This one really blows my mind. My best friend’s wife works for a cleaning service that is “green”. They only use environmentally-friendly cleaning products just like Maid in Hoboken.
Our family had dinner with their family. Our kids all go to school together, which is great! We were talking about camping next summer, and somehow the conversation turned to “wood ashes”. This is where she informed us that these ashes actually clean.
I’m a skeptic. This is just how I am. Um, so dirt cleans? Yeah, whatever, who cares, move on…
But her point wasn’t a joke. It’s true! I researched this. ASHES Make Things Clean!
Not only that. This is the cheapest thing. And it’s eco-friendly. This is like walking into a casino and knowing what machine to drop that quarter in.
Yes, I gamble, but there is no need to here. Just try what I am saying once. Just try it. You will completely understand my point. Listed below are the easiest things. Just try one, and you will see.
WHAT HARDWOOD ASHES CAN DO:
Our ancestors learned to make lye, a caustic cleaning agent, at least 5,000 years ago by running water through wood ashes, eventually learning to combine it with animal fats and water to make soap. Believe it, or not. They turned ashes into soap. Our number one cleaning agent!
The first soaps were made by the ancient Babylonians around 2800 B.C. and utilized a mixture of animal fats and wood ash. When ashes from hardwoods are boiled in soft water, it creates lye. When lye (potassium hydroxide) is mixed with animal fats or vegetable oils, it renders a soft soap. Add a little salt to the mix when pouring the molds to make firmer bars of soap. To learn more about this process, see this wood ash soap making guide.
Recommended Reading: 10 Amazing Homemade Soap Recipes
Melt Ice & Snow
The widespread use of rock salt (sodium chloride) to melt ice and snow during winter squalls has resulted in some serious pollution: each year, it is estimated that more than 22 million tons of rock salt are dumped on U.S. roads, eventually travelling to surface and subterranean waterways. While rock salt is somewhat effective in reducing vehicle accidents, it also increases the salinity of fresh bodies of water and is extremely toxic to plants and animals.
One safe and natural alternative to create traction, de-ice, and melt snow is wood ashes. Because wood ash contains potash – or potassium carbonate – a type of salt that is much more eco-friendly than chloride-based salts, it can help break up ice and melt snow when scattered on driveways and walkways. Unlike rock salt, it won’t corrode surfaces like concrete and metal, harm the paws of your four-legged friends, or damage your plants come spring.
Polish Silver, Metal, and Glass
Wood ash is mildly abrasive and can be used to polish tarnished silverware, dull metals, and cloudy glass. Take one cup of ashes and add a titch of water to make a thick paste. Don some rubber gloves and spread this paste all over your lusterless items. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes before wiping with a clean cloth. Use a little elbow grease to buff and shine.
Like baking soda, wood ash is alkaline and can absorb and neutralize bad smells. Try placing some wood ash in a small bowl and leaving it in the fridge or a stinky room, but be sure to replace it with new ashes after a few days.
Remove Oil Stains in the Garage and Driveway
Since wood ash is a desiccant, it can be used to clean up grease spills and remove stains from porous surfaces like stone, cement, and asphalt. Sprinkle some ashes on the stain and allow it to settle for a few minutes. Then, sweep it all up with a broom.
That’s just the beginning. And the best part is you don’t have to buy it. You can make it yourself in your fireplace, if it’s wood burning. You just need to stay away from anything that is chemically treated. This has to be from wood. The wood that grows on trees.
If you can’t make your own it is available from links above.
I do some of my own cleaning, and I use a service as well due to my busy job schedule. In between, this is a great way to go.