Uses for Fireplace Ashes

June 12, 2008

Wood Burning in FireplaceHave a chimney? Here's a different use for your wood ash. It could be used for any household cleaning needs that requires scouring. It can also be used in the garden as fertilizer and if you have a pen for livestock, the ash can be sprinkled on the floor and animal droppings before sweeping. Saves you a few pennies that would have been used to buy cleaning detergents. (Did you know that wood ash, specifically that of the palm tree, is one of the two ingredients for making native soap (the other being palm kernel oil) in some parts of Africa)


By NY from Upper Darby, PA

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January 14, 2014

During these winter months when fireplaces are in high use, you will generate quite a bit of ash. We clean out our fireplace into a paper grocery bag. The bag is then rolled shut tight down to the level of the ash and placed into a storage tub with a secure lid.


8 Questions

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April 24, 2009

I need some ideas on what I can do with all the wood ash from our wood furnace and fire place. In the winter we use it like salt on the snow and ice. But what can I use it for now? Is it good in the garden?

By Donna from Foymount, Ontario


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April 24, 20090 found this helpful

I use ours around our rose bushes and it helps them be so full of color and around my Azalea bushes.

April 24, 20090 found this helpful

Ashes work great in my garden.


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April 24, 20090 found this helpful

I've read that SOME ash in a vegetable garden is ok but too much is bad. Since I don't know how much is too much I don't put any.


We take it to the edge of the yard away from buildings and sort of spread it around. But then, we live in the boonies and nobody sees.


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May 2, 20090 found this helpful

I believe ashes are alkaline, so don't use so much the soil pH gets unbalanced.

May 2, 20090 found this helpful

If you have evergreens in your yard especially near gardens or flower beds, the soil may become to acidic, causing plants and grass to die. You can get a ph tester and check to see how acid your soil is. If it is highly acidic, wood ash will neutralize it if you dig it into the soil.


If the wood ash has no large hard chunks, it can also be used to remove white rings on wood furniture caused by water or heat. make a paste of ash and water over the mark and rub with a soft cloth. Repeat if necessary. Polish as usual.


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May 5, 20090 found this helpful

If you have a compost pile, that's a great place to put them.

May 5, 20090 found this helpful

Thank you all so much for the suggestions! I can use many of them.


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May 23, 20091 found this helpful

CAll your local extension service, they may ask what you plant in the garden or tell you what kinds of areas in the yard you can dispose of this at.

November 29, 20090 found this helpful

You can actually buy Real Wood Ashes on Amazon. Just found it! (Affiliate Link)
1 Pound of Oak Wood Ash (Ashes Natural Fertilizer, Change PH Levels in Soil, Ward Off Slugs, Protect Plants Over Winter, Control Pond Algae, Boost Your Organic Tomato Plants, Compost, Make Soap, Shine Silver)

October 18, 20170 found this helpful

This was truly the best advice so far! There are too many possible variables to say that wood ash is a good idea for your garden or even your compost bin. Wood ash is alkaline, and it only provides a small amount of useable potassium for the soil.


Volunteer master gardeners at your county extension office will know local details from pests and diseases to what plants grow best and what is the general soil quality of your area. They can help you know how much wood ash, if any, you should place in your garden, under a specific plant, or in general compost bin.

They can also help you make a balanced bin if you truly want to put wood ash in it.

Here are some better ways to use your fireplace ashes:

August 18, 20180 found this helpful

I just used ashes out of my woos burning stove for staining wood. I looks nice.

Step 1
1. Poured vinegar into Ashes. 2. Stirred it.


3. Painted it on. 4. Wiped it off.

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January 21, 2001

What can I do with wood ash? Besides tossing in the woods. What garden plants or veggies like it?

By Linda


January 22, 20010 found this helpful

We have a request from November that deals with part of this question. - Editor

January 27, 20010 found this helpful

Just about *all* garden variety plants can use the ash... just work it into the topsoil when preparing for planting.


Also, lillies are especially appreciative of ashes, as are any plants in the onion/garlic family.

January 28, 20010 found this helpful

We put our wood stove ashes in the garden. My husband roto-tils it all in and it is good for all vegetables.

February 22, 20160 found this helpful

We have always uses our fireplace ash on our roses.. they do well.. and we burn our horse manure.. (it has wood shavings and hay mixed in)and then we burn it. It will smolder for days then we use the ash on out pecan trees..and our veg. Garden.. everything flourishes.

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November 30, 2014

How do I use fireplace ashes for algae control in pond? Can it be used for weed control under pine trees?

By Ernie M.


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December 5, 20170 found this helpful

It all depends on what you are burning to create the ashes. Different woods result in ashes that are either acidic or alkaline. I would not put the ashes in the pond-it clouds the water and can kill plants and fish in it. It can also kill grass, weeds and anything under the tree. It also picks up and blows when the wind blows. We dump our ashes far from the house in an old tank. Once one of the kids dumped it closer to the house and it was windy a few days later. Ashes ended up all over our vehicles and on the clothes on the clothes line as well.

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March 18, 2013

This is a page about using wood ashes in your garden. Wood ash can be a good source of potassium, that many garden plants love.

Wood Ashes


ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

April 24, 2009

What is the best way to discard ashes from your fireplace? Is there another use for this ash?


September 26, 2006

I have heard that you can put fireplace ashes on certain plants. Can someone tell me what plants this works for and what plants I shouldn't put them on?

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