Whether you are the owner of a wood stove or an open fireplace, then you will have the regular maintenance task of removing the ash. The more modern stoves come with a cleverly designed grate and tray that will help to make this task easier.
One of the complaints from owners of wood burning stoves is the mess that it can generate. All the bark, dirt and chippings that are brought into the home on the wood and the ash that needs to be cleared up. However, if you bring the wood into the home in metal bucket, you can quite often avoid most of this.
Emptying The Ash Pan
Every stove comes complete with instructions on how to empty the ash. However, the general rule is to not empty it out completely as it will protect the metal and it will also be a form of control when it comes to the intensity of the fire. Leave a few centimetres or a half an inch in the tray.
Your stove may well have an ash pan as part of its design. The easiest way to deal with this is to lift it out and put the whole thing into a plastic bag. Then tip off the ash whilst you keep the top of the bag closed. You’ll then stop the ash from flying up and making a mess. This plastic bag will ideally be contained in a metal bucket.
If an ash pan was not supplied with your stove, then you should use a metal shovel to remove the ashes. Again, you need to enclose the shovel inside the bag before you tip it. You will then be left with a plastic bag of ashes, with no mess.
Please Note: Although the ashes may look like they are cold, it’s very likely that there could be a hot ember hidden away at the bottom of the pile. This can burn a hole straight through the bag, or even worse, burn you or start a fire.
Disposing Of The Ashes
Ashes can be disposed of in a number of ways. You can use them to de-ice your front driveway or to fertilise your garden. They can even be used in the compost – just be sure to mix them in so that they are not clumped together.