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Creative Uses of Wood Ashes

Winter has passed and now it’s time to start thinking about summer days. But first you need to take care of some spring cleaning. One of those things is cleaning out your fireplace in prep for your annual chimney inspection and cleaning. When you clean out those ashes, there are several things that you can do with those ashes. In fact, once you read these good ideas, you’ll want to start saving up your ashes throughout the winter!

Indoor Uses

Since you’re doing that spring cleaning, why not go ahead and use those ashes to help out. First off, while you’re cleaning your fireplace, use those ashes to clean your glass fireplace doors. If you dip a damp sponge into your ashes and then rub them onto the glass doors, you can scrub the soot right away. And when you’re done cleaning those doors, go ahead and polish your silver. A paste of water and soot makes a great silver cleaner.

Ashes also make a great odor absorber. Put some ashes in a small bowl and place that bowl in a smelly room or in your refrigerator and it’ll soon be smelling fresh. Just keep replacing the ashes every few days to keep those odors away.

Did you know that you can also make soap with ashes? Lye is a key ingredient in soap, and when you soak ashes in water you get lye. Mix this with animal fat and boil it. It’ll harden as it cools. You have soap!

Outdoor Uses

After you’ve got the inside of your house all clean and sparkling, you can move outdoors. You can start by beefing up your garden! Everyone knows that using compost is a great way to make your garden grow. You can add wood ash to your compost pile to make it even better – but remember, it needs to be added in moderation. Sprinkle on a layer of ashes for about every six inches of compost.

You can also use ashes to make a tea that can be used to help correct potassium deficiencies in some plants that tend to be deficient, like tomatoes, apples, sugar beets, and raspberries. Just put five pounds of ash in an old pillowcase and tie it shut. Put the bag into a 50-gallon garbage bin of water and let it steep a couple days. Once it’s brewed, you can use it to water your plants – use about a cup around your plants weekly. And if it’s your tomatoes that you’re worried about, you can put a ¼ cup of ashes right in the hole when you’re planting them. One more thing – if you sprinkle ashes around the perimeter of your garden, it can help keep slugs and snails away.

You can also use ashes to make your lawn look great – sprinkle some on the lawn and then give it a good watering to make it nice and green.

Call Chim Cheroo

There are many great ways to use those old wood ashes from your fireplace. And while you’re doing that spring cleaning, make sure that you call Chim Cheroo Chimney Service and schedule your annual inspection and chimney sweeping.

By Don Rhine on April 6th, 2017 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Comments Off on Creative Uses of Wood Ashes

Getting Rid of Bad Odors in Your Chimney

When you think of a fire, you think of crackling flames, comfort on a snowy night, and the pleasant Why Does My Chimney Have a Strong Odor in the Summer- Memphis TN- Cooperstown Service-w800-h597smell of burning wood. Unfortunately, the odors that come from your chimney are not always so pleasant. There are several things that can cause bad odors to emanate from your fireplace. In most cases, it’s an easy fix to get your fireplace and the room it’s in smelling fresh.

Causes of Chimney Odors and Solutions to these Causes

  1. The ashes that are left over after you burn a fire in your fireplace can cause a stuffy scent in the room. The solution to this problem would seem obvious: remove the ashes. And this is a good place to start. Home Guides recommends removing the ashes from your fireplace on a weekly basis. Use a stiff brush to reach into the interior of your chimney to loosen any ashes within your reach that may be clinging there, and then push the ashes that fall into a dustpan and dump them into a garbage bag. Remove this from your home right away to prevent spillage in your house. If odors linger in the room, sprinkle carpets and furniture with baking soda, let it sit for an hour, then vacuum these surfaces to make things fresh-smelling.
  2. Your chimney may have a blockage, and the smoke or other gasses from your fire are not being drawn away from the house. Again, this can be an easy fix: remove the blockage. According to ehow.com, oftentimes this blockage is caused by a bird or animal building a nest, or by branches, twigs, or leaves that have blown into your chimney. If the source of your blockage is close to the top of the chimney or is something that can easily be removed, you can try to remove it yourself. However, if the blockage is more severe or isn’t easily accessible, call a Chimney Safety Institute of America certified chimney sweep, like one from Chim-Cheroo Chimney Service Inc, to help with removal. These experts could also tell you if a chimney cap would be of help in keeping animals and other debris out of your chimney.
  3. Creosote build-up can also cause severe odors in your chimney, especially in the summer months when humidity is high. The Chimney Safety Institute of America states that “[T]he real problem is the air being drawn down the chimney, a symptom of overall pressure problems in the house.” This downdraft occurs when your fireplace doesn’t have a fire burning, and it can force air and odors back into your home. A simple approach to try to avoid this problem would be to buy a rack for votive candles and to burn these in your fireplace during the summer. However, a safer approach would be to hire Chim-Cheroo Chimney Service Inc professionals to inspect and clean your chimney.

You don’t have to live with odors that come from your chimney. If you have an odor problem, check for these issues, and remember: your best approach is a proactive approach. Call Chim-Cheroo Chimney Service Inc. to set up your annual inspection and cleaning. They can give you great tips to keep your fireplace and chimney clean and smelling great.

By Don Rhine on July 11th, 2016 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Comments Off on Getting Rid of Bad Odors in Your Chimney