Project Guide

How to Clean a Fire Pit

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Clean Out Debris
a fire pit with old, burned pieces of wood

Before you can start cleaning the fire pit, you must first consider what type of fire pit you have. Different styles require different cleaning solutions. Understanding the common fire pit materials will also help you properly maintain them between uses.

If you have a gas fire pit, put on a pair of gloves, grab a trash bag and remove any leaves, twigs or large pieces of debris from the stones or glass. For all other styles, start clearing out the inside and use a shovel or trowel to help clear the bottom of the pit. Keep gathering debris until the inside is clear.

Tip: If you have a shop vac on hand, use it at the end to suck up any remaining ash you couldn’t get by hand.

How to Clean a Stone or Brick Fire Pit
a stone fire pit in an outdoor living space

Many stationary fire pits are built into outdoor patios. These are usually crafted of bricks or some type of stone and need to be cleaned in place. 

  • Mix a 1:9 solution of muriatic acid and water. 
  • Wear protective gloves and use a durable brush to scrub the inside and outside of the fire pit. 
  • Once the scrubbing is complete, use your hose to spray down the fire pit and let it dry completely. 
  • A few days later, consider adding a layer of masonry sealant to help make future fire pit cleaning easier.
How to Clean a Steel or Copper Fire Pit
a close up image of a steel fire pit

Metal is incredibly durable and holds up to heat, but it requires a different method of cleaning. Many fire pits are crafted of steel, cast iron, or copper. If your pit is crafted of steel or copper, follow these cleaning instructions:

  • Use hot, soapy water and a soft cloth to scrub the interior of the fire pit. 
  • Rinse the soap and water thoroughly and use a dry cloth to wipe the fire pit dry. 
  • Sitting water can cause a metal fire pit to rust, so make sure not to leave water sitting after rainfall or cleaning. 
How to Clean a Cast Iron Fire Pit
a close up of a cast iron fire pit

Cast iron is a heavy-duty and durable material, but it requires a little extra effort to clean. 

  • Take a bucket of hot water and a piece of steel wool to scrub down the surface of the cast iron. 
  • Cast iron rusts easily, so make sure to dry the surface immediately after cleaning. 
  • These pits should also not be used in a place where they can collect excess rainwater.
How to Clean a Gas Fire Pit
a close up of a gas fire pit
  • Gas fire pits are integrated units, so you can’t hose down the interior.
  • Use a cloth and a little soapy water to wipe down the interior, making sure not to loosen any gas lines in the process. 
  • Follow it up with a dry cloth.
Fire Pit Maintenance Tips
a covered fire pit on an outdoor patio
  • Once you’ve gone through the work of cleaning out the fire pit, keep it protected from the elements by investing in a fire pit cover. This will help prevent leaves, rainwater and debris from accumulating between uses. 
  • Use a seasoned wood for wood-burning fire pits, as it provides a much cleaner burn and creates less buildup. 
  • When it comes to fire pit maintenance, avoid dousing a fire with water to put it out. The water can cause the hot fire pit to drop in temperature too quickly, which results in cracks. Instead, let the fire pit burn out slowly and return to a normal temperature naturally. 
  • Depending on how frequently you use the fire pit and whether or not you keep it covered between uses, you’ll want to do a deep cleaning every six months or so.