Once you're done with that campfire, hold on to those Ashes!
Use wood ashes to:
- De-skunk pets. A handful rubbed on Fido's coat neutralizes the lingering odor.
- Hide stains on paving. This Old House technical editor Mark Powers absorbs wet paint spatters on cement by sprinkling ash directly on the spot; it blends in with a scuff of his boot,
- Enrich compost. Before the organic compound get applied to soil, enhance its nutrients by sprinkling in a few ashes, says the host of radio's You Bet Your Garden, Mike McGrath. Adding too much, though, ruins the mix.
- Block garden pests. Spread evenly around garden beds, ash repels slugs and snails.
- Melt ice. TOH building editor Tom Baker finds it adds traction and de-ices without hurting soil or concrete underneath.
- Control pond algae. One tablespoon per 1,000 gallons adds enough potassiumm to strengthen other aquatic plants that compete with algae, slowing its growth,
- Pump up tomatoes. For the calcium-loving plants, McGrath places 1/4 cup right in the hole when planting,
- Whiten Teeth. The potassium hydroxide found in hardwood ash is a bleaching agent and will whiten teeth. A popular home remedy is brushing with the wood ash on a regular basis. Potassium will harm the enamel in your teeth over time and this has to taste awful; they may want to be a last resort.
- Make soap. Soaking ashes in water makes lye, which can be mixed with animal fat and then boiled to produce soap. Salt makes it harden as it cools.
- Shine silver. A paste of ash and water makes a dandy nontoxic metal polisher.
#2, #6, and #10 may not help too much in a survival situation, but it's still nice to know this stuff.
I got the uses from these two sources:http://www.makemyteethwhiter.com/natura ... ening.htmlhttp://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/article ... 70,00.html
(Mods, if you want, this can be moved to Practical Survival Tips and Tricks)