Fire pits are a wonderful addition to any patio—They offer that touch of warmth that’s so welcomed on cool evenings, create the perfect gathering place for laughing and sharing memories, and even provide a great place to toast marshmallows for those eternally popular S’mores. In the warmth of the evening fire, no one will notice soot, grime, or rust. However, you’ll want to keep your fire pit looking presentable in the light of the day.
Follow these suggestions for proper care and maintenance:
Cleaning The Fire Pit
* For your protection, always wear eye protection, a dust mask, and rubber gloves while cleaning a fire pit!
Clearing Out Debris
The first step to cleaning your outdoor fire pit is to remove the debris. Depending on what type you have, this can be done in slightly different ways. However, you’ll basically need to remove leaves, twigs, ash, and whatever that is not part of your fire pit. Using a vacuum cleaner can come in handy.
Ashes can continue to smolder for days, or even weeks after the flames die down. Using leather gloves and a trowel, scoop the ash and cinders into a metal can with a lid as soon as they’ve cooled enough to handle. An added benefit is that your fire pit will be all ready for your next evening of cozy comfort around the fire!
For The Metal Surfaces
Metal surfaces are fairly easy to clean. First, you need to use a dry scrub brush to remove any loose debris from both the interior and exterior metal surfaces. Then, with a stiff-bristled brush, scrub all metal surfaces using a solution of 1/4 cup Washing Soda dissolved in 1 gallon of Hot Water. Proceed to rinse the fire pit thoroughly with fresh water, and don’t forget the grates and screens!
Stone And Masonry Surfaces
Dissolve 1/2 cup of grease-fighting dishwashing liquid in 2 gallons of hot water. Use that solution and a scrub brush to clean all of the stone or masonry surfaces. A hose fitted with a jet stream nozzle will be handy for giving the fire pit a thorough rinse. It is important to keep the burner clean so that the fuel can flow through it without difficulty.
Covering It Up After Cleaning
Once you have cleaned your fire pit, cover it up until you need to use it again. Buying a cover for your fire pit is not a requirement, but it is highly recommended. Not only will it make your life easier by reducing the amount of cleaning necessary, but it is also one of the best ways to prevent elemental damage caused by rain, sun, and heavy wind. If you need to find the right cover for your fire pit, take a look at these.
Maintenance and Preventive MeasuresEnsuring that your fire pit is free of any debris such as leaves, rocks, or insects is a must, and will get you a long way. Needless to say, you should not throw trash of any kind in the fire pit.
- Check all fasteners and other hardware before using your fire pit each season and at least once a month afterward; tighten as needed. Also, check any propane connections.
- Never use accelerants such as gasoline or other combustibles–the extremely hot fire they create can actually damage your fire pit.
- Keep all plastics well away from the fire and any hot surfaces. Not only does melting plastic create a gooey mess that is extremely hard to remove, but it also produces toxic fumes!
- Never use water to extinguish a fire in your fire pit! The drastic change in temperature could crack or warp it.
- Regularly remove any build-up of creosote. This is a byproduct of burning wood and is highly flammable.
- If possible, storing your fire pit in a dry, sheltered location will protect it from harsh winter conditions.