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What to do with your fireplace ashes

Have you been saving your fireplace ashes all winter? Will your summer fires from the fire pit generate even more ashes? What could you do with all of these ashes from your fireplace and fire pit, you might ask? Most people throw them away, but there are so many useful way to put your old ashed to work around the house. Let’s walk through some ways we could use the ashes at your house.

Enrich your compost & keep pests away

If you’re a gardener, you can add ashes as nutrients for your plants. Ashes are rich in potassium, which is great for your flowering plants and fruits. They can also be added directly to the soil to bring pH levels in line for alkaline-loving plants. However, you should be super careful to keep ashes away from plants that prefer an acidic soil.

Don’t add more than six inches of ashes in your compost pile, as it could make the compost too basic for many plants. Because of their rough texture, ashes are perfect for keeping slimy garden pests such as slugs and snails away from your plants. All you have to do is sprinkle a ring of ashes around your plants to keep pests away.

Feed your lawn & fight algae growth

If you’re not a gardener, your ashes can still be useful for enriching your lawn! The nutrients from the ashes are very beneficial to your lawn. First, sprinkle ashes across your lawn, and then water your lawn to keep it from blowing away, which gives time for the ashes to permeate the soil completely. This simple and useful method will help nourish you lawn and provide luscious grass without spending too much money!

If you have a water feature in your yard, ashes can also help to keep algae at bay – thanks to its high calcium content! One tablespoon of ashes per 1,000 gallons of water encourages the growth of aquatic plants while fighting the growth of algae. When your desirable pond plants are healthy, they can keep algae from taking over your pond.

Clean sidewalk stains & other dull surfaces

Do you have unsightly stains on your sidewalks or driveways? Your ashes can actually help to clear up those stains! Sprinkle your ashes onto the unsightly stains and scrub it in. If it’s an oil stain, vigorously rub in the ashes to absorb the oil and then sweep it away.

Ashes make a wonderful all-purpose cleaner! They can be used to polish silver or scrub away stains on glass fireplace doors. You can mix old ashes with water and scrub surfaces with a cloth to revive any surfaces. You can also place bowls of ash in stinky places such as the back of your refrigerator to absorb foul odors, or scrub stinky surfaces with your ash paste to remove odors. If you love do-it-yourself projects, you can even find recipes online for converting your ashes into an all-natural soap!

Call us to learn more

There are so many ways to use your old ashes! You need to save your ashes next time and take advantage of them, rather than throwing them away! You can use them around your home and garden. However, if your indoor or outdoor fireplace or fire pit need attention this spring and summer, don’t hesitate to give Total Chimney Care a call to schedule an appointment today.

By Steve Sobczak on April 30th, 2018 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

Basics of Ash Removal

Do you know what to do with the ashes in your fireplace?

Do you know what to do with the ashes in your fireplace?

For someone who does not like dirt or dust, a fireplace may not seem like an ideal piece for your living room. Many think that when a fireplace has dirt or ashes in the bottom that it needs to be immediately removed, but this may not be the case. Your local chimney professionals can answer these questions and also administer your annual chimney sweep and inspection. Call Total Chimney Care for all of your chimney needs.

Should you leave the ashes or should you remove them?

Many homeowners are shocked to learn that you are supposed to leave a thin layer of ash in the bottom of your fireplace during burning season. The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) suggests this amount be about an inch. This is done to help build and maintain your fire by supplying extra heat. However, you must be very careful in monitoring the ash level because too much can allow pieces to come into contact with the grate, causing it to burn out prematurely.

However, if you have a stove that burns from the front to the back you will need to have the ash in the inside of the door removed. This gives you a spot to move the hot coals from the back to. A small layer of ash will also protect the overall floor of a firebox. At the end of the season you do need to remove all of the ashes. When the acids contained in ash begin to reach parts of the fireplace they can begin to cause rust and deterioration.

How do you remove ash from inside of your firebox?

There are many ways you can remove ash – always using a glove, a fireplace shovel, and a wet/dry vacuum. This process should be done four or more days after the last fire so they are completely cooled down and safe. You should always place the old ash in a metal or clay container and discard far away from your home. You can remove ash and soot from glass parts of the fireplace with an equal part water and vinegar base. Using a spray bottle, cover the area and gently wipe away with a paper towel.


By Steve Sobczak on February 17th, 2014 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , , | Leave a Comment