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Campfires and firepits are excellent ways to spend an evening in the great outdoors. After you've finished your fire, you may want to clean the ashes from your pit or campfire area. Fireplace and campfire ashes alike can quickly become toxic when inhaled and not disposed of properly. Learn best practices for how to collect, store, and use wood ash from your campfire or firepit. 

Scoop the Firepit Ashes

Before you can put firepit ashes to use, you will need to scoop and clean them from your firepit. Use an ash scooper to remove the ashes, but only do so once your fire has been put out and the ashes have completely cooled. You can use firewood or afire poker to ensure no hot embers remain in your ash.

Avoid using a plastic scooper to scoop the ashes from the firepit. Instead, use an ash scooper made of metal or aluminum foil, especially when working on a potentially hot surface recently used for a fire.

If possible, wait anywhere between 12 and 24 hours to scoop the ashes from your firepit to prevent burns or handle hot ashes.

Storing Your Scooped Firepit Ashes

If you intend to use your collected ashes elsewhere, you can store them in a closable bag or another sealed container, such as a metal bucket with a lid. Always ensure that your ashes are cooled prior to storing.

Firepit ashes collected from a campfire can be extremely useful for numerous things. There are many ways to put the ashes you collect to good use, from food preservation to pest control.

Use Firepit Ashes for Pest Control

Collecting and storing ashes from your firepit is a great way to manage pest control on your property. Ashes make great repellant for both snails and slugs, which can keep unwanted pests from entering and attempting to damage your garden.

Firepit Ashes as a Cleaner

You can also use ashes as a form of cleaner. Ashes can be extremely useful for removing adhesive and residue from tricky and stubborn surfaces. Mixing ashes with water can help to create a slurry or paste, which can then be used to help scrub surfaces to get them clean.

Campfire Ashes to Clean Up Oil Spills

Another way to put ashes to use is to use them to help clean oil spills. Oil and grease can leave pesky stains that are difficult and, in some instances, nearly impossible to use with traditional cleaners and degreasers. Using wood ashes can help absorb oils like cat litter works to absorb liquid and odors. 

Firepit Ashes Can Absorb Odors

One of the benefits of collecting and storing ashes for future usage is eliminating odors on-demand with the ashes you create in your firepit. Ashes are naturally alkaline, which means they act as a natural deodorizer. Simply placing a small amount of collected ashes in a bowl can help absorb stinky odors in the air while also providing a natural woodsy scent that will last for hours and, in some cases, even days.

WALDEN ASH SCOOP

Use Collected Firepit Ashes as Garden Fertilizer

One of the more surprising uses of wood ash is to use the ash for garden fertilizer. Collecting and using wood ash for the garden provides essential healthy nutrients to plants and soil, such as nitrogen and carbon.  It is also possible to mix wood ash with compost for healthier soil. 

If you live in a region where the soil is already acidic, it may be best to steer clear of using wood ashes as compost or in the soil itself. Wood ash can raise PH levels in soil, making the land unstable for gardening if it is already too acidic. 

Knowing what to do with firepit ashes can help you maintain your firepit area while also putting the ashes you collect to good use. 

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