Hunter Parkray Aspect 5 stoves

10 things you can do with wood ash from your wood burning stove

Wood burns better on a bed of ash as it helps combustion of the new wood so no need to empty everyday. However, now and again you will need to empty the ash (how often depends on how often you burn your wood burner.) Take the top layer away and rather than throwing it in the bin, why not try some of these recycling ideas?

1. Clean your wood burning stove

If you’ve got a wood-burning stove with airwash then your glass should keep itself nice and clean. But if you do need to clean your glass by hand, we find that a bit of newspaper dipped in some cool ashes does the trick. A damp sponge dipped in the dust scrubs away sooty residue.

2. Use on the garden

Use ash to enrich compost. Before applying to the soil, throw some into the compost bin and mix through. This will help to enhance the nutrients in the compost. Wood ash tends to contain lots of lime, which is useful for combating acidic soil. Have a look at the Royal Horticultural Society website for more tips on using ash in your garden.

3. Stop nasty garden pests

Spread some ash evenly in garden beds as ash repels slugs and snails. Tiny piles of ash used as borders around each of your plants will help to keep unwanted visitors away from your plants. Insects, slugs and snails can all be deterred from tucking into your plants by a simple pile of ash.

4. Melt snow when it gets colder

When the snow falls, use wood ash to add traction and de-ice without hurting soil or concrete underneath.

5. Give your family silver a good shine

Simply mix a paste of ash and water together and apply to make a nontoxic metal polisher. It is abrasive, but if used with care it’s mild enough to create a nice shine without causing any damage.

6. Stop pets smelling around the house

Just take a handful of ash and rub into your dog’s coat to help neutralise any lingering doggy odours. Then you can let them back into the house to curl up beside your wood burner!

7. Hide stains on paving

The disaster of wet paint spatters on cement can be hidden by sprinkling ash directly on the spot. Then just blend in with a scuff of a boot.

8. Control pond algae

One tablespoon per 1,000 gallons adds enough potassium to strengthen other aquatic plants that compete with algae, slowing its growth.

9. Give your tomatoes a boost

For these calcium-loving plants, place 1/4 cup right in the hole when planting.

10. Make some soap

Soaking ash in water makes lye, which can be mixed with animal fat and then boiled to produce soap. Salt makes it harden as it cools.

Let us know if you have any ideas to add to our list.

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