Best Way To Clean Ashes From Fireplace
Cleaning ash from the fireplace is a messy and even risky job. The ash from the fireplace needs to be removed and disposed of the right way or else it may become a potential fire hazard, release harmful carbon monoxide fumes, or result in burns to the person handling the ash.
Proper care must be taken each time you clean the ashes from the fireplace. It not only ensures that you are safe but the mishandling of the ashes can lead to fires that may cause extensive damage to your home.
Should You Remove Ashes from the Fireplace?
The fireplace must be cleared of ashes regularly but not necessarily after each time you light a fire. A good sign for you that indicates that it is time to clear the ashes is when they start touching the bottom of the fireplace grate. When you clean the fireplace, make sure to leave behind a heap or a layer of ash.
A small pile of ash helps start a new fire faster and keeps it hot for a longer time. Also, a layer of ash at the bottom protects the base of the fireplace from directly touching the burning logs. The ash acts as a cushion between the fire and the base thus protecting your fireplace from damage.
What Tools Are Needed to Clean Ashes From The Fireplace?
- Ash Bucket – container made of non-flammable material such as metal or earthenware
- Ash shovel – a specialized tool or even a metal trowel could be used as a substitute
- Fire-resistant gloves – help prevent accidental burns
- Face mask (optional) – reduce the chance of inhaling ash
How to Clean and Properly Dispose of Fireplace Ashes?
Here are the 4 steps you should follow to clean and safely dispose of fireplace ashes.
- Do not clean the ashes from the fireplace each time a fire is lit
You must allow a small heap of ash to collect in the fireplace. It helps to start a new fire and keeps it burning longer. The ash, also, keeps the bottom of the fireplace in good condition for a longer time. The flames can cause damage to the bottom but the ashes act as a buffer between the two.
- Wait for a Minimum of 24 Hours Before Ash Disposal
You must ensure that the fire has completely burned out and there are no hidden embers among the ashes when you remove them. You must allow the ashes to cool down before handling them for disposal. It is safe to wait for an entire day before removing them from the fireplace, else you can end up with burns from the hot ashes.
- Use a Metal Shovel to Remove the Ashes
Being careful when handling ashes is the best option. Using a metal shovel enables you to clean the fireplace without the fear of suffering from burns. The collected ash must be kept in a covered metal bucket. To avoid the emission of carbon monoxide fumes within your home, keep the bucket in a well-ventilated area.
- Reuse the Ashes or Dispose of Them
Wait for a few more days before you decide what you want to do with the collected ash. Let it completely cool inside the metal bucket. Once you are sure that they are safe to handle and you want to dispose of them in the garbage, you need to first put the ashes in a bag along with your other garbage items.
There are several benefits of using the ashes in your home. So, instead of disposing of them in the garbage, you can use the ashes as a useful natural resource for various purposes.
Safety Precautions When Handling Ashes
- Treat all ashes as hot
- Wait at least 24 hours after a fire before removing ashes
- Do not add live embers to the ash bucket
- Do not add anything combustible to the ash bucket
- Place the lid over the ash bucket to reduce the possibility of oxygen reaching a live ember or smoldering ashes in the ash bucket
- Store the ash bucket (with ashes) in a well-ventilated location as ashes may contain live coals (embers) from which carbon monoxide emits
- Do not place the ash bucket (with ashes) next to anything combustible
- Pour a little water over ashes in the ash bucket (think of properly extinguishing campfires), but do this in an outdoor setting in case of live embers or smoldering ashes or….
- Allow ash bucket to sit for at least three days before disposing of ashes
Ways in Which the Ashes can be Effectively Used
They can be used in the garden for:
- Mixing with soil for plants that need a lot of calcium and potassium
- Adding nutrients to your home compost
- Sprinkling them in the garden to keep pests and bugs away
They can also be used for:
- Clean metal and glass surfaces.
- Hide oil-spillage stains on the driveway’s asphalt tiles
- Provide traction on slippery walkways
- Extinguish flames
Your home is your biggest investment. Keeping your home and your possessions safe must be your priority. To get the right homeowners insurance that covers your unique needs, aligns with your budget, and keeps you protected at all times, contact our team at Remland Insurance Services Inc today.