Sitting by the fireplace is a great idea during winter nights. But when the wood has turned completely to ash, it becomes a pain to clean. Unfortunately, cleaning out the firebox is an essential chore that you must do if you want to keep using your fireplace. Vacuuming the ash may be the simplest solution to this tedious job. Is it safe to do that? Can you use vacuum cleaner to clean fireplace?
Well, the answer is yes and no. Yes, because you can use a vacuum cleaner to remove all the ash in your fireplace. And no because you cannot use your regular household vacuum cleaner for this task. If you are going to suck up all the burnt-up wood pieces and ash, you will need an ash vacuum. A regular one can be damaged if a hot ember gets sucked into the cleaner’s container by mistake. And even if it does not get destroyed, it will just spew fine ash dust out of its exhaust port.
Why Can’t You Use a Regular Vacuum Cleaner to Clean the Fireplace?
Regular vacuum cleaners are not meant to deal with ash removal from your fireplace. Even if the ash pile already looks grey all over, there could still be unseen hot embers within. If you vacuum the ash, these embers can get into the vacuum cleaner and burn tiny holes into the hose, the fan, and the canister. It may even start a small fire inside the collection area, particularly if there are any tiny flammable objects already in there!
If these tiny embers burn through the vacuum cleaner bag, they can get into the equipment’s motor and melt essential parts. This can permanently destroy your vacuum cleaner.
Besides the potential fire hazard, vacuuming ash with a regular vacuum cleaner is also not recommended because its filter is not designed to contain ash dust. The extremely small particles of the burnt-up wood can quickly clog the cleaner bag and filters. If this happens, your vacuum cleaner will begin spewing fine dust into the air.
Even without clogging, the smaller dust particles will be sucked into the vacuum cleaner and get expelled into the air through the exhaust because they are too small for the filter to contain. These tiny particles can cause irritation and certain respiratory issues.
Plus, the build-up of dust particles in the vacuum’s motor will prevent the component from working properly. Eventually, the build-up will become too much, and the motor will stop running altogether.
What Kind of Vacuum Should You Use to Clean A Fireplace?
When you have a wood-burning fireplace or a wood stove, you should buy an ash vacuum cleaner. This type of cleaning equipment features a metal holding canister which is designed to withstand the heat of an ember that you may accidentally suck up when you vacuum your stove or fireplace.
Additionally, the components of his special type of vacuum cleaner are made up of heat-resistant materials. Even the house and the motors are built so they do not easily get damaged by the heat.
Finally, ash vacuum cleaners are equipped with specialized filters. These can trap even the finest ash dust. The filters do not just prevent tiny ash particles to be sprayed into the air, it also prevents the dust from getting into the vacuum’s motor and causing permanent damage on your cleaning equipment.
How Do You Use an Ash Vacuum to Clean Out Your Fireplace?
There are some safety precautions that you need to take when vacuuming your fireplace. The first one is to wait a few hours since the fire died out before cleaning the ash. Some experts say wait for 12 hours, others 72. This will ensure that no more burning material is in the fireplace when you start vacuuming.
Even if the ash is grey, it is advisable to thoroughly inspect the pile for any live embers. Extinguish or remove them.
Do not vacuum the entire pile. It is ideal to scoop out the pile of ash into a metal bucket using a metal shovel. When you are done, place this bucket outside and away from anything combustible.
You may then start using your ash vacuum cleaner to suck up the remaining ashes in the fireplace. Wash the inside of the firebox with a sponge and soapy water. Wipe down all the surfaces.
So Can You Use Vacuum Cleaner to Clean Fireplace?
Vacuuming ash makes cleaning your fireplace a breeze. However, do not do this task using a regular vacuum cleaner. Instead of cleaning the place, you would end up spewing ash into the air and potentially destroying your appliance.
To suck up ash safely and quickly, you would need to use an ash vacuum cleaner. They are designed to withstand the heat of any ember and contain the fine ash dust in its canister.