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Best Ash Vacuum

By Lawrence Macmillan October 25, 2021

Is the dreaded cleanup of the aftermath of using your BBQ or fireplace deterring you from using it more than you like?

Using a regular ash brush and shovel to get rid of the ash can seem like it takes forever and you never manage to get into those hard-to-reach crevices. 

Not only is it more difficult to tidy and clean, but brushing the ash can cause some particles to go into the air and cause some issues for your lungs if you manage to inhale some. 

Investing in an ash vacuum for your home will make cleaning up after burning wood in your fireplace or cooking food out on your outdoor BBQ an absolute breeze.

However, it’s difficult to know what makes an ash vacuum different from a regular household vacuum and what makes an ash vacuum a good one. 

We’re delighted to be sharing some of the best ash vacuums with you today because we know how life-changing it is to be able to clean up after a fire within just seconds. 

So keep on reading to find out our recommendations for the best ash vacuum.

Best Overall: PowerSmith PAVC101 Ash Vacuum 

Our best overall choice for ash vacuum is the PowerSmith 3-gallon vacuum cleaner that is specially designed to clean warm and cool ash from fireplaces to barbeque grills.

The washable and replaceable fire-resistant filter will filter out the finest ash and dust so your engine stays intact for longer and to prevent harmful ash from being released into the air.

The metal canister and hose are also heat-resistant so won’t melt even when sucking up the warmest of ashes and also won’t burn your hands when handling them.

The vacuum from PowerSmith is highly portable and comes with a wheeled base that can be pushed through your home and also a carry handle when transferring the vacuum inside from outside your home.

Despite having a powerful 10 amp motor, it’s not a particularly loud vacuum and shouldn’t cause too much disruption when using it in your home. 

The 16-foot power card allows this model to be used as a regular vacuum and the additional nozzle and hose attachments will make it easier to reach difficult crevices where ash can hide. 

Pros:

  • Various attachments included - Makes cleaning various places easier
  • Powerful but quiet motor - Can use frequently without disturbing household
  • Washable and reusable filter - Easy to clean and prolongs the life of the filter

Cons:

  • The filter will need to be cleaner after every use - Lessens suction when it is full

Best Budget: SnowJoe ASHJ201 (4.8 Gallon) Ash Vacuum

If you’ve already got a regular household vacuum then you don’t want to be spending over the top on a vacuum that will only be used to suck up ash and dust.

That’s why this Snow Joe model is such a steal, as it’s a powerful enough 4-amp motor that is effective at cleaning up your fireplace but without breaking the bank.

The versatile vacuum allows you to pick up cold and warm ashes so you won’t have to wait around for ages whilst your fireplace cools. 

It comes with dual filtration to clean up the ashes and for your home to remain dust-free without damaging the engine or leaking dust back out into your home’s air.

The filter cartridge is easy to clean and can be reused over and over again and it's fine design will prevent clogging within the system to ensure maximum suction regardless of how full the canister is. 

The 4.8-gallon canister should be enough for multiple clean-up sessions so you won’t have to continuously empty it each time. 

The design is a little less portable than other models we’ve recommended due to the lack of wheels on the base, but it does come with a carry handle that will make it easier when moving it through your home. Do be warned however that ash can become heavy when you vacuum it up. 

Pros:

  • 4.8-gallon capacity - No need to empty continuously as you’re cleaning
  • Carry handle design - Can transport it around your home
  • Dual-filtration system - Ensures even the finest dust and ash is cleaned up and kept in the filter

Cons:

  • No wheels on the design - May be more difficult to transport when the vacuum is full


BACOENG (5.3-Gallon) Ash Vacuum Cleaner

Next up we have this nifty Bacoeng ash vacuum cleaner that is a dream to transport in and around your home due to the easy-to-roll wheels and large carry handle that makes it easy to move around regardless of if the canister is full or not.

It’s designed with a dual-filtration system that prevents fine dust particles from escaping into the air that you breathe and also protects the motor from being damaged.

There is also a convenient filling level indicator that will let you know when the canister needs emptying soon so you don’t have to keep checking every time.

The Bacoeng model is equipped with a powerful 10-amp motor with heating protection for strong suction but maintaining safety. 

You’ll benefit from the 15-foot cable for flexible vacuuming around your home without being too restricted to areas you can reach.

There is also a 5-foot suction hose so you won’t have to put your face right in where the ashes are and breathe in harmful dust. 

Unfortunately, this model is designed for cold ash to pick up only, so you will have to wait a few hours to allow everything to cool before you can vacuum up your ash.

Pros:

  • Filling level indicator - Tells you when it needs emptying 
  • 5-foot suction hose - Prevents you from having to go up close whilst vacuuming
  • Carry handle and easy to roll wheels - Makes it easier to transport around the home

Cons:

  • Designed for cold ash pickup - Cannot use when ash is still warm 

Shop-Vac 4041300 Ash Vacuum Stainless Steel (5 Gallon) 

This Shop-Vac model has a 5-gallon capacity to help you clean up all the cold ashes and fine dust particles possible around your fireplace, pellet stoves, or outside barbeque without needing to empty it every time.

It features a powerful bypass motor for stubborn messes and also has a reliable HEPA filter to keep even the finest of dust particles within the canister instead of floating out into your breathing air or the motor.

It’s equipped with a top carry handle for easy portability but has no wheels to roll it around your house to where you need it. 

As we said, this model should be used for cleaning up cold ashes and not warm, but there is a thermal protective device that will help it stay in working order and protect the user even if you vacuum up warmer ash.

You’ll also get additional accessories like multiple cleaning heads and nozzles for different uses so you can have more versatility when using your vacuum. 

The cord length is not the longest, so you will need to use an extension cord whenever you use this model outside or in your home when it’s not near an outlet. 

Pros:

  • Powerful bypass motor - Cleans up even the most stubborn mess
  • Carry top handle - Makes portability easier
  • HEPA filter - Keeps harmful fine dust from getting into the air

Cons:

  • 6-foot cord length - Will probably need to use an extension cord to use

Largest Capacity: Vacmaster - Ash Vacuum (6 Gallon) 

If you’re someone who loves to keep their fire going year-round, then you’ll want to find a vacuum with the largest capacity possible to prevent you from having to empty it constantly when you’re trying to keep your fireplace area as clean as possible.

The 8-amp motor will ensure maximum suction power to efficiently clean your ashes and fireplace area without too much effort.

It has a wheeled base as well as a carry handle on top of the design to make portability easier regardless of use inside or outside the home.

There is even onboard organization implemented into the design to make storage easier and tidier.

There is even an LED work light for increased visibility when trying to reach those dark and hard-to-reach crevices inside your fireplace.

It has a heat-resistant construction so can be used for both warm and cold ashes for extra convenience. 

The filter is long-lasting and easy to clean but is not washable so will eventually need to be replaced with another Vacmaster filter. 

Pros:

  • LED work light - Increases visibility in dark cleaning areas
  • Heat-resistant construction - Can be used for vacuuming cold and warm ash
  • Wheeled base and carry handle - Maximum portability around your home

Cons:

  • The filter is not washable - Will need to buy a new one every few months

Buyers Guide

Hose Length

You’ll need to make sure you get an ash vacuum with a hose long enough to reach difficult areas and crevices around your fireplace to suck up all the ash.

The fireplace and ash may still be warm so you don’t want to be putting your hands too close to these areas and potentially burning your hands. 

Cord Length

Try to find a vacuum with a long enough cord to reach from your fireplace to an outlet, if not you’ll only have to get out the extension cord each time you want to use it. 

Size & Capacity

You’ll want your ash vacuum to be large enough to at least be able to completely clean your fireplace area once without having to empty it.

Try to find a vacuum with a canister of around 5 gallons capacity to ensure you won’t have to stop every 5 minutes to empty it when it gets full again. 

Portability

Chances are you won’t be storing your ash vacuum right next to your fireplace, so you’ll need to bring it out of storage each time you need to dispose of the ash.

Portable vacuums will come with wheels or casters and maybe a carry handle to transport your vacuum around the home.

You’ll need to remember that whilst your vacuum may seem lightweight when empty but when the canister is full with ash, it can be a lot heavier and more difficult to transport without rolling it around your home. 

Power

You’ll want to ensure the model you pick is powerful enough to vacuum up even the most stubborn ash from around your fireplace.

The bigger the motor on the vacuum that you pick the more powerful it will be and the easier it will be to clean with.

Most models for ash vacuum cleaners have a motor with 5 to 10 amps of power, so you should not go for anything lower than this, or you will have trouble trying to suck up the ash.

Indicator

You may want to find an ash vacuum that comes with a dust indicator that will alert you with an LED when it needs emptying so you don’t have to keep checking every so often.

This may be more of a premium feature on an ash vacuum so you will have to pay a higher price for the convenience. 

Filter System

The key to a good ash vacuum comes with a triple filter system with a HEPA filter to trap and seal the dust and dirt inside the canister to keep it away from the engine and also from escaping outside the vacuum into the air and decreasing your air quality.

Easy To Empty & Clean

Ash can be extremely messy so try to find a vacuum that has a seamless emptying process for convenience and a canister and filter that is easy to clean out afterward so there are no remaining dust particles left inside the vacuum. 

Materials

One of the main features to look for in an ash vacuum is that it’s made with heat-resistant materials that will be able to withstand the heat from the ash from the fire.

Most ash vacuums are lined with metal inside as well as having a metal nozzle and crevice tools to suck up the ash. Regular household vacuums will be made of non-heat-resistant materials like plastic that can melt from the ash.

There are even some ash vacuum cleaners that are made from cheap and non-heat-resistant materials so make sure to look out on your search. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Ash Vacuums Worth It?

Yes, ash vacuums are worth it as they’ll save you a lot of time when you’re disposing of your ash waste from your fireplace but they’ll also reduce the allergens and odors produced by your fireplace when from smoke and the burnt wood fibers that can linger in the room long after burning. 

Can You Use Any Vacuum For Ash?

No, you should not just use any vacuum to dispose of your ash around your fireplace, especially a household vacuum. Regular vacuums are not designed to withstand the heat that comes from ash and doing so could result in a fire risk. 

Household vacuums do not have the right filters to hold the ultra-fine ash and dust that comes from your fireplace, so some of it could seep through to the rest of the components, damage them and ultimately shorten their lifespan.

The ash dust particles can also be released into the air and diminish the air quality in your home and cause potential allergens. 

The only time you should use your regular vacuum to vacuum up ash is after you’ve left the ash for 12 hours so you know that it is completely cooled and safe. 

Should You Leave Ash In Your Fireplace?

You should try to remove the ash from your fireplace as often as you can to maintain the area and to prevent ash build-up which can get in the way of your fire building.

However, most people will remove the ash from their fireplace come the end of the colder months when they stop using their fireplace. 

Ash is highly acidic and when combined with moisture can be damaging for your fireplace and surrounding. Ash left in and around your fireplace can give off strong odors and can also cause allergies for pets and humans in the home. 

How Do You Clean Ash From A Fireplace?

Try to leave the ashes for a while to cool down slightly (72 hours if possible) as this will prevent any ash from starting a fire when you dispose of it in the trash.

If your fireplace has a firebox then push the ashes through the metal plate and vacuum up from there.

When your fireplace and the surrounding area have cooled, use some gloves and masonry cleaner to clean down the remaining area.

You may also want to get a chimney sweeper to come and clean out your chimney every so often. 


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