How To Clean Your Fire Pit To Last For Years
As the days begin to warm up, are you wondering how to clean your fire pit? After all, you want to prepare it for the busy season of backyard fire pit parties ahead! Luckily, the team at Fire Pit Art is here to share with you our tips for how to maintain your fire pit!
How To Clean Your Fire Pit
Regardless of what type of fire pit you own, you must start by removing the debris from the pit. Depending on the type of fire you have, this will look a little different for each style.
- If you own a gas fire pit, put on a pair of work gloves, grab a trash bag or bucket, and remove any twigs, leaves, or large pieces of debris from the stones or glass.
- For all other kinds of fire pits, start by cleaning out the ash from the inside with a shovel from the bottom of the pit. Remove all ash and debris until the inside is clear.
- If you own a shop vac, you can also use it after removing the bulk of the ash and debris by hand. Your shop vac can suck up all the remaining ash you can’t get with your shovel.
Cleaning Masonry (Brick or Stone) Fire Pits
You can clean your masonry fire pit with one part muriatic acid solution to nine parts water.
- Put on a pair of gloves, a long-sleeved shirt, pants, and safety goggles before you start working with muriatic acid. Muriatic acid will burn your skin and can cause blindness.
- Mix a solution of one part muriatic acid and ten parts water in a glass container or an acid-resistant plastic.
- Always add the water to the container before pouring in the muriatic acid. Putting the acid in first and then adding the water can cause a dangerous chemical reaction.
- Take the solution and scrub the interior and exterior with a durable brush.
- Once clean, take a garden hose and rinse the surfaces with water.
- Allow your fire pit to dry 48 to 72 hours before use.
- Consider adding a layer of masonry sealant to help make your fire pit resistant to future wear and tear.
Cleaning Gas Pits
To keep your gas fire pit performing well, keep your burners clean for proper gas flow and check your fuel lines regularly. Because you can’t take apart a gas fire pit, you can’t hose down the interior. So instead, do the following:
- Grab a soft cloth and a bucket of soapy water to wipe down the interior. Be careful not to loosen any gas lines in the process accidentally.
- Wipe down the exterior of your gas fire pit.
- After wiping down the inside and outside, grab a dry cloth and go over the whole thing again.
Cleaning Cast Iron Fire Pits
Rust buildup is common with metal fire pits. Because surface rust is easy to remove by scrubbing with a simple stiff wire brush and wiping away the residue, you don’t have to worry too much about this problem. However, you can help your fire pit out by adding a protective coating like oil and silicone to minimize rust development. Always determine what type of protective coating is appropriate for your fire pit’s type of metal. While cast iron is a heavy-duty material, it does require a little extra effort to clean.
- Grab a bucket of hot water and a piece of steel wool and start scrubbing down the surface of your cast iron fire pit.
- Cast iron will rust easily, so dry the surface immediately after cleaning.
- Never place your cast iron fire pit in a place where it can collect excess rainwater or in the path of your sprinkler system.
How to Clean a Steel or Copper Fire Pit
Metal is very durable and will hold up to the heat for years to come. However, it requires a different cleaning method than stone or brick. Metal fire pits are often crafted from copper, steel, or cast iron. If you have a copper or steel fire pit, the following cleaning tips are for you:
- First, grab a bucket of hot, soapy water and a soft cloth
- Next, scrub the interior of your fire pit.
- Then, grab a garden hose and rinse off the soap thoroughly.
- Always dry immediately to help prevent rust.
- In addition, you’ll want to dry off your fire pit after it rains or keep it undercover when not in use.
Life-Extending Fire Pit Maintenance Tips
Regardless of what type of fire pit you own, these maintenance tips will help keep your fire pit looking sharp and functioning well.
Fire pit maintenance starts with the right spot. The perfect location for your fire pit will drastically impact how easy it’s to perform maintenance. First, find a place that provides a little wind protection to help you avoid smoke problems or scattered ash. Never put your fire pit directly under any trees, and prune nearby trees regularly. Keep a 10-foot diameter around the fire pit clear of any yard debris.
2. What Not To Burn
Wood-burning pits are fairly forgiving when it comes to fuel. However, there are items you should never throw into your fire pit’s flames. For example, burning pressure-treated wood or trash can release harmful toxins. These toxins are detrimental to your lungs and your fire pit’s surfaces. In addition, avoid accelerants, as they can be dangerous and can damage or discolor your fire pit. Always burn safe, clean wood!
3. Avoid Cracking
It’s no secret that fires produce heat, and in cold conditions, this can put added stress on your fire pit. If you opt for a masonry fire pit and live in a cold area, ensure you have footers on the fire pit that extend to the frost line or build on a reinforced concrete base, as this will reduce the risk of cracking. While some cracks are only cosmetic concerns, you should always evaluate a crack in your fire pit. Please, patch all severe cracks before your next use.
4. Remove Ashes
Ashes are acidic, so removing them from the base of your fire pit on a regular basis is critical to prevent long-term damage to the pit. Keeping a metal ash can or metal bucket handy is an easy way to collect the ashes the day after you use your fire pit. Please keep in mind that embers can smolder long after your fire has gone out, so check before you start shoveling. In addition, there are plenty of uses for your fire pit ash besides dumping it in your trash can.
5. Extinguishing Flames
Allow the flames in your fire pit to die out on their own whenever possible. Although you should always keep water handy as part of your fire pit safety checklist, dousing an active fire by pouring water on it can cause a dramatic temperature shift resulting in a crack or other damage to your fire pit.
6. Always Use A Cover When Not In Use and a Screen When In Use
After you’ve performed the work of cleaning your fire pit, keep it protected from the elements by placing your fire pit cover back over it. This will keep any rainwater, leaves, or other debris from accumulating in it between uses.
In addition, you can help reduce clutter and char when using your fire pit by placing a screen on the open flame. The screen helps keep your yard clean and reduces the spread of embers, making it a safer option for you and your loved ones.
7. Store Your Fire Pit Correctly
Permanent fire pit installations can typically handle year-round weather conditions with minimal maintenance. You can also purchase a fire pit cover to help protect it from the elements. However, if your fire pit is portable, storing it under cover or in a garage or shed during the off-season when you’re using it less frequently will make cleaning it easier.
Final Fire Pit Thoughts
Your fire pit is a stunning addition to your backyard, and with these cleaning and maintenance tips, your fire pit will be looking like new for years to come. However, if you decide that your fire pit just isn’t meeting your needs or new backyard style, or you’re simply ready for something new, check out our artisan fire pit designs or take a peek at our stainless fire pits. We pride ourselves on creating top-quality works of art for your backyard ambiance. So contact us today to see what we can build for you!