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Many Uses for the Ashes from Your Wood Burning Stove, Fireplace or Insert

Tuesday, February 08, 2011
Many Uses for the Ashes from Your Wood Burning Stove, Fireplace or Insert

Wood burning fireplaces, inserts and stoves are all great ways to supplement - or even replace - the usual gas- and oil-fired furnaces we use to heat our homes. With our record breaking snow and cold that we have been having many of you have burned a few cords of wood this winter. Burning wood is very environmentally sound, but then the question arises, after cleaning your stove and removing the ashes with your ash bucket, what to do with the ashes? At West Sport in Sudbury, we have a couple of suggestions. Of course, you need a metal receptacle to store the ashes in first.

Has your dog been skunked? Well, rub a couple handfuls into his or her coat, this neutralizes the lingering odor. Their coat color may be a bit different, but it is worth it to get the smell to go away.

If you have been painting near the driveway or walkways, and you’ve got paint spatters, drop a handful of ash into the wet paint and rub it around with your boot or shoe.

This blends the color into the concrete. Keep a can of ashes handy when you’re painting near the driveway or walks.

Before the organic mix is applied to soil, Ashes enhance soils potassium content; sprinkle some ashes into your organic mix before you add it to the soil. But don’t over-do it. Ashes raise the soil’s alkalinity, so avoid using them around acid-loving rhododendrons, azaleas and junipers.

This spring spread some ashes evenly around garden beds, ash repels slugs and snails. Dusted over growing plants, it keeps beetles and caterpillars at bay. But keep in mind that you need to re-apply; ashes will wash off in the rain.

Wood ashes add traction, and the dark color absorbs solar heat to melt ice without hurting the soil, pavement or concrete underneath.