Last Updated on March 29, 2022 by woodcutter
Does it really matter how you dispose of your fireplace ashes ? Perhaps, many of you have been disposing of your fireplace ashes carelessly. If that is the case, then you should start proper ash disposal to ensure environment safety.
Fireplace ashes, if not disposed of properly, can be a hazard. This by-product of wood can set a valuable property on fire and pose a risk of carbon monoxide. It can also lead to burns and various other problems if it is not disposed of properly. It is important, therefore, to dispose of your fireplace ashes properly.
Disposal of Ashes: what to know?
The first thing you may want to know is how often you will need to clean out your fireplace. It is important to clean out the fireplace regularly, but not after every fire that you make.
The other thing you may need to know is whether or not you should remove all the ashes in your fireplace when cleaning it out. You should leave some ashes at the bottom of your fireplace (about an inch or two is okay ) to help insulate your fire. And this will help you have better fires that burn well, rather than fires that will demand your attention to keep them lit.
Steps and precautions to take when disposing of fireplace ashes
There are several steps and safety precautions you need to take when you dispose of fireplace ashes, and these include:
Allow the wood and ashes to cool completely in the fireplace.
Before you clean out your fireplace to dispose of ashes, make sure your fire is dead, and the ashes are now cool. Ashes may appear like they are not warm, while they are. You, therefore, need to make sure that they are completely cool.
It is important to leave ashes for some days so that they cool off. The recommended time to leave your ashes to cool off is 24 hours or more.
Many factors determine when fireplace ashes will cool down. These factors include the degree of hotness of the fire, what was burning, availability of unburnt fuel, and many others.
Wear gloves to protect yourself from hot embers
It is important to wear long gloves when you are cleaning out your fireplace. And this ensures your safety while handling the ashes. Remember, it can seem like your ashes have completely cooled off, while there may be hot embers in them. You, therefore, need to be careful when cleaning your fireplace.
Use a metal shovel and bucket to remove ashes from the fireplace.
When you dispose of firewood ashes, you must use a metallic shovel to remove ashes from the fireplace into a metallic bucket. Make sure your metal bucket is close by the fireplace to avoid spilling the ashes on the floor and causing a mess when you transfer ashes from your shovel to your metallic bucket. You can also consider wetting the collected ashes using a water bottle or sprayer. This decreases the chances of your ashes, starting an unwanted fire.
Note: you should use a metallic shovel and bucket because metals, unlike other materials like wood, are incombustible.
Take ashes out of the house.
After loading ashes into the metallic bucket, make sure you immediately take them out of the house to ensure safety.
Keep the bucket loaded with ashes far from combustible materials.
When out of the house, place the bucket of ashes far from combustible materials. You can wet the ashes using water instead to make sure there are no warm ashes that have the potential of starting a fire. It is also essential to put the bucket of ashes on top of surfaces that are incombustible. You should also ensure that the metallic bucket loaded with ashes is sealed with a metal lid.
Make sure you dispose of your ashes where it is safe. For example, you can dispose of ashes in snow or moist areas. Avoid areas with weeds, grass, or anything that can easily catch fire.
Add water to ashes to cool them off.
You can dispose of the fireplace ashes along with your garbage. However, make sure you have added water to the ashes to ensure they won’t start a fire. You would not want to set a garbage truck on fire by throwing warm ashes that have the potential to start a fire.
You can add water to your ashes before garbage collection to ensure the ashes do not pose any risk of starting an unwanted fire.
Don’ts of fireplace ashes disposal
- Do not put ashes in plastic carts as warm ashes can melt them.
- Do not use combustible materials like paper bags, plastic buckets, cardboard boxes to store ashes. Warm ashes can quickly melt plastics, and hot embers can ignite cardboard boxes.
- Do not throw away ashes near long grass or where there are weeds.
- Do not store ashes in areas like garages.
- Do not flush fireplace ashes down your sink or toilet, no matter how convenient it seems. Ashes in your sink or toilet can block pipes and also harm the environment.
What do you do with wood ashes from a fireplace?
Although improperly disposed of firewood ashes cause many problems, we can not ignore the many benefits and uses of ashes. Below are the many ways that you can use and recycle firewood ashes.
1. Is fireplace ash good for gardens?
Yes, As many gardeners love ashes because of their contribution to the garden. Rather than throwing ashes away, you can spread them in the garden or add them to your compost. Wood ash contains nutrients like calcium, phosphorus, and boron, which are good for your plants. Ashes are natural and do not contain harsh chemicals, so they are a great way of enriching your garden soil.
● Composting ashes – how is it done?
Composting ashes can be a great way of using ashes. The question, however, is how to compost wood ashes. It is easy. All you need to do is soak the fireplace ashes in water. After that, grab your compostable bag (you want a certified compostable bag for better results) and tie it up. After that, you can put the bag in a cart. You would have composted ashes.
If you already had a compost, you can add ashes to your compost. The ashes will break down with other materials in your compost, and you will like the results.
Please Note: When you use ashes in your garden, make sure the ashes have cooled off completely. No matter how cool fireplace ashes may seem, you ought to treat them as hot. And this ensures safety. When using ashes in the garden, make sure your garden is far from structures that can catch fire.
2. Are ashes good for soil?
If you know that your soil is acidic and your plants do not favor acidic soil, you can add ashes on top of your garden to neutralize your soil.
Note: To use ashes in your garden, make sure you do not use ashes from painted wood.
It is essential for safety to make sure that your garden is a distance from any structures that can catch fire.
If you want to use ashes in your garden but don’t know if your soil is acidic or alkaline, then you ought to do some research before you begin adding ashes to your garden beds. You ought to know the kind of plants you have and whether they favor alkaline or acidic soil.
3. Use ashes to repel garden pests
Pests can be a nuisance in your garden. They harm your plants and can make your gardening efforts go in vain. You would probably want to get rid of garden pests. Ashes are a good way to chase away the uninvited guests from your garden.
Because of their alkalinity, ashes can repel slugs and snails. All you need to do is add a handful of ashes to the base of the affected plant. You won’t see any pests in your garden in no time.
4. Use ashes to melt ice on sidewalks and walkways
During the winter, ice on your sidewalks and walkways can be frustrating. However, the good news is that ashes can help you tackle the ice challenge. All you need to do to melt ice is to sprinkle ash on the ice, and it will melt.
Using ash to melt ice comes with many advantages, including that it is not harmful to pets and children than chemical ice melts.
To Sum Up
If ashes are not disposed of properly, unwanted fires can result, which can destroy garbage collection trucks and other valuable property. Furthermore, improperly disposed of ashes pose a risk of burns and carbon monoxide emission, which pollutes the air and causes the destruction of the ozone layer. It is important to dispose of fireplace ashes properly. It saves lives and is good for the environment. By taking advantage of the many ways to use up and recycle firewood ashes, you can ensure safety.