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What to do with wet wood ash?  RSS feed

 
Alison Thomas
pollinator
Posts: 933
Location: France
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I have a very large pile of wet wood ash - it was supposed to have been dry woodash but my 'helpful' hubby only half covered the pile with a tarp  By the time I got there the water had moved through the pile using capillary action.  Is there anything I can do with it now that it's wet?  If not, how do I dispose of it in a responsible way?

Thanks
 
Guy De Pompignac
Posts: 192
Location: SW of France
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Feeding it to comfrey ?
 
Jeanine Gurley Jacildone
pollinator
Posts: 1422
Location: Midlands, South Carolina Zone 7b/8a
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I just mix mine up with leaves and grass clippings and spread it all over everything.

There may be some horrible imbalance I'm causing but so far my plants don't seem to have a problem with it.
 
                            
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wood ash can be used in many ways, traditionaly was used instead of soap, and for washing dishes. if you are against soap using just cook wood ash in water for little bit and use the liquid to clean yourself.
also its wluable source of minerals, you can use it as fertilazer, but be careful with the amount. i would put half a showel around each tree. i heard pommigranates love it a lot....
 
                      
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hvala wrote:
just cook wood ash in water for little bit and use the liquid to clean yourself."


Please do not do this! Running water through wood ash you get lye (sodium hydroxide), a.k.a. caustic soda, which is caustic!

Lye was mixed with lard to make soap, but getting too much lye in the mix could still harm  skin, so using it alone unless very diluted is certainly NOT to be recommended!

Wood ash can also be used to clean silverware and glass, including fireplace glass (wear rubber gloves) and can also be used as a greener alternative to salt to melt ice.
 
                            
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yes but i never noticed theres something wrong with my skin after using it...sodium is not in so big percentage in wood ash, also people use to cook it, i dont know what happens than but guess  it reduces caustic effect....
in old times there was no much options to get substances with cleaning effects, my family also used to make this sopa from lard but for me its stupid to kill animal just to clean yourself also i dont keep domestic animals so for me wood ash is still option.....
 
                      
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hvala wrote:
yes but i never noticed theres something wrong with my skin after using it...sodium is not in so big percentage in wood ash, also people use to cook it, i dont know what happens than but guess  it reduces caustic effect....
in old times there was no much options to get substances with cleaning effects, my family also used to make this sopa from lard but for me its stupid to kill animal just to clean yourself also i dont keep domestic animals so for me wood ash is still option.....


I think the key is dilution, not the content in the ash itself. If you add 1 teaspoon of ash to 1 liter of water, you will get one result. Mix 1:1, something completely different and, possibly, dangerous. Sorry, but without including a recipe, I think your advice could be dangerous.

I have made lye soap a couple of times just for the sake of doing something new, not as an ongoing practice. Lots of advice on the web on how to do this but the water was allowed to seep through the ash and the concentration (supposedly, didn't try it ) would have been caustic.

If you object to using animal products (fats) to make soap, vegetable fats can, apparently be substituted (haven't tried this myself).
 
                            
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ok, sorry for not posting exact recipe.....
i dont opose nothing, just being realistic. for one kilo of pig fat you need to feed 20 kilos of food to pig. its just stupid thing to do, people use to do it in past only for not having access to knowledge of any alternatives. today we have access to everything, so pig fat is just something i dont want to think about even, theres so many other ways to do it, best soaps i used were made of olive oil, other oils are also good....
 
                              
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hvala wrote:
wood ash can be used in many ways, traditionaly was used instead of soap, and for washing dishes. if you are against soap using just cook wood ash in water for little bit and use the liquid to clean yourself.


What kind of ratio of water to ash do you use hvala? Does the water need to boil?
 
                            
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pebble wrote:
What kind of ratio of water to ash do you use hvala? Does the water need to boil?


i dont know! i just used ash few times when there was no other option, like in rainbows. my family lived until sixties in mountains 95% sustainble, they use to make some stuff with cooking ash, but i was born much after they stopped with this, so i cant say exactly.
 
                            
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I suggest that you should put it on some plant or trees. that way ash could be use as a fertilizer.

[http://treeandgardensolutions.com.au//url]
 
                              
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Ok, thanks hvala, I might experiment with low concentrations.
 
maikeru sumi-e
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Alison, you could add it to stuff to compost, where the microbes and resulting compost will benefit from the nutrient and mineral boost.
 
Jonathan 'yukkuri' Kame
Posts: 488
Location: Foothills north of L.A., zone 9ish mediterranean
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Alliums (onions, garlic) tend to like wood ash.  My Japanese grandmother-in-law, who was born in Fukushima in 1909, always told the kids to place ash on the garlic chives (niira) that grew along the side of the road. 
 
Sergio Santoro
Posts: 256
Location: Nicoya, Costa Rica
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As far as I know, the lye you get from hardwood ash is potassium hydroxide, not sodium. It makes softer soap, more like a hard cream. And yes, if diluted in a bottle of water (you'll have to look for a recipe) it's a great shampoo and overall cleaner: from laundry to floors.
As a source of potassium (K), it's always needed by plants; just use it in small amounts and the soil will know how to use it.
 
                              
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So will the wet ashes be changed chemically by now? Or does it need more water?
 
John Polk
steward
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Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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Peach trees love wood ash.
 
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