Learn how you can clean a fire pit to improve its longevity.

For many years, fire pits have been a popular way to gather friends together to interact. Whether it’s roasting an assortment of cuisines, playing familiar campfire tunes, or a good old-fashioned tall tale, there are countless ways a fire can bring people together. 

After enough warm gatherings, however, you may find a lot of ashes and debris accumulating inside your fire pit. If left to sit for an extended period of time without cleaning, the ash can gradually degrade the inside of your fire pit and damage it. 

Obviously, the solution is to clean your fire pit to avoid the deterioration of the metal inside your fire pit, but there’s more to it than you realize. Like any household appliance, proper maintenance is necessary to ensure your fire pit continues to function properly for years to come. 

Ashes

Required Fire Pit Maintenance & Cleaning Tools 

Before you get to cleaning, you’ll need to have the right tools on hand. These fire pit tools can help you easily maintain and use your fire pit so it’ll last for many seasons. 

  • A pair of tongs to remove larger debris 
  • An ash scoop and can to remove ashes from the bowl. 
  • spark screen for safety and reducing charring. 
  • A vinyl or protective fire pit cover to use when the fire pit is not in use. 

How to Clean a Fire Pit Based on Type 

Different kinds of fire pits require different methods of cleaning. Below is a step-by-step guide on how to clean a variety of styles of fire pit. 

Brick or Stone Fire Pit 

Permanent pit installations serve as beautiful focal points in any yard. While very durable and can handle year-round weather conditions, they still require occasional cleaning. 
  1. Remove all ash and debris from the bowl. 
  2. To scrub the interior, use a solution of 1-part muriatic acid to 9-parts water. 
  3. Once the fire pit is clean, rinse with water and allow it to dry for 48-72 hours. 
Brick or Stone Fire Pit

Steel or Metal Fire Pit 

Steel or metal fire pits are the most popular and versatile fire pit options available. Like brick or stone fire pits, they are also very easy to maintain. 

  1. Ensure the ash and debris is removed from the bowl. 
  2. Spray it with a hose, and lightly wipe with a soap and water solution. 
  3. Turn the bowl upside-down and allow it to air dry. 
Steel or Metal Fire Pit

Cast Iron Fire Pit 

 Cast iron fire pits are a little more difficult to clean than steel or masonry fire pits because they develop a natural top layer of rust which does not harm the fire bowl. However, if you follow these steps, you can get them clean. 
  1. Remove ash and debris from the bowl. 
  2. Gently scrub the bowl with steel wool. 
  3. Rinse, and dry with a soft rag. 
Cast Iron Fire Pit

Copper Fire Pit 

 Copper fire pits will naturally patinate over time. Once used, your copper fire pit will accumulate a layer of soot. Removing this layer of soot is fairly easy and won’t damage the patina. Remove any ash and debris from your fire pit bowl. 
  1. Spray fire pit with hose. 
  2. Clean with soap and water. 
  3. There are also chemical cleaners available that can remove tarnish, soot, and patina. However, you can also prepare a natural cleaning solution of 1 cup salt to 1 gallon of vinegar. To use, dampen a cloth in the cleaning solution and scrub well. 
Copper Fire Pit

Gas or Propane Fire Pit 

 

Although gas fire pits are low-maintenance and easy to operate they do require some cleaning in regards to the burner and the gas lines. 

  1. Keep the burners clean so that gas can properly flow through the burner. 
  2. Check the gas lines regularly for safety and proper operation.  
Gas Fire Pit

Additional Fire Pit Maintenance Tips 

If you have a fire pit with a cooking ledge, you’ll also need to spray down the surface with a non-corrosive grill cleaner. This will free up any residual grease and dried food on the cooking surface. Once fully sprayed, scrub the surface with a scrub pad in a circular motion. Finally, with a damp cloth, wipe off the remaining grill cleaner and allow the surface to properly dry. This video will help demonstrate the process 

Not sure what to do with the leftover ashes? According to Bob Vila, there are plenty of uses for them, including amending soil, clean driveway stains, melt ice, and even make soap!  

 Amend Soil

Enjoy Your Clean Fire Pit for Many Seasons 

There you have it! While cleaning a fire pit is a relatively simple thing to do, it makes an enormous impact on the way you enjoy future campfires.  If you’re looking to upgrade your current fire pit or would like to browse different styles, be sure to check out our selection of fire pits and liners 

Fire pits

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