Ash Information & Safety sheet
Premium Oak/Pecan/Cherry Hardwood Ash
Suggested Uses for Ash
Aquaponics fertilizer-just 1 tablespoon per 1,000 gallons will promote plant growth and improve health of plants. Use in ponds to control algae growth.
Boost Compost – boost potassium in your compost pile. Too much will damage your pile because wood ash is alkaline so use in moderation.
Lawn Fertilizer - Wood ash contains 10-25% calcium, 1-4% magnesium, 5-15% potassium and 1-3% phosphorus. Again, go light.
Green Your Lawn-sprinkle on your lawn or pasture and then water thoroughly to prevent the wood ash from being blow away by the wind. Promotes lusher green pastures and lawns.
Substitute for Lime to neutralize acidic soil with a pH below 6. No more than 25 pounds per 1,000 square feet of soil.
Make soap-wood ashes can be mixed with animal fat and water and used to make your own homemade soap. Use caution as the lye created from wood ash can be very caustic.
Poultry Dust Bath - place cold ashes where your birds can get to them, the dust baths will control bugs.
Ring Around the Rosie - spread a low ring around individual plants are gardens to deter slugs/snails.
Cleaning Agent - mix with water to form a paste and use on the glass in your wood stove or fireplace. Ditto for rings left on wood furniture from glasses. It's abrasive, so use with care. Ditto for polishing silver.
Great Fertilizer for Tomatoes and other nightshade plants.
Melt Ice - Use wood ash to melt ice instead of rock salt. Wood ash contains potassium carbonate or potash. Potash is better for plants and the planet than more chloride-based salts like rock salt. Rock salt can be toxic to underground water sources, plants, your pets, and can damage concrete or metal surfaces.
Odor Control - Put in t-shirt material to insert in stored shoes. Also dust on pets that have been skunked - after having shampooed them with Nature's Miracle.
Make Lye - takes some work and old timers only use hickory ash, but it can be done.
Substitute for Eggshells to add calcium to your garden—sprinkle lightly around your plants that need more calcium. Potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes, carrots, beans, lettuce, celery, peas, and cabbage and garlic.
Use for Chicken Bathing-Mix wood ash with sand to create a great place for chicken bathing. Backyard chickens love to bathe in dust to keep clean. It’s a behavior that cleans a chicken’s feathers and removes lice, mites, and other parasites.
Chicken Feed Supplement—Wood ash is high in calcium so adding wood ash in very small amounts to your chicken feed (1% or less ratio) means your chickens will lay eggs more frequently for a longer period of time. And it also can help absorb ammonia in their droppings, which reduces fumes as well.
Remove Hair from Hides—mix wood ash with hot water and soak animal hides from freshly killed deer, hogs, or other animals to remove the majority of hair from the hide and reduce amount of hide scraping needed.
Smother Fire—you can quickly smother a fire by covering it with wood ash.
Use for Traction—If you get a vehicle stuck on ice or in the snow, sprinkle ash heavily around the tires. You should be able to drive right out.
Get Rid of Ants and Other Insects-Dump ash directly into the ant colony. Although ants can lift bigger items, they cannot move ash and will be forced to relocate. To keep other insects such as cockroaches, other insects, and even mice and rats, layer ash in the dark areas of your basement or corners of your house. As long as the ash is there, insects and rodents will steer clear.
Remove fleas, ticks, and lice from pets and livestock. Mix ash and vinegar into a thick paste and work into the fur of the animal.
Moth Repellant-sprinkle ash onto clothing before you put them into storage. Clothes will be moth free and when you are ready to use them again, simply shake off the ash.
Absorb Stains-Use to clean up wet paint and grease spills. Wood ash absorbs liquids and can be used to clean up wet paint or grease spills. It can also be used to remove stains from cement, asphalt, and other porous surfaces. Sprinkle lightly on the stain, allow to sit, sweep up later with a broom.
Clean and Polish—moisten a piece of newspaper and dip in wood ash and then use to clean windows, soot from glass fireplace doors, or polish silver.
For Healing—The Egyptians used wood ash for cleansing wounds to kill bacteria and promote faster healing. Birch ash diluted in milk has been used to treat diseased livers. Rowan ash in water has treated anemia, helped with depression and weakness. Oak ash diluted in boiled water and strained has been used to treat ocular pressure and aspen ash has successfully treat swelling in limbs and the colon.
Safety/Cautions When Using Wood Ash
Lye and lye water made from wood ash is very toxic. Never add lye or lye water to food or put on your skin.
Use only ash that comes from chemical free wood (like Mr. Dirtfarmer). Do not burn stained or painted wood, commercial “logs”, or pressure treated boards.
Hardwood ash is five times higher in nutrients than softwood.
Store ash in metal container on a concrete surface to prevent fires as embers that are buried can still be hot after days or weeks.
Wood ash particles are extremely light and fine and travel easily through the air.
When working with wood ash, always wear eye protection, gloves, and for extended work, a dust mask.
There is salt in wood ash which will damage younger plants such as seedlings.
Take care when using wood ash in the garden, it should not be mixed with urea or other nitrogen fertilizers as it can result in ammonia gas production.
There are many other uses for ash, let me know your application.