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Other uses for unused / damp charcoal--

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    Other uses for unused / damp charcoal--

    I found this at:


    Since it is a stupid slideshow, I copied the text:

    1. Nourish Your Compost Heap: Mix charcoal into your compost pile to increase its carbon content.
    (If the pile smells like ammonia, it needs carbon.)

    2. Disguise an Imperfection: Rub charcoal onto scratches on dark wood floors and furniture to
    temporarily "stain" them until you have time for a real repair job.

    3. Keep Air Fresh: Place charcoal, in open bowls or perforated plastic bags, in your fridge or drawers
    to banish odors.

    4. Make Cut Flowers Last Longer: Put a lump of charcoal beneath the cut stems in a vase to help the water
    stay clean and clear.

    5. Use it as Mulch: Break charcoal into chunks about 1 inch in diameter and spread them on beds or
    beneath bushes to keep soil moist and suppress weeds.

    6. Entertain Kids (or Adults): Use a piece of charcoal to draw hopscotch squares or other game templates on your sidewalk. Wash away the marks with a quick squirt from your hose.

    7. Keep Driveway Deicers from Clumping: Before storing rock salt and sand to use this winter, mix a few lumps of charcoal
    into the bag or bucket. They'll soak up dampness and prevent these materials from freezing or caking together.

    8. Decorate Your Yard: Turn lumps of charcoal into a scare- crow's eyes for Halloween or a snowman's face in wintertime.

    9. Help Potted Orchids Grow: These bloomers benefit from charcoal's alkalinity. Mix small pieces with your potting medium (e.g., bark or wood chunks) to nourish the flowers.

    10. Keep Rust Off Tools: Place a few lumps of charcoal in your tool box to absorb moisture and keep the metal from oxidizing.

    NOTE: I also searched for other uses for Charcoal Ash, but there really aren't any other than:

    1. Killing weeds or grass - some have spread charcoal ash on the perimeter of their grass or in between pavers / stones where they don't want grass to grow.

    2. Shoving down gopher, mole, or other burrowing rodent holes to run them off.

    3. Killing garden slugs if sprinkled on the perimeter of a garden.

    4. Making lye for homemade soap. http://www.countryfarm-lifestyles.com/make-lye.html

    I was thinking about mixing my ash in garden soil, but evidently it throws the Ph of the soil way off and will most likely stunt or kill any plants.

    Also if you use lighter fluid or Match-Light pre-soaked briquettes the ash is especially toxic and harmful -- just more proof that lighter fluid is bad news.
    Last edited by HC in SC; December 20, 2014, 05:11 AM.

    Being a gardening kind of guy, I would use it for biochar. This is good for charcoal, not ashes. If it is charcoal, it usually doesn't throw off soil PH too much. As we have acid soil here in my part of Alaska, this technique is common and effective. I use my ashes sparingly to spread in the forest. Ash piles I have "sown" in the past tend to grow morels a year or so later. Check with your local agricultural extension service. Nutrients are precious. Use them wisely, and you will be rewarded. This is my experience, at least. Season's greetings from Houston, Alaska.


    • HC in SC
      HC in SC commented
      Editing a comment
      10-4 that was the concurrence of many - unlit charcoal is ok for mulching or soil additive, but absolutely not ashes.

      Interesting that wild shrooms would grow out of your ash piles though.

      I think I'll keep bagging and trashing my ashes, but next time I have a bag of unlit coal go damp I may try it in a controlled area to see what happens in the garden.

      Merry Xmas back at cha Strat!

    As a reminder, these suggestions are for LUMP charcoal, which is relatively pure and clean. Charcoal briquettes are filled with a laundry list of chemicals (including coal, oils, boric acid, ..) and not recommended for application in the garden.


    • HC in SC
      HC in SC commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks doc! Definitely noted.

      I figured there had to be some use charcoal ash, but it looks like it is only good for killing plants - well, except for the mushrooms mentioned by Strat above, running off or killing critters or making lye. Guess I will keep on chucking it in the trash.

    Use it before you lose it HC.


      LOL...Charcoal having chemicals in it? Imagine that. More the reason I love smoking with natural wood logs.


      • HC in SC
        HC in SC commented
        Editing a comment
        You aren't lying brother! Another pro for the slick burners. Clean biodegradable ash. That and the savings on charcoal purchasing might make financial sense in the long run to investing a quality all wood cooker. Let me see if I can sell that idea to the wife. Something about a lead balloon - lol!

      • DWCowles
        DWCowles commented
        Editing a comment
        Just let her read Dr Blonder's statement about charcoal having chemicals in them

      • smarkley
        smarkley commented
        Editing a comment
        I have a patch of cheat grass I need to kill... gonna start the old charcoal ash treatment


      a bit more info on charcoal


      • HC in SC
        HC in SC commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks! Good stuff!!

      • DWCowles
        DWCowles commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks Doc


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