Who doesn’t love curling up in front of a fireplace in the winter season? We all love doing that.
While fireplaces help keep you warm in colder months and also help add an aesthetic touch to your home, it is essential to keep your fireplaces clean.
Keep reading further as we take you through a detailed guide on ‘How to dispose of fireplace ashes.’
Before we learn how to dispose of ashes, we need to ensure that the disposal process is carried out safely.
Several fire accidents are reported every year that are caused by unsafe fireplace ashes disposal.
Why Is Safe Disposal of Fire Necessary?
If you do not follow safety precautions when disposing of fireplace ashes, it could lead to several risk factors.
Warm fireplace ashes can pose a potential fire or hazard. Besides this, fireplace ashes can also cause burns and carbon monoxide hazards.
To ensure the safe disposal of fireplace ashes, you must ensure that the ashes have completely cooled off and there are no chances of catching fire again.
Tools Required for Safe Fireplace Ash Disposal
Below are some of the tools you would need when disposing of fireplace ash.
Make sure that you use a metal bucket or any other non-flammable material like clay or earthenware.
Just like the bucket, your shovel should be of non-flammable material.
It is also advised to use a shovel with a longer handle for extra safety.
You should avoid directly touching warm ash with your bare hands to avoid burn injuries or getting ash stuck in your nails.
A face mask helps prevent you from inhaling ash as it could cause coughing, breathing issues, or throat irritation.
Fireplace ashes can release carbon monoxide or excessive carbon dioxide.
Therefore it is better to keep your eyes protected from ash and harmful gases.
Step-by-Step Guide on Fireplace Ashes Disposal
If you want to dispose of fireplace ashes safely, carefully follow the steps mentioned below:
Step 1 – Let Ashes Build Up in The Fireplace
A common mistake people make while disposing of fireplace ashes is that they do not give enough time to build up.
You need to ensure that a small pile of ashes remains at the bottom of the fireplace to help the fire last longer.
Once you notice that ashes have started collecting at the bottom of a fireplace grate, it is high time for ashes disposal.
Step 2 – Wait for the Ashes to Cool Down
Before you begin the disposal process, wait for the wood and ashes in your fireplace to completely burn off.
Ideally, it would be best if you waited overnight or 12-24 hours to ensure that it is safe to handle the ashes now.
If you have an indoor fireplace, make sure that you keep the fire screen closed while waiting for the ashes to cool down.
Step 3 – Use Shovel and Bucket
Once all your fireplace ashes have cooled off, you can move ahead with the disposal process.
Wear safety gloves and a facemask to avoid inhaling harmful fumes. You can also wear safety glasses as an added safety precautionary measure.
Now take your metal bucket and transfer the ash using a shovel. Make sure that you keep the bucket close to the fireplace to avoid creating any extra mess.
It is advised that you use pliers or safety gloves to hold the bucket for the safe side.
After you transfer all the ash to the bucket, cover it with a tight lid if you are not discarding it immediately.
Step 4 – Disposing of Ashes
Once you have safely collected all the ash inside a bucket, you can dispose of it in your regular garbage can.
If there are any solid pieces like wood chunks or coal pieces mixed with your ashes, pour sand or water in your bucket before disposing of it in the garbage.
This helps ensure that there are no chances of fire accidents.
How to Recycle Fireplace Ashes?
If you do not wish to dispose of fireplace ashes in the garbage and want to put it to good use, there are several ways of doing that.
You can reuse and recycle your fireplace ashes in your home and help create a more sustainable environment.
Check out the list below on how you can reuse fireplace ashes:
Tip # 1 – Use Fireplace Ashes as Compost
Gardeners can use wood ash as it acts as natural compost containing useful nutrients like phosphorus, boron, and calcium.
You can sprinkle wood ashes on your garden soil and keep your plants nourished and healthy.
Moreover, wood ash also helps regulate the pH balance of the soil, as it acts as a liming agent.
Make sure that you check the pH of the soil before adding soil to it. If the pH of your soil is less than 5, you can add ash to it.
Tip # 2 – Use Fireplace Ashes to Repel Pests
If slugs, snails, or ants are destroying your garden, fireplace ashes can help save it.
You can sprinkle ashes around the soil and commonly attacked plants to keep pests at bay.
Make sure that you use only a small quantity of ash to keep pests away, as too much ash can throw off the pH balance of the soil.
Tip # 3 – Use Fireplace Ashes to Polish Silverware
If you have old silverware cutlery lying around in the house, you can use fireplace ash to polish it.
Commercial silver polishes contain harmful chemicals so that fireplace ashes can be used in their place as a natural polish.
Here is how you can use ashes as a natural silver polish:
- All you need to do is mix one cup of ashes with water and form a thick paste.
- Now coat your silverware with this mixture in a smooth, even layer.
- Leave it out for 5 to 10 minutes to loosen up the grime.
- Now wipe off the paste and use a soft cloth to make your silverware shine.
Tip # 4 – Use Fireplace Ashes to Melt Snow
If stubborn snow patches are in your driveway, you can use fireplace ash to melt them faster.
Fireplace ash also helps add traction to snow-covered walkways and slippery areas.
Moreover, you can also sprinkle some ash on the driveway and on your car tires to prevent them from getting stuck in the snow.
Tip # 5 – Use Fireplace Ashes to Clean off Soot
Fireplace ashes can help clean off thick layers of soot from your fireplace doors.
Just like how you make ash and water paste to polish silver, you can use the same paste to clean fireplace doors.
Make sure that you use a soft cloth or microfiber towel to clean and shine the glass door of your fireplace.
Tip # 6 – Use Fireplace Ashes to Get Rid of Oil Stains from Concrete
Another great way of recycling fireplace ashes is by using it as a cleaning agent to remove oil stains from concrete.
Cleaning off stubborn oil or petrol stains on the driveway can be a real nuisance, but fireplace ashes can help make this task easier for you.
All you need to do is toss up a handful of fireplace ash and cover the stain mark. Now, wait at least 8 to10 hours for the ash to completely absorb the oil.
Once that is done, you can use a regular cleaning brush or mop to wipe the stain away.
General Safety Precaution Tips to Follow When Handling Fireplace Ash
- It would be best if you waited at least 24 hours before you began disposing of ashes from your fireplace.
- Avoid using water to put off the fire in your fireplace as it could destroy your fireplace from inside and get difficult to clean it. Use sand, salt, or baking soda instead for safely putting off the fire.
- Do not ever use flour to put off a fire inside your fireplace, as flour is highly flammable. Keep flour away from the fireplace as well as warm fireplace ashes to avoid any accidental fires.
- Always use metal or any non-inflammable bucket to collect your fireplace ash. Wood or plastic can easily catch fire if the ash has not completely cooled off.
- Always wear safety gloves, facemask, and glasses when working with fireplace ashes to avoid getting directly in contact with it.
- Keep your metal bucket covered and store it in a cool and dry place if you have to wait a few days before garbage disposal.
- Do not add any other item to your fireplace ashes bucket to avoid any chances of mishaps or accidental fires.
The Bottom Line
We hope that you enjoyed reading our guide on safe fireplace ash disposal. Just keep in mind that safety should be the priority when working with fire or ashes.
No matter which disposal method or recycling method you choose, ensure that you adhere to all the safety guidelines to protect yourself and your loved ones. Good Luck!
Keep watching this space for more disposal and safety guides.
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