When you’re done barbecuing, don’t just toss the ashes in the trash! Charcoal ash can be used for a variety of purposes around the house and garden. Let’s explore some of the more helpful everyday uses for charcoal ash. From cleaning your grill to fertilizing your plants, it can come in handy in various ways.
Table of Contents
- What is charcoal ash?
- Four uses for charcoal ash
- How to collect charcoal ashes after barbecuing
- Must-read related posts
What is charcoal ash?
We start here because what charcoal ash is really frames how versatile it is for uses in both your home and garden.
Charcoal ash is the residue left behind after burning charcoal. It’s generally made up of two parts: the unburned carbon from the charcoal and minerals like calcium, potassium, and phosphorus that are found in the wood that the charcoal is made from.
When you light a charcoal fire, these minerals are heated to high temperatures and become fused. This process gives charcoal its unique properties, like its ability to absorb odors and toxins.
Four uses for charcoal ash
While you may not think of it as a versatile household product, you’ll come to love the potential of charcoal ash.
One big caveat: These uses work for natural charcoal only. Natural lump hardwood charcoal or briquettes that are marked as 100% natural hardwood (or similar language). You don’t want to use generic charcoal briquettes for this use or briquettes with any additives (like those with lighter fluid added.) Charcoal ash containing any additives should be thrown out.
Cleaning your grill
Charcoal ash makes an excellent natural cleaner for your grill. Just sprinkle it on a damp cloth and scrub away! The ash’s abrasive nature will help remove any built-up residue, while the absorbent properties will soak up any grease or oil.
Charcoal ash can help to absorb unwanted odors in your home. Just place a bowl of ash in the affected area and let it do its work. You’ll be amazed at how well it works.
Pro-tip: If your fridge is starting to smell, try placing that bowl of charcoal ash inside the refrigerator. The charcoal will absorb any odors, leaving your fridge smelling fresh and clean.
Fertilizing your plants
Charcoal ash is a great source of nutrients for your plants. The charcoal ash minerals can help promote healthy growth and encourage strong roots. Just be sure to use it sparingly, as too much can harm your plants.
Charcoal ash can also be used as a pest control measure. Sprinkling it around your garden’s perimeter can help keep pests away. The sharp edges of the ash will deter slugs and snails, while the absorbent properties will soak up any moisture they need.
How to collect charcoal ashes after barbecuing
Yes, charcoal ash can be messy. They can also be deceivingly hot if you try to collect them before your grill completely cools. Let the ashes cool completely before handling them. Cover your grill and wait approximately 24 to 48 hours to allow the ash to cool, so there’s no heat at all left in it. And use a metal scoop or tongs to transfer the ashes to a container.
Must-read related posts
- Get To Know The Types Of Charcoal: There are three primary types. Do you know them? Hint, two are in the comparison we recommend reading below.
- Lump Charcoal Vs. Briquettes: How do they compare?
- How To Create Charcoal Flavor Off The Grill: No grill? No problem. Certain spices can help you out.