Nothing is more pleasing than spending a beautiful evening with your friends or family beside a fire pit on a winter night.
A fire pit is a hole in the ground that has a fire for cooking food or recreational purposes, but the real challenge of having a fire pit is what to do with ashes from the fire pit.
When you are done with fire, completely exhaust the fire before going to sleep.
You should remove the ashes the next day so that it cools down fully; either dispose of the ashes into the soil or recycle them.
You will be surprised to know there are many ways to recover the ashes.
We have featured some ways so that you can choose how to use the ashes according to your convenience.
You can add the cooled ashes to your garden soil to make it less acidic and provide additional nutrients for your plants. Ashes can also help in keeping some garden pests, like slugs and snails, away from your plants. It is also an excellent cleansing agent.
When handling ashes from the fire pit, it is always best to play it safe and avoid burning your hands. One of the best ways to protect your hands is by wearing protective gloves.
These heavy duty Panacea Leather Gloves are just the job while operating the fire pit.
It is not advisable to use these gloves for moving hot logs, though. You could try using a fireplace tong for that job. This log grabber tong from UTEN is made from solid steel, which you can conveniently utilize for stoves, open fire, and campfires. Its scissor-like action makes it easy for you to handle hot and burning logs without the risk of scorching your hand and fingers.
How to Dispose of Fire Pit Ashes Safely
Embers and ashes in the fire pit will stay hot even after you have put out the fire. Keep the following tips in mind before any attempts to remove the ashes.
Step 1: Wait for 24 Hours
There is an unwritten rule when it comes to cleaning the ashes from fire pits that you have to wait for at least 24 hours before attempting even to touch the ashes left inside.
To speed things up, you can spray coals down with water before suffocating the fire. Another method is to smother them with sand.
It would be safer to cover your fire pit to trap the ashes and embers inside and make sure that no flying embers escape and cause unwanted fires.
This durable yet lightweight fire pit cover has a carrying handle so that you can easily lift it to uncover the pit. It is the perfect accessory to protect the fire pit from harmful elements in all kinds of seasons.
Alternatively, you can also check out this round conical campfire cover, which can snuff the fire out once you put it on top of the fire pit. It has a six-inch-high dome that keeps the snow and rain from entering the hole.
The dome is made of mild steel, which has a hammered finish in a bronze/brown color. The stainless steel handle makes it easy to manage and is available in various sizes.
Step 2: Inspect the Pit
After a day has passed, remove the cover from the fire pit and check if the embers and ashes are still hot. Use a metal poker to make sure that you have examined the bottom to sure that everything has cooled down completely.
Step 3: Scoop the Ashes
Once you have confirmed that the fire is out and everything in the pit has cooled down, you can start scooping out the ashes. Have an ash bucket with lid and shovel ready for safer ash disposal.
Always avoid using plastic containers or cardboard boxes since both materials may ignite or melt if there's still a hot ember and be sure to remove any other flammable materials from the immediate area.
This ash bucket and shovel duo are made from premium-quality galvanized iron covered with black powder coating for fireproofing and durability. The bucket has a side pocket for the shovel plus a durable metal handle.
If you want to remove all the ash from the fire pit altogether, you can use a vacuum to do the job. This vacuum uses dual-phase washable filters to screen fine dust and ash. It has a flexible hose with a metal hose attachment, which makes cleaning in corners easier. All the suctioned ashes go straight into the heat resistant metal canister.
Other Uses for Wood Ashes
Apart from disposing of it or mixing it in with your garden soil, there are also many other uses that you can get out of the wood ashes from your fire pit. Here are some suggestions:
1. Hide Paint Stains on Pavements
Sprinkle the ash directly onto the wet paint spots on the pavement. Scrape the sidewalk with the sole of your boot, let the ash absorb the paint and blend in. Alternatively, you can also use wood ash to absorb oil spills.
2. Control Pond Algae
Add a tablespoon of ash into 1,000 gallons of water to enhance the potassium level of the water and slow down the production of algae. This will also effectively nourish the other aquatic plants in the pond.
3. Clean Glass Fireplace Doors
Ash is an active cleansing agent. Try dipping a damp sponge into the ashes and use it to remove the sooty residue on your glass fireplace door.
4. Clean Silver
Make a paste out of ash and water and use it as a non-toxic alternative to metal polishers.
5. Absorb Odors
Wood ash is similar to baking soda, which can absorb odor and moisture. Grab a handful of the cooled ash and rub it vigorously on your pet’s fur to neutralize the skunk smell. You can also put a small bowl filled with ashes inside your fridge to absorb odors inside.
6. Help Melt Ice or Snow
Sprinkle an ample amount of ash onto the snow to help melt the snow and add grip without damaging the soil or the concrete when shoveling. The minerals found in wood ash help in melting the ice on driveways and walkways during winter.
7. Energize Calcium-Loving Plants
Pour one-fourth of a cup of your cooled down ash into the hole before planting tomatoes and other plants that need calcium.
8. Use as a Soap Ingredient
Using ash as a soap ingredient fits right into the current trend of using natural and organic products. You create lye when you soak ashes in water. Mix it with other ingredients such as salt to harden it and natural scents for fragrance.
9. Make Natural Bleach
Again, mixing ash and water creates lye water. You can use this as a natural bleaching solution. You can add a cup of lye water to your laundry as a substitute to the bleaching agent.
10. Control Humidity
Fill a small tray or box with ashes and put it in one corner of a damp basement or a bathroom with poor or no ventilation. It will absorb the humidity in that room and prevent mold from growing.
11. Ant Repellant
Stop ants from invading and staying in your garden by sprinkling wood ash on their anthills to force them to leave. This way, the kids can play safely in the yard without fear of ant bites.
12. Put Out Fires
Ashes can put out small fires, much like sand. Keep a bucket of ash handy near the woodstove or fire pit in case you need to extinguish small fires.
13. Prevent Plant Frost Damage
Dust your plants with wood ash before an early light frost starts to prevent frost damage. The mineral salts contained in wood ash can decrease the freezing point of water without causing damage to the plants.
14. Dustbath for Poultry
Wood ash added to the dust bath of your poultry aids in treating fleas and other insects, so it’s perfect in helping the poultry get rid of parasites from their feathers and other parts of their body.
15. Chicken Feed Supplement
Feeding your chicken a small amount of wood ash is recommended as it is high in minerals like calcium and potassium. This added feed supplement is said to boost the laying period of a hen and lessen the smell of its droppings.
16. Clean Cloudy Headlights
Make a paste from mixing wood ash with water then rub it on your vehicle’s headlights to clear it from cloudiness collected from road dust and exhaust fumes from other cars on the road.
17. Cockroach Repellant
Get rid of cockroaches the natural way by spreading wood ash in places that cockroaches most likely stay. These insects cannot stand wood ash, especially the hard shell of roaches, which will prevent them from settling in your house.
18. Flea Treatment for Cats and Dogs
Wood ash can kill fleas on your pets the natural way. Fleas get micro-cuts from the tiny particles of wood ash, which dries the fleas out and dies. Sprinkle some wood ash on your pet’s coat and let it stay for 24 hours before washing it out thoroughly.
Firepit Maintenance and Safety Tips
Having a fire pit in your background adds a cozy environment for your family and friends on cold nights. You can experience an enjoyable time outdoors within the safety of your backyard.
Caring for your fire pit is vital to its longevity and service. Below are some tips on how to maintain a fire pit.
1. Keep It Clean
Make it a habit to keep the fire pit clean to preserve its appearance and avoid unwanted fires. You can use a broom to the insides of the cavity.
Remove all the remnants in the fire pit, including ash, wood, dust. Clear the area around the fire pit of any trash like dried leaves, grass, sticks, and anything flammable. This practice will prevent any flying ember from dropping on that debris and igniting a fire.
2. Seal the Stone
Most fire pits are built using decorative stones. These are durable materials but would eventually erode due to constant exposure to heat and other natural elements.
To protect these decorative stones and prolong their lifespan, coat it thinly with a stone sealant that can handle high temperatures and are explicitly made for outdoor use.
3. Cover the Fire Pit
For added protection for your fire pits, cover it when not in use. This can lessen the need to clean it as well as protect it from harmful elements. You can buy a metal cover or use a vinyl tarp and secure it to keep it in place.
4. Put out the Fire
Do not leave the fire pit burning. After each use, remember to extinguish the fire for safety reasons. This also ensures that the life span of your fire pit is prolonged by minimizing unnecessary exposure to heat.
5. Avoid Using Accelerants
Refrain from using accelerants or any flammable materials to start a fire in the pit. Aside from being a fire hazard, it can also cause damage to your fire pit.
Another important reminder is to avoid pouring water to the fire to snuff it out. Let it die and cool down gradually and naturally.
6. Avoid Using Plastic
Do not use any products made of plastic near the fire pit to keep it from melting. Melted plastic is hard to remove and clean and emits toxic gas in the air that is dangerous to our health.
7. Use a Stable Surface
For those using portable fire pits, make sure that you place the portable pits on a stable surface to prevent it from toppling over. Any damage to the fire pit is dangerous as it may cause unwanted fire and accidents.
Outdoor fire pits are great for entertaining and relaxing together with your family and friends. However, ensuring that the fire pit is well taken care of will provide excellent performance and safety to the user.
Learning what to do with ashes from fire pits is also crucial to prevent any unnecessary fire from starting. For more tips and information about fire pits, feel free to visit our page.