Back in the good old days we only had our fireplaces to help heat our homes, and cleaning out of wood ash from the hearth was a daily task. Nowadays, after spending the evening sitting by a cosy open fireplace, we can collect and clean the wood ash at our own pace. But did you know that there are several benefits for your home and garden in wood ash? Look and see how your trips to the bin could be replaced by something a little more productive.


Boost Your Garden Soil with Wood Ash


If your soil is below its pH level, any form of plant life will be near-impossible to grow; whether you’re looking to create a vegetable garden or just have a greener lawn. Applying and mixing in wood ash sparingly will help boost the pH level and make it more water-soluble.  


Wood ash is made up of many different nutrients that are essential to the life of plants, including potassium and trace minerals such as magnesium and calcium.


  • Potassium helps plants to regulate water balance, improve stress tolerance, promote root growth and improve overall plant health.
  • Magnesium helps with photosynthesis and pigmentation.
  • Calcium helps with healthy cell growth.


Using wood ash in the garden will improve soil fertility, promote healthy plant growth, and increase resistance to pests and diseases. The nutrients will also help to improve the overall health of the soil, allowing a wide range of plants to grow.


It’s important to note that wood ash has a pH level of between 10 to 12, so it should be used sparingly otherwise you may end up with the reverse effect.


Tips on applying wood ash

  • Only use untreated wood ash. Treated wood ash can contain harmful chemicals that are damaging to plants.
  • Test your soil’s pH level before applying wood ash. If your soil is already at alkaline, wood ash will not be beneficial.
  • Use wood ash in moderation and monitor your plants for any negative signs. A general guideline is to use no more than 2-3 cups of wood ash per 100 square feet of soil.
  • Mix the wood ash into the soil to ensure even distribution
  • Apply in the fall or early spring, when the soil is dry and not frozen


Add Wood Ash to Your Home Compost


Wood ash can be sprinkled into your outdoor compost heap or bin as a component of your household waste. Adding a small amount with each layer of compost will help to add nutrients to the resulting soil or compost tea. Alternatively, you can make wood ash tea by soaking your ashes in water for a few days, then you can apply it to the plant soil whenever needed. We do not recommend tasting the tea yourself, leave it for the plants!


You can also keep harmful bugs away from your plants with wood ash. To deter ants, slugs and snails, simply sprinkle a tiny amount around your plants and reapply after the rain.


Pests & Disease Control


Pests are attracted to garden & vegetable plots for many r reasons, and a simple way to stop them is simply applying wood ash to the soil or plants. As they contain high levels of potassium and other minerals, they act as a natural pest repellent. 


Wood ash is also a great fungicide for plants as the high potassium levels will boost their immune system, making them more resistant to disease. This is a great way to protect against and control common plant diseases such as powdery mildew. 


Using wood ash in the home


Surprisingly, ash is great for home cleaning when used as a scouring powder to clean kitchen surfaces such as ovens or grills. It can also be used as a deodoriser to absorb awful odours that may be coming from the bin or fridge. Before you start cleaning the house with it, here are a few tips to remember:


Only use untreated wood ash as it does not contain harmful chemicals that will be harmful to surfaces and the environment.

Use wood ash in moderation otherwise, you run the risk of ruining the surface you intended to clean.

Be aware of the surface you are cleaning as some surfaces like painted, varnished or marble may be damaged by the abrasive action of ash.


Not only is it great for home cleaning, but it is also great for the laundry to clean and whiten clothes. To get remove dirt, and stains & add back loss brightness to whites, simply add about a cup of wood ash to your laundry detergent and make sure your clothes have been thoroughly rinsed and washed. It’s important to note that not all fabrics are suitable so check before using them.


Soak Up Driveway Leaks


Ash is very useful and effective to clean up any oil spills on your driveway. Simply:


  1. Spread a thin layer of dry wood ash over the affected area to soak up the oil
  2. Allow the ash to sit on the affected area for a few minutes so it can absorb as much as possible.
  3. Sweep up the ash with a broom and dispose of in an appropriate manner.
  4. If there are any lingering stains or odours, clean the surface with detergent and water


Why Choose the Green Olive Firewood Company?


Firewood is where it all started for us, during a trip to the Mediterranean we noticed stockpiles of waste wood by olive farms. We decided that we could utilise this waste wood for fuel back in the UK, making them carbon neutral and a perfectly renewable and natural fuel source. Every time renewable wood fuel is used for heating or cooking it is offsetting the use of fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas. By choosing us for your firewood you can rest assured that you are buying from a natural, sustainable and ethical business.


For more information, why not check out our previous blogs?


We pride ourselves on ensuring high quality and responsibility across our entire supply chain, to make sure our customers receive the best possible firewood. You can find our full firewood range here. To stay up to date with everything we do and for more helpful tips on wood ash, follow us on Instagram and Twitter!