Fireplace ash is a natural component with great potential for home care. These remains of wood combustion are rich in minerals and silica, and can be used for a wide variety of purposes.
From window cleaners to pest control to air fresheners, insect repellents to natural fertilisers for gardens and orchards, fireplace ashes are a versatile and environmentally friendly resource. In this article we will explain 10 different ways to make use of fireplace ashes.
Ten ways to make use of fireplace ashes
Ashes contain silica, an abrasive mineral that can be used to remove grease and dirt residues from surfaces such as glass-ceramic hobs, stainless steel or worktops. To do this, simply mix the ashes with a little water to create a thick paste and apply it to the surface. Finally, it is removed with a damp cloth and dried with another clean cloth.
Glass cleaner and stain remover
The silica contained in the ashes is also useful for cleaning glass and windows without scratching them. To do this, mix the ashes with water to create a thick paste and apply it to the surface with a damp cloth.
It is left to act for a few minutes and then removed with a dry cloth. It can also be used to remove stains on furniture or fabrics, always testing it beforehand on a non-visible part of the fabric to check that it does not damage the colour.
Making homemade soap
Ashes can also be used to make homemade soap from used vegetable oil (cooking oil). This is achieved by adding two parts ash to one part oil to the heated oil, stirring for a few minutes until a homogeneous paste is obtained and then straining it into moulds previously prepared with virgin vegetable oil. Once the soap has hardened, it is removed from the mould and left to dry for several weeks before being used.
The ashes have absorbent properties that allow them to eliminate bad smells from the environment. To do this, place them in open containers such as bowls or small plates and place them in the spaces where you want to eliminate unpleasant odours. You can also reduce the smell of your pets by applying some ash to their fur and placing it in their kennel.
Ashes can also serve as a natural repellent for insects such as mosquitoes and cockroaches. To do this, simply sprinkle the ash around the house or in places where these insects are present.
Ashes can also be used as a natural humidifier for indoor environments that are very dry or dried out by artificial heat. To do this, fill a container with hot water and add a few spoonfuls of ash, stirring well until a homogeneous liquid is obtained, which can be placed in the spaces where we want to obtain a higher degree of humidity.
The ashes contain substances that act as natural repellents for insects that may represent a threat to orchards or gardens, such as slugs, cockroaches, fleas or mice. To do this, sprinkle the ash around the places where these unwanted insects are present, thus preventing their proliferation in the domestic environment.
Ashes also serve as a natural unblocker for pipes clogged by solid waste such as fluff or human or animal hair accumulated inside the pipe due to the passage of waste water. To do this, mix two parts of water to one part of ash to obtain a homogeneous liquid that is poured through the clogged pipe to unblock it without the need to use aggressive chemicals for the environment or domestic sanitary equipment.
Ashes can also be used as a natural detergent for laundry or general household cleaning thanks to their abrasive and descaling properties that allow the removal of stubborn stains without damaging fabrics or the surface where the stain is located.
To do this, mix two parts water to one part ash to obtain a homogeneous liquid and apply it directly to the stain with the help of a clean cloth previously dipped in the resulting liquid.
Fertiliser for gardens and orchards
Ashes are also useful as a natural fertiliser for gardens or orchards due to their high content of minerals such as nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, which stimulate the healthy growth of food and flower plants without the use of environmentally harmful chemicals and protective clothing.
As we have seen, fireplace ashes are a multi-purpose resource with many possibilities. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you do not dispose of all the ashes produced by your fireplace, as you can put them to a variety of beneficial domestic uses and save money on the purchase of certain cleaning products.