Can You Vacuum Ash From a Fireplace?

Can You Vacuum Ash From a Fireplace?

Can you vacuum ash from a fireplace? Cleaning the ash from your firebox is an important part of fireplace maintenance. While it’s not incredibly difficult to clean ash from the fireplace, it can be a bit messy and time consuming, which leads many homeowners to wonder if they can use their vacuum cleaner to remove ash from the fireplace

Today, we’ll address the common question “can you vacuum ash from a fireplace?” and provide more information on cleaning out ash from your fireplace.

Why Do I Need to Clean Ash?

While it’s okay to have some ash in your fireplace, you do not want a huge pile of it. For one, ash is very acidic, which can damage the fireplace. As warmer months approach, ashes can draw in moisture and destroy your fireplace, leading to costly repairs. Ash is also an allergen, much like household dust, and it can get into your home when you leave it in your fireplace. 

Generally, it’s much easier to remove a little ash on a regular basis, rather than letting it all build up. Throughout the burning season, you will not have to fully remove every piece of ash. During the burning season, you can leave a 1-2 inch layer of ash to assist with combustion and help burn a better fire. However, come spring you should thoroughly clean the ash and wipe down your fireplace. 

Household Vacuums Cannot Clean Ash

If you’re wondering whether or not you can use your household vacuum cleaner to remove ash from your fireplace, the answer is no. household vacuums are not designed to handle ash removal, and using them for that purpose can result in some problems. 

If you try to use your personal vacuum cleaner to remove ash, you may damage your machine. Hot embers can lurk beneath the ash, and they can damage your vacuum cleaner if you use it to suck up the ash. Worse yet, a fire could start inside the vacuum collection area. 

Additionally, the vacuum cleaner will not be able to keep the ash from getting into your home. Ash particles are much smaller than typical household dust, so it can slip through your vacuum’s filter. Ash dust is not good to breathe in, which is why you will need to wear a mask and protective eyewear when working with it. 

Ash Vacuums

While you cannot use a normal household vacuum to clean the ash from your fireplace, you can use a vacuum designed for ash. PowerSmith, Vacmaster, Stanley, and Snow Joe all sell ash vacuums that you can buy. Ash vacuums are smaller than household vacuums, and specially designed for cleaning ash from your fireplace. 

While the prices vary, you don’t have to break the bank to get a good quality ash vacuum. There are many options available for less than $200, and you can purchase any accessories you need for cleaning your garage or other areas. 

The main difference between a household vacuum and ash vacuum is the metal holder container that ash vacuums have. The metal canister can contain the heat from any burning embers, and ash vacuums also have heat-resistant hoses. This type of vacuum cleaner includes specialized filters that can trap fine ash particles and keep them out of your air. 

How to Clean Ash from Your Fireplace

Cleaning the ashes from your fireplace is important for fireplace maintenance and fire safety, but you must be careful. You want to make sure the ashes are cool before attempting to clean them. Here are some tips for cleaning ashes from your firebox:

  • Wait 12 hours or more after the last fire. 
  • Examine the firebox for live embers. If there are any hot embers, extinguish or remove them. 
  • Use a metal shovel to scoop out ash. Place the ash in a metal bucket, and place the bucket outside and away from combustible materials. 
  • Vacuum the rest of the remaining ashes with an ash vacuum. 
  • Use a sponge with soap and water to clean the inside of the surfaces. Try a scrub brush for any stubborn areas. 
  • Rinse, then wipe down, all of the surfaces. 

Get Help with Fireplace Ash 

Whether you need help with your fireplace ash or another chimney and fireplace service, your Chimney & Masonry Outfitters of Indianapolis are here to help. With a full chimney sweep and inspection, we can clean your chimney and fireplace to prepare it for next season. We’ll make sure your fireplace and chimney are in great shape, and help prevent damage from ash, soot, and smoke. To learn more about our chimney and fireplace services or to schedule your appointment, contact CMO today at 317-500-1250 or OFFICE@CMOUTFITTERS.COM.