How do you clean ashes from burning wood in a fireplace?

rwhirleyNovember 22, 2013

I used my fireplace today because it is really cold here in the DFW area. I am wondering after the log burns, how do you clean up the ashes in the fireplace that fell to the bottom? I don't think I want to use my vacuum for this. I'm surprised there hasn't been an invention yet for some kind of liner to put under the log to catch the ashes then you dispose of. Kind of like an oven liner for splatter...

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Just scoop up with a dust pan. Typical fireplace tool sets include a shovel-type tool and a broom. I don't think that anyone who uses a fireplace more than once a year cleans it out every time they have a fire.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2013 at 6:47PM
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I used a dust pan and brush, then put them in a plastic bag. I cleaned the ashes out a day or two after we used the fire place, but we didn't have to use it for heat. I have always worried a little about fires.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2013 at 8:36PM
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Small dust pan and fireplace broom or a brush work best. DO NOT use a vacuum. I made the mistake of trying our shopvac once as the broom didn't get it as clean as I wanted. Ashes went right through the filter system and flew all over the room. Quite the mess.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2013 at 7:33AM
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There are vacuums you can buy for ashes. Be careful using a dustpan.

I almost set my house on fire years ago after cleaning up what I thought were cold ashes the morning after we had a fire in the fireplace. I used a dustpan to transfer the ashes to a paper grocery bag. I placed the bag in the garage next to the lawn mower. It turns out there were embers in the bag, and the heat slightly melted the lawn mower tire. Luckily I smelled the burning rubber.

I don't like the smell left behind by a fireplace, so I'm the type that would not want to leave the ashes there after the occasional fire.

Here is a link that might be useful: vacuum for ashes

    Bookmark   November 23, 2013 at 9:54AM
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When we had a wood burning fireplace (mine is now gas), I used the above mentioned dustpan and brush on cold ashes. I did not clean it every time it was used, I had glass doors to close and didn't notice a stale smokey odor ever.

Do not use your vacuum cleaner. DH was going to surprise me by cleaning the fireplace while I was at work one day and vacuumed out the hearth. The weight of the ashes burst the vacuum bag and put a layer of burned wood dust on everything.

If you must, use a shop vac with a disposable filter bag in any corners or depressions only after you've removed as much manually as possible, like at about 98% clean. I made it a seasonal chore, not something done weekly, certainly not after each use.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2013 at 9:26PM
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