Fire pits are a great addition to any backyard, providing warmth and ambiance for outdoor gatherings. If you have a fire pit that uses lava rocks as a medium for heat, you may have noticed that they can become dirty and covered in ash over time.
Whether you use your fire pit for camping trips, backyard gatherings, or ambiance, proper maintenance is key to ensuring that it continues to function correctly and safely.
This article will cover the steps you can take to clean your fire pit and make it look new effectively. Let’s get started!
Cleaning Out A Fire Pit With Lava Rocks
You don’t have to worry about cleaning out a fire pit with lava rocks, as you might think. Leaving all the ashes in the garbage after the fire pit cools down is the best way to dispose of them.
With lava rocks, you can use a wood or charcoal fire without worrying about the mess clogging up your drains since they are lightweight and porous, allowing you to remove the ash or cinders easily.
In light of that, here are the steps you need to take.
What you will need
- Steel wool
- Bucket and dish detergent
- Possibly replacement lava rocks
1. Let The Lava Rocks Cool Down
Let the rocks cool down after you have finished using the fire pit. Before completely cooling, allow them to rest for 60 minutes after use. It may take 20 minutes to one house for them to cool.
Because lava rocks are porous, they need to dry for at least a few hours before they will be ready to be used. In case of doubt, give yourself several hours to make sure. So, you can leave lava rocks to dry in the backyard and rinse them on a sunny day.
During heating, damp lava rocks are vulnerable to damage, which can lead to accidents. When wet lava rocks get hot, they may split, crack, or pop, which will cause them to fall out of fire pits and onto lawns.
People could be injured by stray lava rocks or get burned. Furthermore, you may damage your fire pit to the point that it cannot be repaired.
It is recommended to rinse your lava rocks once a year, depending on the manufacturer’s instructions. Other than that, they don’t require further maintenance; lava pebbles won’t disintegrate either.
2. Soak And Scrub The Lava Rocks Clean
It is best to touch the lava rocks after they have cooled enough for you to touch them without getting burned. Afterward, soak the rocks thoroughly in a bucket filled with water and dish detergent.
You can scrub away any sooty residues along with burnt food particles using fine steel wool on the outside portion of your lava rock. You may soak the cloth several times or use a different cleaner to get the best results.
Buying baking soda in powder form from your local supermarket works best for cleaning naturally. You can use baking soda to clean your fire pit without damaging the rocks or other parts.
3. Rinse And Dry The Lava Rocks
You will now need to thoroughly rinse all your lava rocks with a hose. If there are any remaining soot particles in cracks or fissures on the surface of the rocks, this will reveal them. The same can be accomplished in an outdoor shower or bathtub using warm, sudsy water.
It is best to allow the lava rocks to dry out completely before using them again for a fire pit. You should seal them with cooking oil if they do not naturally resist water.
By keeping air out of the porous rock, the coloration will not fade, and the edges won’t rust or rot.
4. Prune Any Burns If Wanted From The Lava Rocks
It is even possible to prune burnt edges from the lava rocks. Some find the scorch marks unsightly and do not like the sharp edges of the scorch marks.
As well as exposing any hidden soot particles beneath rough surfaces, pruning off these rough surfaces will aid in removing them. Buying a pair of metal cutting snips from a hardware store would be the best pruning tool.
5. Address Cracks And Fissures
Make sure any rough edges are smoothed out with sandpaper. If there are cracks or fissures on the lava rocks, fill them with paint until they are smooth. Doing this step can reduce the ash that builds up around your rocks’ edges.
6. Remove the Ash From the Fire Pit
Having to shovel out the fire pit has to be one of my least favorite garden tasks. As long as you don’t want ash and other debris to spill into your yard, you may be unable to avoid it. Handle the wheelbarrow and the shovel with care.
To thoroughly clean a fire pit, you must shovel everything out. You need to get rid of all the ash, sand, leaf fragments, and wood that have made their way into your fire pit. Using natural plant materials on the fire is a fire hazard, so you should throw them in with the ash.
It is great to have some help during this step. We suggest you grab shovels, wheelbarrows, and some upbeat music. With this method, you’ll get the job done faster and have fun doing it. Plus, you’ll get fit while doing it!
Make sure the bottom of your fire pit is visible by emptying it. Creating a location for dumping your rubbish, such as a bin or a pile.
7. Brush, Hose, and Brush Again
Using a sturdy brush, wipe the fire pit to remove any lingering ash your shovel couldn’t reach. Make sure you wear a dustproof mask while doing this. .
You should avoid getting your eyes irritated by dust. It will not work to wear a surgical mask, as they are not designed to filter dust and ash from the air. Select a heavy-duty mask with a respirator if you want to protect your lungs.
To get rid of most of the fine debris, you can hose the fire pit with cold water once you’re satisfied it’s clean. Ensure your fire pit is fully dry before you use it again by hosting it in the morning and letting it sit in the sun for the rest of the day.
You might need to brush the fire pit once more after it’s dry to eliminate the stubborn grit. In addition, a final brush will help clean up your fire pit and ensure no stray flammables are left behind.
Fire pits often come with grate covers, which can be treated the same way as the pit. Be sure to let it dry completely before attempting to repurpose it.
8. Use A Vacuum To Clean Out The Fire Pit
After cleaning out the fire pit, you can use it again. I vacuum all the ashes out of any corners and crevices with a vacuum cleaner in gentle mode. You may need to repeat this process several times to get all the debris out.
9. Complete Repairs or Upgrades
When cleaning out the fire pit, you’ve got the perfect opportunity to complete any repairs or upgrades you’ve been meaning to make. Ensure that all components are in good condition by checking them twice.
10. Put Your Clean Lava Rocks Back Into the Fire Pit
It’s time to start putting everything back together now that you know both your lava rocks and fire pit are dry. To build lava rocks, you’ll need a solid foundation like sand. Approximately 2.54 cm (1 inch) thick is a good thickness.
Because of its ability to spread the heat out more evenly and is perfect for fire pits. In addition, it helps to protect metal or stone from corrosion. The fire heats your fire pit’s base and then cooled by sand, which acts as an insulator.
This prevents one area of your pit from getting worn out from too much heat. There would be extensive damage and marks in one location as a result of this.
When sandstone or gravel gets hot, they will likely explode, so you should avoid using them as foundations for fire pits. If you want to add filler, stick to sand, volcanic ash, lava pebbles, or lava beads.
Also, you don’t have to fill your fire pit with anything. Don’t cover the burners when refilling your fire pit, as this can be extremely dangerous.
Lastly, fill your fire pit with lava rocks that have been cleaned and dried. Whenever you use new lava rocks, I recommend rinsing them before you use them, as dust can build up inside the packaging.
How Long Do Lava Rocks Last In A Fire Pit?
The physical properties of each type of lava rock vary, and it will last at different times in a fire pit. It is generally true that lava rocks will last in a fire pit for at least two years.
Do Lava Rocks Need To Be Cleaned?
It is advisable to clean lava rocks before using them in an outdoor rock fire pit. A layer of soot and debris left on rocks for too long can erode the porous material and result in cracks.
You will eventually have to replace your lava rocks because they will become weaker and more susceptible to breaking.
Whether you use your fire pit for backyard gatherings, camping trips, or simply for ambiance, a clean fire pit will provide you with many enjoyable moments for years to come.
Properly maintaining your fire pit and cleaning out the lava rocks is important to ensure that it continues to function safely and effectively. Following the steps outlined above, you can easily clean out your fire pit and have it look new again in no time.