With each use, your wood burning fire pit is going to build up waste and it needs to be cleaned. Ideally, you want to clean your wood burning fire pit after each use. Build up of ashes can speed up the deterioration of the metal foundation of your wood burning fire pit so it is best to keep up with cleaning to prevent this.
Ash can hold on to heat for a very long time, up to a week or longer. Never dispose of ash into a flammable container!
Fire Pit Cleaning Supplies
In order to clean your wood burning fire pit after each use, you will need the following supplies:
- Garden Gloves
- Storage Container or Bucket
Wood Burning Fire Pit Cleaning Step-by-Step
1. Check for a Fire Pit Ash Tray
If your wood burning fire pit has an ash tray or drawer that slides out, the cleaning and removal of ash and debris will be much easier. Most stand alone fire pits have a tray or drawer for ashes and debris so make sure to look for this.
Some may have a small door that opens where ash and debris is collected. Using a small shovel or scoop, you can brush out the collected debris. Using a brush with horizontal brush can make this process easier.
2. Remove the Spark Screen
Remove your wood burning fire pit's spark screen or cover. Most of the time, the spark screen will either reset into place or is held with simple finger-switches. This can be cleaned wit a whisk brush and warm soapy water.
If you see extreme build up, you can use a wire brush. If you have waited a while to clean this, you will probably see a lot of build up. To clean this, you can use a cleaning solution made from hardwood ash, which can be a very effective cleanser.
3. Remove Major Pieces of Debris
Look in your fire pit to see if there is any debris or large pieces of wood that were left behind and did not burn. To avoid waste, you can save these pieces to burn later.
Once you've cleaned your fire pit, you can gather all the left over pieces you find and set them back inside to light for the next time you light up your fire pit.
Make sure to scoop out an major chunks of ashes and put them in your non-flammable storage container or bucket.
4. Sweep Ashes to Center and Remove
To clean out ashes, sweep the ashes to the center of the fire pit and then scoop out the pile. Some fire pit swill have a deeper recessed area at the bottom for ash collection so be sure to check for this.
Also remember to check any drain or ventilation openings and clean those to prevent clogging.
5. Replace Fire Pit Spark Screen and Cover
Once your fire pit has been cleaned out, put the fire pit screen back in place and attach your fire pit's cover to protect it from animals or poor weather.
6. Don't Dispose Ashes - Reuse Ashes
Instead of throwing away ashes and wood debris, you can use this for other purposes. Wood ash can be used as an eco-friendly way to de-ice walkaways during the winter months.
During the spring months, ashes can add vital minerals in to soil for planting and potting.
Ashes can also be used to create a cleaning solution to remove stubborn stains from linens and fabrics. This can also be used as a bio-degradable cleaning solution for lawn furniture, wood and vinyl fencing. Make sure you treat this ash cleaning solution the same as you would other household cleaning solutions such as ammonia or bleach.
Follow the steps above to properly clean and maintain your wood burning fire pit.