How to Store & Utilize Wood Ash

Nothing goes to waste here on the farm. We save our ash from our wood stoves to use as fertilizer. It’s a great source of calcium, potassium, phosphorus, and magnesium for the soil.

How to store and utilize wood ash

How to Safely Remove and Store Hot Ash Until It Is Cool

  • After you let your fire burn down, put on your gloves and use a metal shovel to scoop out the ash into a metal pail.
  • Transfer your ash to a metal container with a lid outside. This will cut off the oxygen supply and smother any hot coals or embers. It’s best store the metal barrel on a smooth, hard surface like concrete away from any combustibles.
  • Leave the ash in the metal container with the lid on until they are completely cooled off.

Did you know that one cord of hardwood can produce about 5-8 gallons of wood ash? Here are some ways to utilize it around your home.

  • Please note these recommendations are for wood ash from clean wood not chemically treated wood such as pressure treated, stained, or painted wood. All ash should be completely cooled before using.
  • Use about 5 gallons of ash per 1,000 square feet of garden. It can help prevent calcium deficiency in tomatoes

  • Wood ash will raise the pH of soils which is great if you use oak leaves for mulching. However, it is best to avoid using it on your acidic loving crops like blueberries or potatoes.

  • The added potassium to pond water will give aquatic plants a boost that compete with algae and slow its growth.

  • You can use wood ash as a natural pest repellent for ants, snails, and slugs.
  • Wood ash is very helpful in slipper conditions. Use it as a natural ice melt on sidewalks or keep a container of ash in your vehicle in case of an emergency when you might need extra traction during winter weather.
  • Use it in your chicken run for dust baths and inside the coop to absorb moisture and neutralize odors. Adding wood ash at a ratio of 1% to their feed can also help egg production.
  • Wood ash has many cleaning uses. Take advantage of it’s absorbency for cleaning up garage spills. Slowly mix in water to create a paste that works great at cleaning wood stove windows, glass top stoves, and polish silver effortlessly.
  • Because wood ash is alkaline it is a great deodorizer. Use it to absorb odors in your fridge or sprinkle in the little box.
  • Wood ash is effective for removing humidity in damp places. Put some in an open container and place under the sink, in the bathroom, or around your basement. Be sure to change the container regularly with fresh ashes to continuously remove moisture from the air.
  • If your pet has a skunk encounter and gets sprayed, use wood ash to absorb the oil causing odor. Sprinkle some ash on their fur and rub in to allow it to neutralize the smell. Be sure to thoroughly bathe and rinse them afterwards.
  • The next time you plan a family bonfire or camping trip, keep a bucket of ash near your fire pit or campsite to smother out the fire when you are done.

Other uses for wood ash include:

  • Making soap
  • Repel Moths
  • Enrich compost
  • Jewelry cleaner
  • Clean foggy headlights

How do you use wood ash on your home or farm? Let us know in the comments below!

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