If you burn wood and coal in a home fire regularly, you can end up with a lot of waste ash. After you have removed the ash from the grate and cooled it in a storage bin, there are a number of options available to you. Whilst most people just throw their ash away, there are actually some practical alternatives:


After a forest fire, soil becomes highly nutritious and new plants are able to grow. This is because ash contains high levels of nutrients that are beneficial to plant life, in the right amounts. Wood ash is great for the ground, so mix layers of wood ash into your compost heap. Coal ash is not so beneficial due to carcinogens, so don’t include it in your compost.


Ash can be used to clean the grease from pots and pans when you’re camping. Some people use the ashes neat, rubbing them onto the pots and pans and cleaning off with water. For those stubborn stains, soak in a mixture of ash and water for a few hours.

You can make a thick paste with ash and water to make a great cleaning option if there is no hot water available.

Icy Paths

Sprinkling ashes on to icy ground makes for a more surefooted journey across icy paths. Make sure you only use ash from wood burning, as it is better for the ground when the ice has melted.


You can build up a garden path by sprinkling layers of ash on the ground. Over time, the ash will be trodden into the ground, gradually building up a pathway.

Slugs and Snails

Ash works as a great deterrent to pests. Build up little walls of ashes between your vegetables and around plants to keep them from destroying your hard work in the garden.

Instead of just throwing away your wood or smokeless coal ash next time, try some of these top recycling tips.