Ashes from the Fireplace

 Hi, I'm Laura, Linda's daughter, and I own a greenhouse - a small one attached to my house. I'm doing a post every week on a Friday for my Mom about plants and what's happening at the greenhouse, MY greenhouse. I'm learning as I go and I'm sharing it with you all.
 Have a great weekend.

 To save on the cost of oil heat this winter, I bought a wood burning fireplace insert.  My Quadrafire 5100i is a non-catalytic wood burning fireplace.  Just to briefly review, the fireplace burns wood then re-burns the gases from the wood for a longer more efficient burn.  Less wood, longer burn times =  ashes from the fireplace.

  Since we only burn seasoned wood in the fireplace, I figured there must be something we could do with the ash.  It is organic and I hate to waste anything.  So I did some research and found the most common use is for composting.  We started a compost heap this past fall and I have used the little ash that we have for that, but there's more...

Here's the ash bin. I'm putting ash in the compost pile.

 This is me, Laura, working the compost bin.

I found a website that I feel is worth checking out.
This website gives a lot of information on wood burning stoves, and what to do with the leftover ashes. Here's an overview of the uses they suggest, and of course my opinion.  :)

 1. Sprinkle a light layer of ashes in between your organic matter to balance out the nutrients in your COMPOST PILE.  - We started a compost pile this past fall.  We'll have to keep you posted this spring.

2.  A ring of ash around plants can keep some GARDEN PESTS AWAY.  - I'll let you know if the slugs eat my nasturtiums again this year.

3. A tbsp of ash per 1000 gallons of water will SUPPRESS POND ALGAE & allow your aquatic plants to grow.  - I don't have a pond... yet...  :)

4.  As a FERTILIZER for calcium loving veggies such as tomatoes, corn, cucumber and asparagus.  Put 1/4 cup cup of ash into the hole then plant.


6.  Dust bath to control bird mites.

7.  Making soap

8.  ODOR NEUTRALIZER in compost heaps, chicken coops, and even skunked pets.  They even suggested packaging it in a T-shirt type material to make odor eaters for stinky shoes.  -  I might have to remember this one in case my puppy, Molly should happen to get sprayed by a skunk one night.

9. CLEANING the wood stove's glass door with a moist sponge dipped in ashes or hiding stains like wet paint on concrete.

10. Make a paste of water and ash to POLISH YOUR SILVER.

I am very excited about some of these new found uses for ashes.  I'm not so sure I'll be trying some of these suggestions such as the soap or dust baths for the birds, so if you try or have tried any of these suggestions, please let us know how it's worked for you.

I did a post over on Hometalk and there were lots of comments about other ways to use fireplace wood ashes. Here are a few of them:

Update: Brenda mentioned that if you want to take hair dye off your hands, rub some wood ash on them. It works, she says! Thanks, Brenda!

Jim from Texas:  "You can also coat your cut potatoes with ashes before you plant the chunks in the spring. It seals the outside of the fresh cut and keeps the potato from rotting when they are planted."

Cherie from New Jersey: "I use them to clean out the oven. I use a green scrubby sponge, wet the oven a bit with a spray of water, and scrub down the oven with the wood ashes. It really works, and it's better (and cheaper) than using harsh nasty chemicals or even cleanser. The final cleanup is much easier too: the ashes and grit just wipe right off."

 Tonya from Minnesota: "Ash also helps to nuetralize acidic soil, so if you have a pine tree die (or other acid loving plant) and want to plant something that likes sweeter soil, you can work ash into the area to help with that."

Deb from Iowa:  "We use it in our garden, helps for potato bugs and other garden critters." 

Cherie from New Jersey: "I use them to clean out the oven. I use a green scrubby sponge, wet the oven a bit with a spray of water, and scrub down the oven with the wood ashes. It really works, and it's better (and cheaper) than using harsh nasty chemicals or even cleanser. The final cleanup is much easier too: the ashes and grit just wipe right off." 

Cyndi from Idaho:  "Sprinkle on an icy or snow packed road it helps create traction and acts as a snow melter."

 Did you find any good uses for ashes? If so, I'd love for you to share them with us.


  1. I loved seeing your greenhouse, especially since it seems so few people have them these days. My family had 2 greenhouses when I was growing up. One that looked a lot like yours was for growing flowers and vegetable (plants) for the garden. Then we had a larger one that was for hydroponic tomatoes. It was hard work, but the memories attached to those greenhouses are some of my best ones.

  2. I love reading gardening posts. I've got a small plot and we are doing a compost system for the first time x

  3. My mom used to make our soap by hand. I can remember she used ashes, bear grease, straw and lye. The process took a while but the soap was great and a tray full would last for ages. We used a wood stove for both heating and cooking so we had lots of ashes.

  4. Hi Laura,
    Welcome. I'm looking forward to reading your posts. I had no idea you could use ash for so many different things. I'm pinning this for future use.

  5. Neat Tips on using ashes. Who would have guessed you could polish sliver with them!

  6. thanks for this info! very useful!!

  7. Great tips I had never heard of. I did know about the Ash Melting Ice because our UPS man got stuck in the snow when delivering a package to us one very cold winter day. He asked if I had ashes since we had a wood burning stove. I said, sure and pointed to the ash can sitting in the snow cooling. I did not know what he wanted to do with it but quickly discovered the use when he dumped it round his stuck tire then jumped back in the truck to try driving out of the icy snow. I thought, "How cool!" Then after he left I suddenly remembered that we had recently burned some scrap wood from my husbands wood shop that was small and perfect for kindling...that had nails in it!!!

    The next time he came to deliver a package he told me that he got just a few miles down the road and discovered he had a flat tire. I shared that I didn't remember the wood with nails until after he left. So, be careful if you have anything other than pure ash in your ashes.


    Oh, stopped by from the Freedom Friday Blog Hop :-)

  8. You can use ashes to remove hair dye from your hands, etc. Just rub the ashes on area you want to remove dye from & eventually the dye will disappear! It Works! BTW, so do cigarette ashes!

  9. We have a fireplace but we've never used it! Thanks for the great tips and thanks for sharing this at What's In The Gunny Sack!

  10. I didn't know how useful the ashes from the fireplace are!!
    Great post!! I included it in my post Βόλτα στη Γειτονιά #20 :)
    Have a great week!!

  11. This is very interesting. I didn't know that you could clean silver with ash. Thank you for sharing.

    We may have met by chance...but we become friends by choice.

  12. Yay!!!! You changed www!! Love it!!!

    My father uses ashes all the time :)

    Thanks for sharing this at The DIY Dreamer... From Dream To Reality! Can't wait to see what you link up tomorrow evening!

  13. So many great uses. Thanks for posting this at Romance on a dime!!

  14. Very useful, thanks. I will try the algae suppressant idea!
    Gail @

  15. I use wood ashes to help melt the ice on my hilly a bit of traction, seems to help.
    I also just learned about cleaning the glass door of my wood stove. My chimney sweep told me about that and I tried it and it works great! Lots of great ideas here! Great post!

  16. Great ideas,thanks.

    Found you via the Linkin Ladies blog hop and looking forward to following on Bloglovin.

    Kate x

  17. Wow! Who knew you could do this with ashes! :)
    I just wanted to stop by and thank you for linkin up with my ladies today. We had a pretty good turn out! I hope you gain a few new followers and that you join us again next week! Thanks again!

  18. Love your blog! I'm your newest follower from the Aloha Blog Hop.

    Monica's Rants, Raves & Reviews

  19. I never knew about this. Wish I had a fireplace!!

  20. Awesome uses. I would love to have a green house. What a wonderful blessing. I can't wait to read your updates. I'm checking in from the blog hop at Dysfunction Junction and am following via Linky. Hope you can stop by. :)

  21. This is amazing. I just told my mother and we are going to have to try this out too.

    Also I am checking in from the blog hop at Dysfunction Junction.


So happy you came to visit today. Everyone is so busy but if you would like to leave a note for me, I would love it!!


I am the crafter extraordinaire (on this blog anyway.) I live with my husband, my son, David, in a cozy cape cod style house in Connecticut.

google ad

Flannel Gift to make

Flannel Gift to make
Fabulous Flannel Gifts to Make

Handmade Gifts for Boys

Easy Fleece DIY

Awesome DIY Cork Projects