If you burn wood for heat in the winter, you’re likely to end up with quite a bit of wood ash. Anytime you burn wood, it creates ash, and if you use a stove, insert, or fireplace, it collects quickly in a small space. If you don’t empty your firebox regularly, your ashes can build up, take over, and affect your fire.

Are you at a loss for what to do with all that ash? Don’t worry — we have a few ideas.

  • Store ashes for your spring garden.
    You can use your ashes for your vegetable garden, herb garden, and even your flower garden. No matter what soil type you have, there is a use for your ashes. Have your soil tested, and if necessary, your wood ash can be used to bring up the pH level for the best growth possible. If the soil is already perfect, you can use the ashes to deter slugs and bugs. Just sprinkle it along the outside edges of your garden periodically.
  • Store ashes for spring cleaning.
    Your ashes may be better for cleaning than most store-bought products. It is all natural, organic, and readily available! To clean surfaces such as ovens and stoves, add the ashes to a cloth with some water and scrub away — it has the perfect amount of abrasiveness to get the tough stuff off. Use less water if you want to polish silver, doorknobs, chrome, and more. You can also use ashes to clean the stains from the bottom of pots and pans!
  • Store ashes for stinky pets.
    Spring is when critters are mating and nesting. Your pets may stumble upon skunks or trample through some other nasty odors — bringing them right back to you in the process. Simply dust some ashes into your furry friend’s coat to deodorize the odors almost immediately.
  • Store ashes for clean-ups.
    Keep ashes in your garage to toss over an oil spill quickly, then just sweep it up later. Keeping it on hand will also make it easy to throw onto slick walkways during wet or icy weather.

How to Remove the Ashes

First, you need the right tools to remove ashes without getting burned or inhaling harmful chemicals. You can find accessories at a local home improvement store, including a long-handled shovel, brush, and fire poker. Use the shovel to carefully scoop ashes into a metal bucket with a handle so you can safely carry it outside once full. Many homeowners store ashes in a container such as a metal trashcan with a lid. This prevents the ashes from flying out and also keeps it dry.

When to Remove Ashes

You should remove ashes from the firebox before they cover your coals. Letting the ashes reach higher than this can overcrowd your fire, cause a fire hazard, and make it difficult for coals to stay lit. You may find that your fireplace has an ash dump. In this case, you can simple scoop or brush the ashes into the opening at the back of your firebox, and leave it to the professionals to clean them out. If you need help with cleaning an ash dump, or cleaning the ashes, soot, and creosote from your chimney system, you can schedule a chimney sweep with Pristine Sweeps today. Routine sweeps and annual inspections keep your chimney system working safely and efficiently.

Schedule your services with Pristine Sweeps today by calling 206-574-8414 or scheduling online.