ashes what to do burning

What to Do with Ashes from Fire Pit? (All You Need to Know)

In Exterior Wood, Tips by Jamie

When you have bonfires or campfires regularly you will start to accumulate many ashes. People often don’t know the right way to dispose of ashes when they clean out their fire pit. Cleaning out your ashes regularly is a good way to reduce excess smoke and pollution when burning a wood fire. There are many ways the ashes from your fire pit can be used.

When you clean out your firepit most people don’t know how they are supposed to dispose of the ashes from previous fires. Wondering what to do with ashes from your fire pit? Learn all you need to know about disposing of fire pit ashes correctly in this guide. Continue reading this guide to learn about the many ways to properly dispose of the ashes from your fire pit.

Should I Remove All the Ash After Each Fire?

Yes, you should remove the ashes from your fire pit after each fire that you have in your fire pit. The reason you need to dispose of your ashes regularly is that when the ashes become damp the ashes become very acidic. Leaving your ashes in the fire pit and lighting fire after the fire without cleaning out the ashes from the fire pit can cause air pollution.

Harmful fumes are emitted from ashes that have been dampened at any point in time, and ashes can become damp from humidity, rain, and morning dew. Any fire pits that are outdoors will be exposed to moisture eventually, so it is best to clean the fire pit regularly.

How Often Should I Clean Ashes from Fire Pit?

You should clean out the ashes from your fire pit as frequently as you can. There is no benefit to leaving the ashes in your fire pit and it will not enable your fires to start quicker in the future. Many people are under the misconception that reusing ashes in your firepit will help you start fire quicker in the future, but this isn’t true at all.

You should clean out the ashes from your fire pit after every fire if possible. When your ashes get damp from any natural moisture, they become dangerous. Burning fire on damp ashes is a cause of air pollution.

Can You Throw Ashes in the Garbage?

Yes, you can throw ashes in the garbage if you bag them up. Be careful to make sure that there are no trace metals in your wood ashes when disposing of them in the garbage. It isn’t recommended to dispose of your ashes in the garbage because there are other uses that you can get from wood ashes.

Bagging up the ashes before you dispose of them in a standard trash can is the best way to make sure that there aren’t any contaminants in the ashes that can damage the environment. You should never dispose of ashes without wrapping them up in a water-resistant material.

Can You Flush Ashes Down the Toilet?

Septic tanks are not intended to handle fluffy ash so you should never flush the ash from your wood fire pit. Flushing ashes down your toilet can cause clogs in your pipes and other septic issues. There are many safe ways to dispose of the ashes from your woodfire properly but down the toilet is not one of them.

To dispose of ashes safely you should never dispose of them in your plumbing system. This includes any showers, toilets, or sinks that may be present in your home. Dry materials of any kind can disrupt your plumbing system.

How to Properly Dispose of Ashes from Fire Pit

The best way to properly dispose of ashes from your fire pit is to use them for lawn care. Many people use fire pit ashes to help fertilize their plants and lawn. If you don’t have your lawn, then you can help your community by giving the ashes to a local farm or a gardener so that they can use the ashes as fertilizer. Throwing the ashes away in a garbage can is okay but it is also wasteful.

Can I Put Fire Pit Ashes in My Garden?

Can I Put Fire Pit Ashes in My Garden

Yes, it is completely safe to put fire pit ashes in your garden if there are no traces of metal or plastic in the ashes. You can use fire pit ashes in your garden by either mixing them into your soil or by spreading them on top of your garden. Firepit ashes are commonly used as a fertilizer on people’s lawns and gardens.

Using fire pit ashes in your garden is a fantastic way to reuse your ashes and benefit your garden. The environment should reuse your ashes more than it is to just throw them away.

Can I Spread Fire Pit Ashes on my Lawn?

Yes, spreading your fire pit ashes out on your lawn is a safe and environmentally friendly way to dispose of them Spreading ashes out on your lawn can improve the appearance of your grass because firepit ashes act as a fertilizer. Spreading out your firepit ashes on your lawn is a good way to reuse your ashes and help your lawn look healthy.

The best way to dispose of your ashes from your fire pit is to reuse the ashes. Reusing the ashes is both beneficial for your lawn and the overall environment.

Can I Mix Ashes in Compost?

Can I Mix Ashes in Compost?

Yes, you can mix the fire pit ashes into your compost. Mixing your wood ashes into your compost pile is safe and beneficial for the environment. The only time you should not add your fire pit ashes to your compost pile is if your burned wood with paint or other chemicals on it.

Normally adding wood ashes from your fire pit to your compost pile is a safe and excellent way to dispose of your ashes. However, if there is paint or other chemicals added to the wood then adding the ashes to your compost pile will do more harm than good. Whenever you reuse your ashes, you need to make sure that the ashes are not contaminated to minimize harm to the environment.

Can Wood Ashes Be Used to Clean a Glass Surface?

Yes, you can use fire pit ashes to clean glass surfaces. People frequently use fire pit ashes to clean the surface of fire pit glass because it can be very effective in removing soot. Other tough-to-remove stains can be removed with ash from glass too. Ash is completely safe and effective to use on glass surfaces.

The best way to use ash to help clean glass surfaces is to dip a damp towel in the ashes and wipe the ash cover glass in circles on the glass surface. Rubbing the ash-covered cloth in circles on a glass surface is an effective way to remove stuck-on stains and debris.

Are Ashes a Good Way to Provide Traction on Snow and Ice?

Yes, you can use wood ash from your fireplace to gain traction in ice and snow. Many people use the ashes from their fire pit as a natural way to melt snow and ice in a similar way that sidewalk salt is used. Many people choose to use ashes instead of salts because it is safer for people and animals to walk on, and it is a much cheaper method of gaining traction in ice and snow.

Can Ashes Deter Insect, Rodents, and/or Reptiles?

Ashes from your fire pit can be used as both a garden fertilizer and a pest repellent. People use fire pit ashes to repel snakes, mice, and insects. Many people have concerns about pests getting into their gardens and ruining their plants. By sprinkling fire pit ashes into your garden, you will naturally repel insects, rodents, and reptiles from ruining your garden and you will be fertilizing your plants at the same time.

Other pest repellents are not recommended for use in gardens and sometimes fences are not enough. In these situations, you should consider using wood ash in your garden as a pest repellent.

Can You Rub Wood Ash on Your Skin?

Can You Rub Wood Ash on Your Skin

There are some woods like sandalwood that the ash is beneficial to be used on the skin. Using sandalwood ash on your skin is a great way to give your skin the antioxidants it needs. However, other wood ashes can irritate the skin. Whenever you are applying any new product including wood ash to your skin you should do a patch test to make sure it is safe.

Are There Any Other Uses for Fire Pit Ashes?

There are many uses for wood ash. Most of them have been covered in this list already but there are more uses too. Some more uses include cleaning wounds, being used in soap, and fireplace ash can be used as a jewelry cleaner. There is an endless list of uses for fireplace ashes so they shouldn’t just be discarded.

When using fireplace ash for anything you should make sure that the wood you burned didn’t have any contaminants or chemicals. Normal wood ash is great for many things but wood ash that is contaminated should be thrown away in the garbage. Using contaminated fireplace ash can harm your health and the environment.

Related Questions

Below are some other questions people ask regarding the use of fire pit ashes in their daily lives. Many people don’t know the many uses for fire pit ashes and have a lot of questions about this new information.

Can Ashes Stain Your Clothes?

Yes, fire pit ashes can stain your clothes, particularly white clothing. If treated properly you can remove most stains that are caused by ash residue.

How to Clean Up Spilled Ashes?

Spilled ashes can be cleaned up with a broom and a mop. Sweep up as much of the ashes as you can and then mop up the leftover ashes to clean them up all the way. The water from the mow will pick up any remaining ashes from the floor.

How Long After a Fire are the Ashes Still Hot?

Ashes can take up to three days to completely cool off after a fire if there is no rain. You should wait to remove the ashes from the fire pit until the ashes have completely cooled off. Removing the ashes while they are still hot can cause injury and cause a fire hazard.

Are Fire Pit Ashes Toxic to Dogs and Cats?

Yes, fire pit ashes can be toxic for cats and dogs, and you should keep your fire pit ashes as far away from your animals as possible. If your cat or dog encounters fire pit ashes, then you should take them to the vet immediately. Firepit ashes can cause damage to the skin of cats and dogs and can poison them if ingested.

If you seek medical intervention as soon as possible you can prevent your pet from becoming sick or injured from the fire pit ash. If your pets frequently go out on your lawn you shouldn’t use the ashes in places that pets can access easily.

Final Thoughts

There are many uses for fire pit ashes and fire pit ashes should not be thrown away if they are not contaminated.  It is good for the environment overall to reuse the firepit ashes instead of discarding them. You should never dispose of fire pit ashes in a plumbing system under any circumstances. You should not reuse fire pit ashes if the wood that was burned or was covered in any other chemicals.

If you are reusing your fire pit ashes in your garden or on your lawn you should make sure your pet cats or dogs cannot access the area. Firepit ashes can be toxic and harmful to household pets but very beneficial for fertilizing and keeping pests out of your garden. Scattering fire pit ashes over your lawn and garden is a common and effective way that people make use of their ashes.

About the Author

Jamie

Jamie is the founder of The Backyard Pros. When he was 15 years old he started working at a garden centre helping people buy plants, gardening products, and lawn care products. He has real estate experience and he is a home owner. Jamie loves backyard projects, refinishing furniture, and enjoys sharing his knowledge online.