It takes no time at all to realize your attractive patio fire pit—so warm and welcoming—also gets dirty quick. Which means you will eventually have to clean your fire pit.
Fire pits are so welcoming, so lovely, so romantic. And yet, they are like contained industrial furnaces that certainly do not click with the modern standards of cleanliness. With a fire pit comes all the by-products of burning wood: ash, soot, dust and half-consumed wood. A lot of yuck, but easy to clean if you keep up with it.
This brings us to the most important item on the cleaning list, which is a word of caution. Keep this in mind with every step listed below: Not all fires are fully extinguished even if they look like they are. Hidden in the ash or buried within a charred piece of wood can be live embers. Fire departments around the world can tell you many stories of houses going up in flames because someone dumped ashes into a garbage can, assuming the ashes were extinguished and cold.
So, be extremely careful and assume there are hot coals there unless you absolutely know otherwise.
Tools for the cleaning job will include a metal fireplace scoop for the ashes and an ash bucket that is designed for the purpose. We also recommend a dedicated set of tools, like hand brooms and dust pans, for cleaning your fire pit. With the amount of dust that collects on brushes, you probably don’t want to use the same equipment around the house, because you could be transferring that residual dust all over your home.
A second word of caution: When sweeping out the dust, do so gently. The ash from a fire is so feathery light that you could stir up a hornet’s nest of dust if you want at it too wildly. Dust (and embers) could start flying around if you go at it to recklessly.
Start by removing the larger pieces of half-consumed wood. If they are large enough to save and completely cold, you can put salvageable pieces to the side for the moment and use them to build your next fire.
Then use a metal scoop or a small metal shovel to pick up the ash that can be collected and gently slide that into a metal bucket designed to hold ashes. Then gently sweep the remaining ashes towards the center of the pit and repeat with the scoop until you have gotten all the ash collected.
You will find scoops and ash buckets at nearby hardware stores, farm equipment stores or places that sell fire place equipment. A Maryland fireplace supplier will be a good place to look when buying these items.
Ash buckets tend to be designed in quaint, turn-of-the-century styling, but it isn’t quaint that you care about. These buckets are designed to have an elevated bottom, so that if you happen to accidentally include live embers in your ash waste, you won’t burn the floor or your rug under the bucket if you leave it sitting in one place. Metal buckets are a minimum requirement, but it is far safer to use a bucket designed for ashes, so you don’t start a fire or leave burn marks when you set it down.
For more information on how to clean your fire pit, or to purchasing some fireplace or fire pit cleaning equipment, get in touch with Fireside Stone & Patio, today!