Recycle wood ash in 7 useful and environmentally friendly ways

Recycling wood ash from the fireplace or the destruction of plants is ecological, economical and practical. Wash clothes, degrease dishes, clean windows, fertilize, thaw, etc. It is very useful for the house and the garden. Discover 7 environmentally friendly ways to recycle wood ash.

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Whether it comes from your fireplace or the destruction of plants after cleaning the garden, wood ash can be recycled. It is one of those recovery products of natural origin and 100% ecological.

After a few outbreaks you pick up two whole buckets of ash and you don’t know what to do with them? Here are several useful and ecological solutions to recycle it. Indeed, wood ash is particularly rich in mineral salts, calcium, potash, silica, magnesium and phosphorus.

These assets make it unique and particularly suitable for many occasions, some of which are not well known. Its effectiveness is widely recognized in many areas. It has always been used as a fertilizer, degreaser, repellent, de-icer, washing, cleaning, etc.

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What types of ash to use?

In order not to contaminate his garden or his house with toxic substances, not all ashes are reusable.

You can recycle:
Ashes from the combustion of plants or untreated, unpainted and unvarnished wood.
Natural wood ashes: logs or wood pellets.
Plant residues: pruning scraps, dead leaves, branches, etc.
Do not recycle:
Ash from reclaimed wood, such as pallets, etc.
Ash from a charcoal stove, which is very toxic.
Composite woods, plywood or OSB panels that contain glues and chemical resins.
The woods with plastic.

A little extra advice:
If you used crates to light your fireplace, be sure to sift the ash to remove the staples.
Always wait until the ashes are completely cold and collect them in an iron bucket.
Recycle wood ash in the house
1. To do laundry

Grandmothers know that wood ash is effective for washing clothes. It indeed contains potash, a natural surfactant, which has washing properties.

Ash is recommended for washing white and colored laundry and for all types of fabrics. It is very active on organic stains (plants, blood, food, oil), but less on stains of mineral origin (mud, earth, etc.).

How to proceed ?
Collect the ashes from your fireplace, then sift them to remove large debris and residue.
Heat 1.5 L of water to a boil in a large pot.
Pour a glass of ash into a bucket, then add the boiling water.
Mix and let the mixture stand at least 24 hours.
The next day, filter the liquid. Gray particles should remain on the filter.
Pour the filtered mixture into an empty detergent bottle.
Store ash lye for up to 2 months.
Use 15 ml per machine.

In case of large stains: first rub them with Aleppo soap or black soap.

2. To clean the windows of the house

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Wood ash has a strong degreasing power, which removes all stains from the windows.

How to proceed ?
Collect the ashes from your fireplace, then sift them to remove large debris and residue.
Put on gloves and grab a few sheets of newspaper (another great way to recycle), or a rag.
Lightly dampen the newspaper leaves, then dip them in wood ash.
Scrub your windows.
Wipe off the excess with a microfiber cloth.

This trick also works for fireplace, oven, etc. glass.

3. For degreasing and scouring

The potash contained in wood ash also acts as a super degreaser.

Once sifted and powdered, it is ideal for scouring encrusted dishes as well as sanitary facilities, toilets, sinks, bathtubs, or even car rims, deep fryers, barbecue grills, ovens, etc.

How to proceed with the dishes?
Pour a handful of ash and 1 part of water into your dirty containers.
Leave on until a gray mixture is obtained.
Rub, wash with your usual soap and then rinse.

4. To make silverware and brass shine

To make silverware and copper services shine, nothing like wood ash. The process is the same as for cleaning windows.

How to proceed ?
Collect the ashes from your fireplace, then sift them to remove large debris and residue.
Lightly dampen a rag and coat it with wood ash.
Clean your items, then rinse with clean water.
Wipe off the excess with a microfiber cloth.
Recycle wood ash in the garden
5. To melt the gel

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Wood ash is particularly effective in the event of ice or frost.

Before the frost arrives, consider setting aside some ash to thaw your driveways, stairs, yards, fronts or sidewalks.

How to proceed ?
Sprinkle wood ash on the ground, to melt and prevent ice from forming.

The advantage over salt is that ash is less corrosive.

6. To feed plants: fruit trees, lawns, vegetable patch

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Rich in mineral salts, magnesium, potash, calcium and phosphorus, wood ash brings nutritional benefits to the garden. It is a very good fertilizer for the lawn, as well as for the vegetable garden, trees, plants, roses, etc.

How to proceed ?
Collect the wood ashes, let them cool and dry away from moisture.
Remove large pieces of residue.
Spread a maximum of 2 handfuls of cold ashes per m², around your trees, plants or on your lawn.

>> CAUTION: Do not spread ashes on heather soil, azaleas, camellias or even rhododendrons.

7. To repel unwanted people in the garden

Wood ash is also a very good repellent to fight ecologically against slugs, snails, etc.

How to proceed ?
Collect the wood ashes, let them cool and dry away from moisture.
Remove large pieces of residue.
Spread wood ash in a circle at the feet of your flowers or vegetables to protect them from crawlers.
To be effective, ash must be dry. So avoid using it in rainy weather.

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