait until the very next day. Whatever you do, make sure that you’re not at risk of burning yourself in the process. To make sure that there are no hot embers, use a larger piece of wood or a fireplace poker to move the ashes and remaining pieces of wood around, scouting for any potential “threats”. Also, make sure you have something underneath the fire pit, especially if it’s sitting on the grass, is ideal to ensure no risk of catching your lawn on fire.
- When you’re sure that there’s nothing left in there that could burn you, you can use something like a spade or a shovel to take out the ashes from the fire pit. You will need to place them in a metal container with a lid; otherwise, even the smallest wind breeze can make a huge mess.
- Whenever you throw the ashes away into a trashcan (which should be made of metal, for your own safety), it’s a good idea to pour a little bit of water on top, to make sure that you completely avoid any potential fire hazard.
- The ideal solution would be for you to have a metal trash can that’s used exclusively for fire pit ashes. This way, you can keep adding more ashes on top of old ones until the can is full, while also gradually adding water for safety.
Important note: make sure that when you’re trying to get rid of ashes, you never place them in a box or a container that’s made from a material that could easily catch fire or melt, like cardboard or plastic.
Having to clean out your fire pit can be a really daunting task, and you’re probably glad that you don’t have to do that every day. If you already own a fireplace, then you know how tedious this task can actually be. The good news is that even if you still have to dispose of the ashes inside the fire pit, you can put them to good use with our small guide that was meant to provide cool new ideas on what you can do with wood ash.