‘No hot ashes’ is the traditional message provided by dustbins to their owners. But once our ashes have cooled down, most of us throw them straight into the bin.
This is a bit of a waste really, so here are five examples of ways in which you might like to put your ashes to better use.
1. On your garden
Wood ash contains lots of goodness for your plants, including potassium, magnesium and phosphorus. Someone more green-fingered than Gr8fires will be able to tell you which plants will particularly benefit from your ashes.
Wood ashes tend to contain lots of lime, which is useful for combating acidic soil. Head to the Royal Horticultural Society website for more tips on using ashes in your garden.
2. On oil spills
If you’ve got a drop of oil on your drive or in your garage, drop some cool ashes from your wood-burning stove on it. Leave your ashes overnight and in the morning, if everything has gone to plan, both ashes and oil should easily be swept away.
3. To clean your wood-burning stove
If you’ve got a wood-burning stove with airwash then your glass should keep itself fairly clean. But if you do need to clean your glass by hand, a lot of people swear by a bit of newspaper dipped in some cool ashes.
Wood-burning stoves are our area of expertise, but we’ve heard tales of people using this method to get tough stains off other glass surfaces too.
4. To keep bugs at bay
Another use in the garden. Tiny piles of ashes used as borders around each of your plants will help to keep unwanted visitors away from your plants. Insects, slugs and snailed can all be deterred from tucking into your greenery by a humble pile of ashes.
5. To polish metals
Mixing your wood ashes with water creates a paste that does a great job of buffing up your silver or pewter. It is abrasive, but if used with care it’s mild enough to create a nice shine without causing any damage.
If you’ve found another use for ashes from your wood-burning stove, let us know in the comments section below.