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  • What to Do with Leftover Ash

    What to Do with Leftover Ash

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    If you own a wood fireplace or stove you are all too aware of the amount of ashes they create. Ashes not only create a mess but can also be difficult to dispose of and start to smell if left to linger too long. Don’t let this dreaded task keep you from your using the fireplace! Learn the safest and smartest ways to remove and dispose of your ash. There are even earth-friendly ways to reuse and recycle the ash. Read on to learn more.

    Safety First
    Before you can dispose of the ash, you must first remove it from your fireplace or wood stove. While completing this task, it is important to always keep safety in mind. Always wait at least 72 hours after your last burn to begin handling the ash. Fires can easily ignite when ash that is still afire is pushed down an ash dump or placed into a garbage bag. Also make sure to protect yourself during the process. Disturbing ash disperses fine particles into the air which can irritate your skin, eyes and lungs. Wear gloves, a face mask and other protective gear when working. When storing ash, always keep it in a metal container with a lid.

    Smart Disposal
    There are many different ways to smartly dispose of your leftover ash. If your fireplace comes equipped with an ash dump, simply use a brush or shovel to push the debris through the metal door. You can also scoop the ash into a large garbage bag. After removing a majority of the buildup, you can use a vacuum to clean up any remaining ash in the firebox and hearth.

    Creative Ways to Recycle
    Looking for creative, eco-friendly alternatives to simply throwing the ash into the garbage. Here are a few green ways to reuse and recycle your leftover ash:

    • Compost Fertilizer – Wood ash is rich in potassium making it a great booster for compost. Add 1 c. to ever 1.5 cu. ft. of compost. Keep in mind that adding wood ash raises the alkalinity level of the compost making it more acidic. Plants that would thrive on this type of acidic compost are: potatoes, hydrangeas, blueberries and azaleas.
    • De-Skunk Your Pet – Has your pet gotten into trouble with a stinky skunk? Ash to the rescue! Using gloves, rub the ash into your pet’s fur. Leave on for five minutes and then rinse. If the smell is still lingering, repeat the process. The ash works to absorb and neutralize the skunky smell.
    • Natural De-Icer – Did you know that when wood turns to ash some if it also converts to salts? This makes for a great alternative to the traditional rock salt used to melt ice on driveways, walkways and sidewalks. It is also less harsh on the concrete below. To use, simply sprinkle your stored wood ash onto the icy patches you want to treat.

    For further assistance on keeping your fireplace clean enlist the help of the professional team at Lindemann Chimney Service. Our certified chimney sweep services include ash removal. Using a Triple Hepa Filter Vacuum, we can quickly and cleanly remove the debris from your hearth and dispose of it. Schedule your appointment online today.

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