How to Clean a Fire Pit in 2022

Not sure how to clean a fire pit? We’ll walk you through how to clean different types of fire pit in this article.

Fire pits are really popular not just for outdoor activities but as part of your house’s landscape. The additional structure is truly stylish as it is highly functional. You can enjoy warm, cozy barbecue or hang out nights with friends and family by the fire. Then, when not in use, it acts as a very nice focal point in your yard or patio. It does not matter what type of fire pit you have at home; its usefulness and aesthetic design makes it a great addition to any home.

Fire pit are highly used therefore, it is only natural that you will want to keep it spic and span, always presentable and ready to be used. It is also something that you have highly invested in, especially if you have made a traditional fire pit with big masonry hardscapes, so you have to take care of it consistently so it can last longer.

You will want your fire pit to continue functioning at its best and consistently be efficient. It is true that you cannot control the weather and what happens outside but, there are many ways to take care of your fire pits. Cleaning it regularly will definitely keep it attractive, safe to use and continuously provide you with all the benefits a fire pit can give.

So, you might be wondering, just how often do you have to clean and maintain your fire pit?

First of all, you have to consider safety when dealing with your fire pit. Never attempt to clean it immediately after you have used it. Cleaning a fire pit involves not just cleaning it on the outside or its surroundings but also on the inside. In order to avoid any mishaps or accidental burns, you have to let your fire pit cool for at least a couple of hours or at least, overnight, before you start to clean it.

Wood burning fire pits will have to be rid of its ashes after every use. Ashes tend to be acidic and if you leave them too long in the pit, it can surely damage the material or your fire bowl. But again, make sure that your pit has cooled off thoroughly before you start to do any attempt of cleaning to it. If you are using gas or electric powered fire pits, let it cool down for an hour or two before you start clearing it of any debris that might have gotten into the fire area.

Fire pits will need thorough cleaning once or twice in a year just to get rid of any long term build up from the fire residue and to keep its material construct in tip top shape. You will also need to clean your fire pit if you are planning to store it indoors or not plan on using it for a long while, in case you go on a vacation or something.

Cleaning Materials

There are different types of fire pits and are made of different types of materials. Although there will be tips on how to clean each type of pit, here are the materials that will be commonly used for all of them.

  • Cloths or Old Rags or Towels (something that you do not mind getting soot and dirt on)
  • Dish soap/ Washing Liquid/ Cleaning solution (considered safe for any surface)
  • Muriatic Acid
  • Steel Wool
  • Rubber Gloves
  • Ash shovel
  • Hose or Bucket of water
  • Scrub brush
  • Masonry Sealant (to protect fire pits from stains)

How to Clean a Fire Pit

As mentioned, there are several types of fire pits and in order to properly treat and clean them, you have to know what your fire pit is made of. It is pretty easy to find out especially if you had your fire pit constructed but in case you bought a free-standing vessel or equipment, you may consult the manual to make sure of its construction material.

Cleaning a Cast Iron Fire Pit

Cleaning a Cast Iron Fire Pit

Step 1: Check and make sure that your fire pit is completely cool to touch and that there are no longer burning embers.

Step 2: Safely remove the ashes and any debris in the fire pit. Use your ash shovel and do not forget to wear your gloves for safety. If you want to thoroughly remove the smallest amounts of ash, you can use a hand vacuum or shop-vac.

Step 3: Use your steel wool and gently scrub the interior of the cast iron fire pit. You can use warm water to help loosen up the hardened soot or ashes. Make sure you rinse the steel wool as often as necessary for a good clean scrub.

Step 4: Rinse your cast iron fire pit and then wipe it dry with a cloth inside and out. It is important that you dry it out immediately and completely because cast iron can rust easily if moisture is left on it for a long time.

GREAT TIP: You may re-season or re-seal your cast iron to keep it in good condition and prevent any corrosion or rusting.

Cleaning a Copper or Metal Fire Pit

Cleaning a Copper or Metal Fire Pit

Step 1: Safely check your fire pit if it has totally cooled off and there is no more smoke or burning embers left.

Step 2: Scoop out the ashes and left-over debris from the fire pit. Do not dump your ashes or embers just anywhere, use your steel bucket to ensure that no stray fiery ember lands on the grass and start a fire.

Step 3: Mix at least a tablespoon of dishwashing liquid or cleaning solution to a bucket filled with warm water.

Step 4: Use your gloves then grab your sponge or scrub brush, dip it in the cleaning solution you just mixed and begin to scrub the interior and exterior of your fire pit. If you have a mesh screen or cover for your fire pit, include it in the scrubbing. Make sure you thoroughly scrub it.

Step 5: Using a garden hose or a bucket of water, rinse off your fire pit until it is clean. Again, immediately use your towels to dry your copper or metal fire pit to prevent any rusting.

GREAT TIP: There are chemical based cleaning solutions to remove any tarnish or soot or patina from your metal or copper fire pit. You can consult your user manual to see what works. But, if you want a natural cleaning solution, you may mix together a solution of a cup of salt and a gallon of vinegar and use a cloth to scrub the fire pit with.

Cleaning a Stone or Masonry Fire Pit

Cleaning a Stone or Masonry Fire Pit

Step 1: Safely check your fire pit to make sure that it is no longer hot to touch and there are no longer any burning embers.

Step 2: Remove the ashes from your fire pit and make sure to properly dispose of the ashes into a steel bucket. Do not haphazardly throw it on the ground or just anywhere.

Step 3: Mix your cleaning solution: 1-part muriatic acid to 9 parts-water. Please be careful with the muriatic solution and wear protective gloves when handling the solution.

Step 4: Use rubber gloves and eye protection goggles before dipping your scrub brush in the muriatic acid cleaning solution. Once you have dipped your brush, scrub the brick, rock or the hollow blocks with the cleaning solution. Scrub the inside and the outside of the fire pit to remove any dirt, soot as well as discoloration from stains.

Step 5: Rinse properly with a garden hose. Spray down the inside and outside of your fire pit making sure you clean out every nook and cranny. You will need to airdry this type of fire pit for about 48 to 72 hours before you can use it again.

GREAT TIP: Once your stone or masonry fire pit is thoroughly dry, you can spray a masonry sealant to protect it from stains. It will also make cleaning your fire pit easier in the future.

How to Protect Your Fire Pit

Cleaning will be easier if you keep your fire pit protected and well-maintained all year round. Here are some quick tips you can use!

  • Use protective cover for your fire pit whenever it is not in use. This will help shield it from the external factors brought about by weather and elements.
  • Do not shock your hot fire pit with cold water. Sudden change in temperature can make your metals or masonry crack or turn weak and start to form cracks.
  • Portable fire pits should be cleaned and stored properly in covered areas when not in use.
  • Keep your cast iron or any metal fire pit dry, ensuring there are no water or moisture gathering in it so rust will not form.

You fire pit is an investment so take good care of it! Of course, do not forget to always follow safety protocols when using or cleaning your fire pit to prevent any unwanted accidents. Remember, fire pits are to be enjoyed and if taken care of properly, will last you a long time!

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