When using your fire pit, you’re constantly collecting ashes at the bottom. After all, you are burning wood, which turns into ash. But should you remove those ashes from your fire pit?
You should remove the ashes until there’s about 1 inch of it left. This inch of ash will make it easier to start a new fire later down the line, as they retain residual heat. Anything over 1 inch will clog up your fire pit and should be removed.
A small layer of ashes is beneficial for your fire pit. And you can do some pretty cool things with all the leftover ashes, so don’t throw them away just yet. After all, there’s a reason some call it ‘black gold’!
Should You Remove Ash From A Fire Pit?
You should leave about an inch of ash in your fire pit. This inch of ash will help your subsequent fires burn more effectively and intensely as ashes help with the combustion. In turn, this lowers the creosote build-up, as there will be less smoke.
Too much ash inside your fire pit is not a good thing. It clogs everything up and leads to less efficient fires. However, you shouldn’t clean up all of your ashes. A layer of about an inch (or 2 inches at max) is actually beneficial to your fire pit.
The leftover inch of ash aids in the combustion, leading to a more intense and efficient flame. Give it a try yourself next time. You’ll notice that making the fire is not only easier, but there’s also much less smoke.
Smoke that travels through your chimney can turn into creosote, a tar-like substance that sticks to the inside of your chimney and can spontaneously combust. Creosote can also form outside your chimney and is considered pollution (which would be the case with firepits).
With your more intense and efficient fire, there will be less smoke, which results in less creosote.
A small layer of ashes also helps build your subsequent fire more easily. Ashes quickly warm up, and as mentioned before, they aid with the combustion. Due to the heat that these ashes give off, your logs will combust much faster.
What Do You Do With Ashes From A Fire Pit?
Firepit ashes can be used as a fertilizer for your garden, as they contain lots of nutrition and raise the soil’s pH level. Storing some ash for a snowy day is a good idea as well, as it can help you get traction on slippery snow and ice.
There are many cool ways you can reuse your firepit’s ashes. They work wonders in the garden and have some more practical uses as well.
Use Fire Pit Ash In Your Garden
Wood ash is rich in potassium and is the perfect nutrition for plants. Ash is also high in calcium carbonate, which will raise the pH of your soil.
Earlier, we referred to ash as ‘black gold’, and that primarily relates to its use in the garden. Most gardeners call it ‘black gold’ because of its nutritious value. Ash is
Use Fire Pit Ash To Get Traction In Snow
When you poor some ash on snow or ice, the many particles will help you gain traction. And because ash is rich in potassium, it also helps melt the ice quicker.
A somewhat minor use, but a handy one at that. Collect and store some of your ashes for a snowy day, and you’ll thank yourself later!
Use Fire Pit Ash To Polish Metals
Ash is an abrasive material, and when mixed with a bit of water, it can be used to polish metals.
Ash is made up of lots of small particles. These particles are mildly abrasive, making them perfect for polishing metals. Mix it with a bit of water to form a paste and you can polish your cutlery or any other metalwork.
Use Fire Pit Ash To Deter Pests
Ashes are a natural desiccant, and since snails and slugs consist of a lot of water, they’re deterred by it. Ash has long been used as a natural pest repellant.
Not only is ash used to help your plants grow, but it also keeps certain pests away. It really deserves the name ‘black gold’ if you’re into gardening!
For more uses of fireplace/fire pit ashes, you can check this article here!
How Often Should You Clean Your Fire Pit?
When used often, you should clean the ashes from your fire pit every day, leaving about an inch of ash. This prevents the ash from building up and clogging your fire pit. When used less often, clean after every few burns, ensuring that the pile of ashes never gets about 2 inches.
How often you should clean your fire pit really depends on how often you use it. If you light a fire every night, the ash will build up much faster than when you light a fire every week. As a general rule, you don’t want to go over 2 inches of ash, preferably keeping your ash pile to an inch.
It basically comes down to how often you use your fire pit. If you use it often, you should clean it often. If you use it less often, you can clean it less often.
However, there are some more factors at play here:
- What woods you burn. Hardwoods (such as oak, maple, and birch) leave more ashes.
- The heat of the fire. The hotter the fire, the less by-products are left, including ash (a hotter flame means less ash).
And lastly, it should be noted that all ashes should be cleaned up if you’re not planning on using your fire pit for a while. Ash is acidic and retains moisture, which could lead to potential damages later down the line.
How To Correctly Dispose Of Fireplace Ashes
Allow the ashes to cool for several days, as they can retain heat for a long time. When the ashes are cooled, they can be disposed of by simply bagging them and throwing them away with your regular garbage. However, ashes can also be used for several household purposes.
Disposing of ashes is extremely easy. You can simply bag them and throw them away with your regular garbage. However, you should always be a little careful when handling ashes, as they are excellent at retaining heat.
Therefore, you should leave your ashes to cool for some time. Preferably a few days, but definitely overnight. From here, it’s also best to use a shovel or some gloves to gather your ashes. This could prevent some unwanted and nasty burns.
- Allow ashes to cool. You don’t want to burn yourself, so allow the ash to cool down.
- Gather the ash. Preferably do this with a shovel or some gloves as the ash may still be warm.
- Dispose or use your ash. You can simply bag your ash and throw them away, or put it to use in the many ways we listed above!