Having a nice fire pit in your backyard is truly a great thing. You love sitting around the fire with friends and family members as often as you can.
It’s a good way to bond with those who you care about the most. Also, it’s nice to be able to use it for warmth when hanging out in the yard on a chilly night.
Your fire pit is going to leave ashes behind, though. You might be producing so many ashes that you’ll want to do something with them.
Instead of discarding the ashes, it would be a good idea to utilize them in beneficial ways. Read on to learn about good uses for ashes from the fire pit.
1 – You Can Amend Your Soil
Sometimes it’s a good idea to amend your soil. It’s possible that the pH balance of your lawn isn’t in the right range.
If you need to alter the pH balance, then the ashes from the fire pit will certainly come in handy. Before doing this, you’ll want to test the pH balance of the soil to see where things are at.
Generally, your goal should be to get the pH balance of the soil between 6.0 and 7.0. However, you might also need to have the number lower or higher depending on if you’re trying to help certain plants grow.
Various plants thrive at different pH balances. So whether you’ll want the soil to be alkaline or acidic will largely depend on what plants you’re growing in your garden.
When your garden or lawn has become too acidic, you’ll be able to amend the soil to fix things. It’s not hard to do, and it allows you to get rid of some of the ashes that you have sitting around.
2 – Ashes Can Be Added to Compost Bins
Perhaps you have a compost bin that you like to use. Composting is a great way to get rid of organic trash that is environmentally friendly.
You can use the compost to fertilize your flowers and other plants. The ashes that you’re trying to use up can easily be added to the compost bins.
Sprinkling just a bit of the ashes onto the compost pile will add nutrients to the mix. It’ll make the compost that much better for your plants.
Some people choose to make their own compost tea for the purpose of helping plants. This involves soaking the ashes in water for approximately five days.
After the five days have passed, you can add the ashes to the soil as necessary. This could be a very good fertilizing method that will keep you from spending too much money.
3 – You Can Use Ashes for Cleaning
You might not know this, but you can actually use ashes for cleaning. It isn’t necessary to spend a lot of money on cleaning products when you’re looking to clean glass or metal surfaces if you have ashes that you can use.
Mixing wood ashes with a bit of water will allow you to form a paste. This can be used as a somewhat abrasive cleaner that can clean glass that has become dirty.
It’s also going to be useful for buffing up metals that have been tarnished. You can even use it to remove troublesome adhesives that have become stuck to surfaces.
To use this wood ash cleaning paste, you’ll need to apply it to a cotton cloth. Wear work gloves to keep your skin safe and then scrub the area that you wish to clean.
It might be wise to test the wood ash cleaner on a small area to see how well it works. Once you see that it’s working, you can start using it on a larger area.
4 – Bug Repellent
No one wants to have to deal with pesky bugs outside. There are some bugs that are just too annoying, such as ants, slugs, and snails.
Wood ashes are very good when it comes to repelling these bugs. You can sprinkle wood ashes near plants that might be having problems with specific bugs.
If you’re trying to keep ants off of your patio, then making a wood ash ring around the patio might help a lot. Granted, this is a temporary solution since the ashes will wash away when it rains.
Regardless, this is a handy tip that can help you out. It makes issues with snails, ants, and slugs less problematic in your yard.
5 – Create Homemade Soap
Creating homemade soap using wood ashes will be a very creative thing to do. A long time ago, people used to make soap on homesteads using wood ashes.
You can combine wood ashes with water to make lye. This is an important ingredient for making soap.
Of course, you’ll need to burn hardwoods to be able to make lye. Lye can be produced by potassium-rich woods such as beech, hickory, and ash.
Making your own soap can be a very interesting project. It will take some effort to get what you need, but it’s very satisfying to know that you’re capable of making your own soap products this way.
6 – Smothering Fires
It’s actually good to have a bucket of ashes that you can use near your fire pit. This is because wood ashes are great for putting out fires.
If a fire happens to spread, then you can hurry and try to smother it using wood ashes. Ashes are excellent because they can form an airtight barrier that will extinguish the flames.
Being able to keep at least some wood ashes nearby to use in case of an emergency will be sensible. There might be times when you’ll need to put out a fire quickly.
This can be used when you don’t have a fire extinguisher handy. It’s also good in areas where you won’t have access to sand or soil to try to smother flames.
7 – Soaking up Oil Stains
Sometimes when you’re changing the oil in your car, accidents will occur. Most people who change their own oil have accidentally spilled some of the oil on the driveway at some point.
Oil stains are the worst, but you can soak them up if you have wood ashes that you can use. Wood ashes are great at absorbing the spilled oil.
Once the ashes have absorbed the oil, you’ll simply be able to sweep the driveway and everything will be just fine. It’s a handy trick that will keep your driveway from becoming a stained mess due to your error.
As you can tell, it’s handy to keep some wood ashes around for such purposes. If you regularly change your own oil, then this trick will be useful to you for when accidents occur.
8 – Wood Ashes Can Help with Slippery Walkways
Do you have slippery walkways? You could try to use wood ashes to help give you better traction.
This is a good trick for when it’s snowy or rainy. Providing a bit of extra traction might keep you from slipping and falling.
Another idea is to use the ashes to provide emergency traction when necessary. For example, you might need some traction if your car gets stuck in the mud or snow.
Dumping some wood ashes under the tires will be one way to get the car unstuck. Some even choose to keep wood ashes in their cars in some type of metal container for just such an emergency.
Being able to get out of a tight spot such as this will be helpful. Wood ashes are good at providing you with the necessary traction to get back on the road.
Whether you use the ashes to help your car or to ensure that you have decent footing, it’s a solid way to utilize them. Instead of throwing the ashes out, you can easily use them to help out.
Ashes Are Very Useful
After reading the information above, you’ll have an easier time understanding the usefulness of wood ashes. You create wood ashes all the time by using your fire pit, but the ashes don’t need to be discarded.
Instead, you can use the ashes for various purposes. It might be a good idea to test the soil in your yard to see if it needs to be amended.
Amending the soil using ashes will not be difficult at all. It’s a great way to keep the pH balance of your garden or lawn right where it needs to be.
You could choose to get creative with the wood ashes as well. Making your own soap using the ashes could be a very fun little project.
Wood ashes can be kept around for safety reasons as well. You can use them to smother fires, and they can also help to provide traction on slippery walkways.
Repelling bugs such as ants, slugs, and snails will be possible when you have wood ashes. You can use this to protect plants or you can simply try to keep the bugs away from your patio.
Put some wood ashes in your compost to make the compost more nutrient-rich. Or you can make your own special cleaner by combining wood ashes and water to make a cleaning paste.
Now that you know how useful wood ashes can be, you’ll probably put some effort into utilizing the ashes. Let your friends know what you learned so that they can start benefiting from wood ashes as well.
Ben has a bachelor’s degree in construction engineering. When not constructing or remodeling X-Ray Rooms, Cardiovascular Labs, and Pharmacies, you can find him at home with wife and two daughters. Outside of family, He loves grilling and barbequing on his Big Green Egg and Blackstone Griddle, as well as working on projects around the house.
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