Disposing of Fireplace Ash

It is getting close to the time of year where you will want to enjoy your fireplace more often. After all, nothing beats the feel of a warm fire on a cold evening. If you think your fireplace will be undergoing more frequent use in the upcoming months, be sure to make a plan of action for regular maintenance and ash disposal, to ensure it stays safe and clean.

Why Remove Ash? Ash Disposal - Aurora IL - Pozzi Chimney Sweep

Removing ash is important for many reasons. Ash attracts moisture which is not good for the masonry and metal aspects of your fireplace. If ash builds up too much, it can damage the grate in your fireplace, requiring you to replace it. On top of the damage it can cause, it may also make your fire more difficult to start, as it limits space for wood and other fuel.

How to Remove Ash

A common question with fireplace maintenance is how exactly one should dispose of ashes. As a fireplace owner, it is important to become educated on this topic as it is not uncommon to hear of fires starting from improper disposal.

Here are some guidelines to follow:

  1. Wait at least one full day before removing ash from your fireplace, as it may be hot. You will not want any of the ash to contain live embers, so be sure that the ash has cooled down before handling it in any type of way.
  2. Use a non-flammable container for transporting the ash (preferably some type of metal bucket). Once the ash is in the bucket, throw some water on it as an extra safety precaution, ensuring that no heat sources got trapped and could combust.
  3. Once the ashes are safely in the bucket, it is best to wait a few days before disposing of them. Keep the bucket away from any objects that may be flammable while the ashes are given sufficient time to cool. Another suggestion is to put a non-flammable cover over the bucket to keep out any oxygen that could fuel an unwanted fire.

What to do With the Remains

So, now that your ashes are cooled down and free of any flammable materials, what should be done with them? Here are some suggestions.

  • Put them in your garden. Ash is great at enriching soil and contains potassium that will help plants grow. It also aids in repelling slugs and snails, which is an added bonus. Research which plants best thrive from ash and which levels are appropriate. Tomatoes are one that are known for thriving on wood ash.
  • Control algae growth. If you have a pond, putting in 1 teaspoon of ash per 1000 gallons of water will help to reduce algae, keeping your water cleaner and your pond life healthier overall.
  • Use it to clean. Ash can be made into soap that can be used to polish silver and clean other things around the home. It can also be used for laundry when mixed with the right components or as a bleaching tool when on its own.

If you have any questions regarding your fireplace, chimney, or ash disposal, call the experts at Pozzi Chimney Sweep.