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With the holidays right around the corner, you want your fireplace to look its best for your friends, family, and other guests since they love gathering around a cozy fire during the festivities of the season. One task on your to-do list should be removing wood ashes from your fireplace, and it is important to know how to do this task safely. Not knowing certain things like how to properly store the ashes could lead to inadvertently starting an accidental fire. Ashbusters greatly values your safety, which is why we would like to share with you some tips about wood ash removal from your fireplace.

What tools do I need to remove wood ashes from my fireplace?

Proper ash removal from your fireplace requires a few tools to do this task as safely as possible. You will need a metal ash shovel and a metal bucket with a fitted lid as well as gloves and a breathing mask for you to wear. You may also want a few drop cloths or tarps to lay in front of your fireplace to protect your floor from ash residue.

How long after a fire has been extinguished do I have to wait before safely removing ashes?

A good rule of thumb is to wait at least 24 hours after you have put out a fire before you can remove ashes from the fireplace, but to be completely safe, you should wait 36 to 48 hours to allow any smoldering coals to cool down. When it is time to remove the ashes, you just scoop them up with your metal shovel and empty it into your metal bucket. If you come across any coals that are still hot, you can push them to the side of the firebox with your shovel.

What do I do with the bucket after I have finished removing ashes from my fireplace?

Once you have placed ashes in the bucket, place the lid on the bucket and make sure it is closed tightly. Not only does the lack of oxygen completely extinguish any smoldering ashes, but the lid also keeps the ashes contained in case the bucket gets knocked over. You should place the bucket outside on a concrete, brick, or another non-combustible surface. After a few days, you can dispose of the ashes in your outside trash can.

How often should I remove ashes from my fireplace?

According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), you should not remove ashes after every fire. Depending on how often you use your fireplace, doing this task once every week or every two weeks is sufficient. In fact, the CSIA recommends leaving a one-inch layer of ashes in the bottom of the firebox because it makes it easier to build and maintain a fire.

Knowing how to properly remove ashes can help you stay safe this fireplace season. Contact us at Ashbusters to learn more fireplace maintenance tips to help you get ready for the holidays.