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Wood ash works well, but first you need to screen it to get out any chunks and bits of charred wood. Becuae its so fine, you may need to bounce the container a couple times, or tamp it down to make sure you get even contact with the metal surface.
Thanks. I just thought of it because of an incident I remember from being on the VFD where a resident cleaned out his fireplace a couple days after a fire and put the ashes in a cardboard box on his back porch with unfavorable results. I know ash can keep a hot coal in them for several days so it stands to reason it should make a good source for this need. Also, I've been burning some dried hickory and it leaves few coals in the ash I've raked out from the wood heater.

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