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Homesteader shares little-known uses for leftover wood ash around your home: 'I had no idea'

"This is so awesome."

"This is so awesome."

Photo Credit: Instagram

If you have a wood stove or fire pit, you may be unsure of what to do with the leftover ash once your fire is finished. Did you know that wood ash actually has a ton of uses around your home and garden? One homesteader on Instagram showed followers a ton of ways to put this fire detritus to use. 

The scoop

Copper Knoll Farms (@copperknollfarms) is a farm in New Jersey that has amassed a large following on Instagram. They share stories and products from the farm and give tips that are useful to farmers and home gardeners. In a clip shared as a Reel, the farm showed followers almost a dozen ways to utilize wood ash around your home.

They share how to use wood ash as fertilizer, an ice melt, a smell neutralizer, and to absorb moisture. Copper Knoll says since wood ash is a natural ice melt, "keep a container of ash in your vehicle in case of an emergency when you might need extra traction during winter weather."

They also inform followers, "Wood ash will raise the pH of soils which is great if you use oak leaves for mulching." 

This is great advice for those who opt to stop raking your leaves in the fall, as wood ash can help balance out the acidity of your soil if necessary.

Additionally, they say, "Because wood ash is alkaline it is a great deodorizer. Use it to absorb odors in your fridge or sprinkle larger chunks in the little box."

How it's helping

Finding ways to reuse and repurpose waste around your home is a great way to stretch your budget. While wood ash may not be something everyone has access to, the principle remains. 

Wood ash has the potential to replace several expensive items you may need, such as fertilizer or ice melt. 

Additionally, commercial fertilizer can cause stress on watersheds if improperly used. More natural products like wood ash have fewer risks for your local ecosystem. The EPA reports that overuse of commercial pesticides "can cause harmful algal blooms (HABs) in freshwater systems, which not only disrupt wildlife but can also produce toxins harmful to humans."

Plus, repurposing wood ash for fertilizer reduces the amount of planet-warming pollution from nitrous oxide, one of the most harmful gases released from synthetic fertilizers, according to the UN Environment Programme.

The inspiration for repurposing waste may help you use plastic containers, tin cans, and even worn-out clothing in new ways before sending them to the landfill. 

For those looking to expand their recycling efforts, companies such as For Days, ThredUP, and GotSneakers can help you responsibly dispose of items — from textile recycling to sneaker donations

What everyone's saying

Folks in the comments were thrilled to learn about the benefits of wood ash. One person wrote, "This is so awesome. I had no idea. Thank you for this post."

Someone else gave an additional way they use ash: "My brother used it to stain a dining room table, the color was the most perfect charcoal gray color I've seen."

Another person gave a warning about using wood ash, though: "Don't put it on your walkways or steps unless you want it tracked into your house!"

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