.mw-parser-output .hidden-begin{box-sizing:border-box;width:100%;padding:5px;border:none;font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .hidden-title{font-weight:bold;line-height:1.6;text-align:left}.mw-parser-output .hidden-content{text-align:left}You can help expand this article with text translated from the corresponding article in French. (June 2023) Click [show] for important translation instructions. View a machine-translated version of the French article. Machine translation, like DeepL or Google Translate, is a useful starting point for translations, but translators must revise errors as necessary and confirm that the translation is accurate, rather than simply copy-pasting machine-translated text into the English Wikipedia. Consider adding a topic to this template: there are already 6,021 articles in the main category, and specifying|topic= will aid in categorization. Do not translate text that appears unreliable or low-quality. If possible, verify the text with references provided in the foreign-language article. You must provide copyright attribution in the edit summary accompanying your translation by providing an interlanguage link to the source of your translation. A model attribution edit summary is Content in this edit is translated from the existing French Wikipedia article at [[:fr:Cendre]]; see its history for attribution. You should also add the template ((Translated|fr|Cendre)) to the talk page. For more guidance, see Wikipedia:Translation.
This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.Find sources: "Ash" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (January 2016) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Wood ash

Ash or ashes are the solid remnants of fires.[1] Specifically, ash refers to all non-aqueous, non-gaseous residues that remain after something burns. In analytical chemistry, to analyse the mineral and metal content of chemical samples, ash is the non-gaseous, non-liquid residue after complete combustion.

Ashes as the end product of incomplete combustion are mostly mineral, but usually still contain an amount of combustible organic or other oxidizable residues. The best-known type of ash is wood ash, as a product of wood combustion in campfires, fireplaces, etc. The darker the wood ashes, the higher the content of remaining charcoal from incomplete combustion. The ashes are of different types. Some ashes contain natural compounds that make soil fertile. Others have chemical compounds that can be toxic but may break up in soil from chemical changes and microorganism activity.

Like soap, ash is also a disinfecting agent (alkaline).[2] The World Health Organization recommends ash or sand as alternative for handwashing when soap is not available.[3]

Natural occurrence

Ash occurs naturally from any fire that burns vegetation, and may disperse in the soil to fertilise it, or clump under it for long enough to carbonise into coal.

Specific types

Cremation ashes

Cremation ashes, also called cremated remains or "cremains," are the bodily remains left from cremation.[4] They often take the form of a grey powder resembling coarse sand. While often referred to as ashes, the remains primarily consist of powdered bone fragments due to the cremation process, which eliminates the body's organic materials.[5][6] People often store these ashes in containers like urns, although they are also sometimes buried or scattered in specific locations.[7]

See also


  1. ^ "the definition of ash". www.dictionary.com. Retrieved 2018-06-18.
  2. ^ Howard et al. 2002: Healthy Villages A guide for communities and community health workers. CHAPTER 8 Personal, domestic and community hygiene. WHO. Accessed Oct. 2014. http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/hygiene/settings/hvchap8.pdf
  3. ^ WHO 2014: Water Sanitation Health. How can personal hygiene be maintained in difficult circumstances? Accessed Oct. 2014 [1]
  4. ^ "What Are Cremains? (& What to Do with Them) » Urns | Online". www.usurnsonline.com.
  5. ^ "All About Cremation Ashes | What Are Human Ashes Made of | Scattering Ashes". www.cremationsolutions.com.
  6. ^ "Education | Cremation ashes". www.lonite.ca.
  7. ^ "What To Do With Cremated Remains". cremation.com. Retrieved 25 June 2023.