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Top 10 Uses for Hardwood Ash

Top 10 Uses for Hardwood Ash

Top 10 Uses for Hardwood Ash

  1. If you have a pet that was sprayed by a skunk, rub some ash into its coat to help reduce the smell. On a similar note, you can stuff ash into a sock or other small, cloth container for placement into shoes (while they’re not being worn) to reduce odor.
  2. Leaving a small pile every once in a while is beneficial for pet birds, as they can use it for dust baths to control pests.
  3. Does your property include a pond? Adding one tablespoon of ash per 1000 gallons can help algae-eating plants thrive.
  4. Adding water to ash until a paste is formed creates a paste you can use to clean silver jewelry or your firepit’s spark-screen. It can also be used to clean glass, silverware, ovenware, or grills.
  5. Sprinkle ashes on oil or grease spills, rub in with a cloth, and then sweep up. Repeat if necessary. This method can be used to reduce or remove oil stains on asphalt, stone, or cement.
  6. De-ice a driveway by sprinkling hardwood ash instead of using harsh salts.
  7. Speaking of icy driveways, ash creates ample traction. It’s common for Alaskan residents to keep a container filled with hardwood ash in case their car gets stuck on a snowy road. Ash sprinkled behind the wheels adds a considerable amount of traction.
  8. Have a garden? Ash is great for plants that can tolerate alkaline conditions, such as stonefruit trees or nightshade vegetables such as tomatoes and eggplants. Add up to ¼ cup mixed into the soil or poured-and-mixed into the hole you plant them in (never leave the ash in lumps or piles as excessive salts from the ash may create an harmful environment for certain plants). Wood ash contains 10-25% calcium, 1-4% magnesium, 5-15% potassium, and 1-3% phosphorus.
  9. Hardwood ash can be used in the lawn as an alternative to lime as well. A little goes a long way. Use about 1 gallon(1-2lbs) of hardwood ash per 100sqft to lessen the acidity of your soil.
  10. With a little research, lye can be made from hardwood ash. This can be used for many purposes, including making soap.


  1. Even though ashes may seem cold, buried embers can remain live for weeks.
  2. Store ashes in a covered metal container set on dirt or concrete a few feet in all directions from any combustible surface.
  3. Protect yourself when applying wood ash. Use the same precautions you would use when handling household bleach, another strongly alkaline material. Wear eye protection and gloves. You may also want to wear a dust mask depending on the how fine the ash is.
  4. Only hardwood ash is recommended. Never use ash from burning trash; cardboard; coal; or pressure-treated, painted, or stained wood. These materials may contain harmful chemicals in their ash.
  5. Do not use ash on alkaline soils or on acid-loving plants such as strawberries or blueberries.
  6. Do not apply ash to a potato plant, as this may create conditions favorable for the development of potato scab.
  7. Do not apply ash to newly germinated seeds.
  8. Do not apply or combine ash with or on nitrogen fertilizers. Many nitrogen fertilizers will produce ammonia gas when in contact with alkaline materials like wood ash.

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9125 N. State Route 48
Dayton, OH 45458
Phone: (937) 885-1948
Fax: (937) 885-9027

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