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Do you have a barbeque or a fireplace? If so, you probably know how annoying it is to clean the ashes from there.
Cleaning hot and cold ash is equally as messy and dangerous. However, if you have an ash vacuum, the chore becomes simple, safe, and even fun to do.
We’ve researched the best ash vacuum for you, adding our own pros and cons. Read below to learn more about their features and specifications as it can help you make the best choice.
If you’re in a rush, check out our top 5 ash vacuum options:
- Best Cold Ash Vacuum Cleaner: Snow Joe SHJ201 Ash Vacuum
- Great Option for Both Hold & Cold Debris: TACKLIFE PVC03A Ash Vacuum Cleaner
- Extra Long Hose: Plow & Hearth 13997 Ash Vacuum
- The Most Versatile Option: BACOENG 5.3 Gallon Ash Vacuum Cleaner
- Fire-Resistant Quality System: PowerSmith PAVC101 Amp Ash Vacuum
|Product Name||Weight||Canister Capacity||Power Cord|
|Snow Joe SHJ201||8.8 lbs||4.8 gal||8.5 ft|
|TACKLIFE PVC03A||9.53 lbs||5 gal||16.4 ft|
|Plow & Hearth 13997||15.3 lbs||4 gal||16 ft|
|BACOENG 5.3 Gallon Cleaner Filtration||24.4 lbs||3.5 gal||15 ft|
|PowerSmith PAVC101 Amp Ash Vacuum||13 lbs||5.2 lbs||16 ft|
|ALEKO APW212||5 lbs||5 gal||N/A|
|Costway Ash Vacuum Cleaner||11 lbs||5.3 gal||N/A|
|Channellock 6 Gal.||12.3 lbs||6 gal||N/A|
|PowerSmith PAVC101 10 Amp Ash Vacuum||13 lbs||3 gal||16 ft|
|ASHJ201 4.8 Gallon 4 Amp Ash Vacuum||8.8 lbs||4.8 gal||8.5 ft|
|WORKSHOP Ash Vacuum Cleaner||13 lbs||4.8 gal||8 ft|
|Vacmaster – Ash Vacuum 6 Gallon 8 Amp||12.3 lbs||6 gal||12 ft|
Best Ash Vacuum Cleaners in 2021
Snow Joe SHJ201 Ash Vacuum
(Best Cold Ash Vacuum Cleaner)
If you’re sure you’ll only vacuum cold ash, you should consider this ash vacuum. It’s designed to pick up cold debris from pellet and wood stoves, firepits, fireplaces, and BBQ grills.
The SHJ201 has a reusable fine dust cartridge filter that helps reduce clogging and is quite easy to clean. On top of that, it has a dual filtration system made of pre-filter pleated filter that’s meant to clean all the ashes dust-free.
One of the best things is that you won’t have to clean the ash vacuum constantly. It comes with an extra-large metal canister that can store up to 4.8 gallons of particles.
This is a powerful ash vacuum that features 4 Amp motor generating up to 500W of continuous suction power. It’s easy to use and carry around as it weighs 8.82 pounds.
- Large capacity
- Dual filtration system
- Reduce clogging
- Cannot clean hot particles
TACKLIFE PVC03A Ash Vacuum Cleaner
(Great Option for Both Hold & Cold Debris)
If you’re after something that can clean both cold and warm particles, you should take a closer look at the PVC03A by Tacklife.
It’s specifically built to clean both cold and warm wood ash out of your fireplace, wood burner, pellet and wood stove, and BBQ grill.
The ash vacuum comes with a dual filtration system that’s fire-resistant, washable, and reusable. The system is made to filter out the finest dust as well as ashes.
This one can clean hot ashes thanks to its heat-resistant metal hose and canister. The hose is flexible and easy to work with regardless of the shape of your fireplace or stove. It’s quiet but still powerful with an 800W motor allowing up to 15 Kpa of suction power. The machine comes with a user manual.
- Picks up cold and hot debris
- Large capacity
- Flexible and heat-resistant hose
- Filters require often cleaning
Plow & Hearth 13997 Ash Vacuum
(Extra Long Hose)
This Plow & Hearth model is ideal for small ashy messes. Though it’s large in capacity, it includes only one filter which makes it tricky to clean bigger areas.
However, you have the option of purchasing two additional filters separately. With this addition, the machine can perform much better when it comes to picking up large quantities.
It comes with a 4-gallon stainless steel base with wheels, a handle, and a 10’ hose. The construction and maneuverability of these components make the ash vacuum quite simple to use. Keep in mind that it weighs a bit over 15 pounds. There are lighter ash vacuums as well if weight is a factor for you.
It features a 10-Amp motor that sucks both cold and warm ash. Make sure that hot ash isn’t warmer than 140° since you might melt some of the components. It comes with crevice and brush tools, pellet stove hose and a storage bag.
- Heavy Duty: has a powerful 10-amp motor.
- Heat-Resistant: vacuums wash ash up to 140°F.
- Quick, Clean & Easy: extra-long 10’L hose, 16′ power cord
- Item Weight: 15.3 pounds
- Works with cold and warm particles
- Comes with several attachments
- It’s a bit heavy
BACOENG 5.3 Gallon Ash Vacuum Cleaner
(The Most Versatile Option)
This is a multi-functional ash vacuum you can use for cleaning as well as any dry debris. It’s excellent for most indoor jobs, thanks to its features and specifications.
This Bacoeng 5.3-gallon ash vacuum comes with a double-stage filtration that prevents fine particles from getting back into your breathing space. This also protects the motor from being damaged by these fine pieces of dust.
It features 10-Amp motor and heating protection for continuous suction power, better performance, and more safety. On top of that, the vac has a filling level indicator that tells when it’s time to empty the canister.
BACOENG also comes with a 5-foot extended lined-metal hose along with the 15-foot power cord for better maneuverability in tight spaces. It includes a HEPA filter, filter bag, extension wands, upholstery nozzle, crevice nozzle, and a Combi-attachment for different floors.
- Long hose and power cord
- Level indicator
- Strong 10-Amp motor
- It weighs 24.4 pounds
PowerSmith PAVC101 Amp Ash Vacuum
(Fire-Resistant Quality System)
If you don’t have as much time to wait for the particles to cool, you might try the PowerSmith PAVC101 ash vacuum. It’s designed to pick up both cold and warm ash from your wood stove, fireplace, BBQ grill, and pellet stove.
This shop vac for ash comes with a washable and replaceable filtration system that’s also fire-resistant. It’s efficient in filtering out the finest dust and ash particles.
The included hose is also fire-resistant as it’s made of metal as is the canister. Overall, the ash vacuum is powerful thanks to its 10-Amp motor, but it’s also reasonably quiet.
It comes with a 16-foot power cord and a few additional accessories such as two straight extension wands, turbo nozzle, and brush nozzle. You can also use the PowerSmith PAVC101 ash vacuum as a regular shop vacuum to clean messes that don’t include ash.
- For both cold and warm debris
- Comes with several attachments
- Level indicator
- The exhaust gets very hot
ALEKO APW212 Ash & Dust Multipurpose Vacuum
This shop vac is designed for ash and dust, so you can use it for more than just collecting debris from your grill, oven, fireplace, etc.
It comes with an aluminum hose and a steel dust canister. It’s built-in a way to allow vacuuming of warm ash as well as cold. The components are quite resistant though make sure it isn’t hotter than 104° Fahrenheit.
The vac sports continuous, strong suction and is ideal for highly dusty and ashy areas. Its HEPA filtration keeps everything clean and collects even the tiniest particles.
It’s a 5-gallon unit with a 3.3-foot hose that’s easy to maneuver within tight and hard-to-reach areas. It weighs about 13 pounds and is relatively easy to carry around thanks to the wheels it comes with.
- Strong suction
- Suitable for dust as well
- HEPA filtration
- No replacement filters
Costway Ash Vacuum Cleaner
This 5.3-gallon ash vacuum is made to suck in both cold and hot ash from your wood and pellet stove, barbeque grill, fireplace, etc. It’s easy to use and won’t disturb your neighbors since it only emits 76 decibels.
It comes with a washable and replaceable filter that’s fire-resistant. It filters the smallest dust and particles, exhausting only clean air back into your breathing space. The filter requires often cleaning, but you can reuse it many times again.
This shop vac comes with several attachments such as an aluminum nozzle, fire-resistant HEPA filter, and a user manual to help you with your first use. It also features a 1.3m metal pipe that’s flexible and easy to maneuver with around tight and hard-to-reach areas.
It weighs approximately 11 pounds, which is fairly standard for ash vacuums.
- Weight: 11 lbs
- Capacity: 5.3 Gallon
- Quiet Working: The ash vacuum cleaner emits a maximum sound of only 76 decibels
- Additional Features: Replaceable fire-resistant filter system, HEPA filter
- For cold and hot ash
- HEPA filter
- Comes with several attachments
- No wheels
Channellock 6 Gal. Ash Vacuum
This Channellock vac is intended for both indoor and outdoor use on your fireplace, grill, wood stove, etc.
It’s powered by an 8-Amp motor but is relatively quiet and won’t disturb your household. It comes on a sturdy and strong base with rolling casters allowing easier maneuverability. The vac can be reversed if you ever need to use it as a blower, which is quite convenient.
To discard the waste, remove the powerhead, and throw the contents out. Another thing worth noting is that the machine is made for cold particles only.
The ash vacuum comes with a heat-resistant filter, 8’ power cord with a wrap, 4’ aluminum hose, and cord storage. It also features LED lights and onboard hose for more comfortable use. The handle on top makes it easier to carry the machine around even though it weighs some 12 pounds.
- LED light
- Heat-resistant filter
- Can work as a blower
- Cold ash only
PowerSmith PAVC101 10 Amp Ash Vacuum
This PowerSmith is specifically designed to remove cold and warm ash out of your wood stove, fireplace, BBQ grill, and pellet stove.
Both its canister and hose are made from heat-resistant metal, meaning that they can work with higher temperature ash.
It also comes with a 16’ power cord, a metal nozzle, two straight extension wands, a turbo nozzle, a brush nozzle, and a wheeled base.
It has a fire-resistant filter that helps to trap all the debris inside the machine so that it expells only clean air. The filter is washable and easy to rinse with just water.
This shop vac features a 10-Amp motor that doesn’t make too much noise. It provides continuous power, picking up everything from ash to small pieces of burnt wood and pellet.
- Fire-resistant components
- Caster wheels included
- Two-stage filtration system
- Plastic crevice tool
ASHJ201 4.8 Gallon 4 Amp Ash Vacuum
SnowJoe is another popular option if you need an ash vacuum to use around your house. It’s designed to pick up cold ash only, so make sure you let it cool before vacuuming.
It’s a handy and compact vacuum meant for pellet stoves, wood stoves, BBQ grills, fire pits, and fireplaces. Its 4-amp motor gives 500W of suction power, picking up all the mess inside your stove.
This shop vac is easy to clean as it comes with a reusable cartridge filter. It’s easy to remove and clean out all the clogging to keep the suction at its highest.
It’s important to note that SnowJoe has a pre-filter pleated filter for some added filtration, ensuring no dust or ash would return to your breathing space.
It has a 4.8-gallon canister, a 3.9’ hose, and an 11.8’’ nozzle.
- Dual filtration system
- Easy maintenance
- Powerful suction
- Not for hot ash
WORKSHOP Ash Vacuum Cleaner
WorkShop is a popular choice for various reasons, and this ash vacuum is one of its best ash vacuum cleaners to use around the house.
It’s a powerful but compact vacuum, allowing quick and easy ash pickups. It can only work on ash under 122°F and dry debris, fine dust, and dirt.
This ash vacuum is a good choice for your pits, stoves, and fireplaces as it’s easy to use and clean. It has LED lights on the hose for better visibility inside your stove.
Also, it comes with a HEPA media filter, trapping the tiniest dust and ash particles. This makes it especially suitable for people who are sensitive to dust.
The filter has a non-stick material, making it easy to wash it using nothing but clean water.
The vacuum comes with a metal wand, crevice tool, and a locking hose.
- On-board cord and accessory storage
- 5-gallon canister
- Caster wheels
- Short hose (3’)
Vacmaster – Ash Vacuum 6 Gallon 8 Amp
Vacmaster is another well-known name so it’s no surprise we included this 6-gallon ash vacuum. It comes with an 8-amp motor that provides strong, continuous suction to remove ash and other debris.
This ash vacuum is suitable for your pellet stove, wood stove, fireplace, and BBQ grill thanks to its design and easy-to-use accessories.
It features an aluminum crevice tool and a wand, so there’s no chance of melting. Still, keep in mind that this ash shop vac is meant for cold ash only, so make sure to let your fireplace cool first.
Another thing worth noting is the caster-wheel base that allows easy maneuverability. On top of that, this ash vac has a large, comfortable handle for some added portability.
Its LED lights increase your visibility, which is great for smaller stoves and fireplaces.
- Rotating wheels
- On-board accessory storage
- Aluminum accessories
- Not for hot ash
What is an Ash Vacuum?
In most cases, ash remains hot for hours after the fire is out. This makes vacuuming it a bit tricky since most of the popular vacuums that we know, have plastic components and paper filters. Needless to say, such construction isn’t as suitable for cleaning possibly warm ashes.
For this reason, you need a different kind of vacuum, and that’s where ash vacuums come into play. These are made of mostly metal and aluminum components and come with fire-resistant filters.
Still, some can only clean cold ash while others can handle warm to hot as well. It depends on the material used to make the canister as well as the hose. If there’s even minimal amount of plastic, the vacuum should only be used on cold ash.
What you want is a perfect blend of resistance and maneuverability. Some products come with several attachments and are also suitable for indoor use on dust and dirt.
Although choosing one among these vacuums seems overwhelming, making a decision is easier than you think. But, you might want to consider some of these buying factors as they can help you pick the best ash vacuum for your needs.
Weight, Design, and Capacity
As you probably noticed, most ash vacuums are rather large and bulky, These look like standard wet/dry vacuums, featuring large canisters and long hoses.
The design is quite common, although some ash vacuum cleaners have a few features to help them stand out.
And, because most of them are large, they’re also quite heavy. Some are heavier than others, depending on their size as well as the material the canister is made from.
A lightweight ash vacuum is easier to work with but make sure all its components are quality-made and not flimsy as it’s often the case with lighter ash vacuum cleaners.
Portability and Storage
You should always think about whether your ash vacuum is easy to carry around and store away. Those with large capacity canisters are often heavier and more challenging to carry than smaller ones.
For this reason, make sure that your vac of choice has caster wheels and carrying handles. This will make it a bit easier to get it from one place to another.
Also, think about if you have enough storage space for your vacuum. As we said, most are rather bulky and will take up quite some space. On-board cord, hose, and accessory storage can help with neat storage.
Hose and Cord Length
These vacuums are corded, so make sure to think about how much cord you need. In most cases, you get between ten and twenty feet of power cord to work with. Although this might not seem as much, keep in mind that these also come with a hose and at least one extension wand.
Having a long cord and hose gives you extended reach, making it easier to use the vac without re-plugging it. Sadly, most ash vacuum cleaners have a short cord and hose, but the combined length of the two might end up being enough for you.
Quality vacuums come with at least a year-long warranty that covers damage caused by faulty materials and manufacturing. Some best ash vacuum cleaners have extended warranties that last for up to five years. Others have separate deals that cover specific parts like the motor or belt.
Take some time to study the warranty of your ash vacuum, including the fine print. Many people who don’t bother with this end up being disappointed when something goes wrong.
Keep in mind that manufacturers don’t cover for damage caused by normal wear and tear, misuse, and neglect, so make sure to read the user manual as well.
Cold or Warm Ash
As you probably noticed, some vacuums can work with cold and warm ash, while others can only pick up cold ash. It’s a critical difference because cleaning warm ash with a vacuum that’s meant for cold pickups only is likely to result in a disaster.
Those safe to use on warm ash have metal components that are fire-resistant. On the other hand, vacuums for cold ash aren’t fire-resistant and will probably melt if you don’t let the ash cool first.
Think about whether you want to clean cold or hot ash because those that can do both are often slightly more expensive.
The filtration system is another vital component to consider before settling for an ash vacuum. You want an efficient system that can trap tiny ash particles so that they don’t end up in your breathing space.
Some vacuums come with a HEPA filter that’s often the best choice for allergy-prone people and everyone sensitive to dust.
Either way, make sure that its filtration can trap dust and ash, especially since this also helps to prolong the life of its motor. Make sure to check if the filters are washable and reusable. If not, try to find out how much replacement costs and where you can find it.
As always, you want a vacuum with powerful suction that can remove the dirt you’re dealing with. You might think you don’t need much to pick up ash, but it’s always better to have more than less than you need.
Most of these vacuums are quite powerful, allowing you to pick up other debris found in your fireplace and stove. This means you can also remove small wood pieces, burnt paper, and other similar stuff.
Keep in mind that using small accessories like a crevice tool can reduce the suction power a bit.
Why Should You Clean Your Fireplace?
Different things can block and clog your chimney depending on how often you use your fireplace. Soot, built-up creosote and blockages are dangerous in more ways than one.
This is why you should get your fireplace and chimney cleaned regularly. Though cleaning ashes out of the fireplace is relatively easy with an ash vacuum, chimney cleaning should be left to professionals.
When the area is clean, it’s much safer to use, and there aren’t as many risks attached to the operation. This is quite important since even the smallest accumulation of creosote can potentially cause a chimney fire.
It’s a highly flammable substance that builds up as a result of burning fire. The rate of accumulation is higher if your fireplace isn’t working properly or you’re not cleaning it regularly.
Though different wood creates a different amount of creosote, it’s still critical to clean the area of all the ash to prevent more unnecessary buildup.
On another hand, it’s quite hard to start a fire in a fireplace that already contains ash from the last time you used it. For this reason, you should use an ash vacuum to pick up the cold or warm particles and get your fireplace ready for the next time.
Different Types of Stoves for Cleaning
Some stoves are different than others, and as such, they require special cleaning and maintenance. In most cases, cleaning these stoves is relatively simple if you have a quality ash vacuum to help you with the job. Here’s the main difference between wood and pellet stoves that you should know of.
Pellet stoves are among the most popular heating solutions. It looks much like, but how it operates is much more modern and innovative.
It has a hopper that you have to fill with pellets made from sawdust. The other thing you have to do is set the thermostat, and that’s all.
The stove deposits the pellets into a pot where the temperatures are so high that there’s almost no creosote, ash or emissions. This means cleaner inside as well as outside. In most cases, these stoves are nearly twice as efficient as traditional woodstoves.
A proper woodstove is much more efficient than a traditional fireplace. They’re much different than what they used to look like and can make a significant difference in your heating bill.
The fuel for these stoves is cheap and renewable, and what’s best of all, you don’t require petroleum. In most cases, there’s also less pollution than what a fireplace would produce.
Still, a woodstove is only efficient if the installation on your house is as efficient. If the house installation isn’t as impressive, you might not get much from your woodstove.
Tips on Cleaning a Fireplace with The Best Ash Vacuum
- The first thing you should do is make sure you have an appropriate vacuum for the ash you’re vacuuming. This mostly refers to the temperature. After your fire is out, you should let the ashes cool down to the allowed temperature that your ash vacuum can handle. If your machine can only handle cold ash, let it cool completely.
- If you notice the suction isn’t as powerful anymore, you might have to clean the filters. Most of these ash vacuums come with washable and reusable filters you should clean from time to time. Some machines can be used as blowers which makes it easier to clean the filter.
- To prolong the life of your machine, make sure not to skip on cleaning and maintenance. Don’t let ashes sit in the container for too long since it could become damp and harder to empty. Ideally, you should clean all tools after each use, so the ash vacuum is ready for the next time you need it.
- Clean your fireplace after each fire, or at least after each second. The more often you do it, the less buildup you’ll have in your chimney.
- Avoid using a blower to remove the ash since most of it will end up in your breathing space, which is dangerous.
- Make sure you use an ash vacuum instead of a traditional floor vac. Most have HEPA filters that are among the most efficient to trap the finest particles.
- If you’re sensitive, you should use a dust mask to protect yourself from inhaling any of these particles. Also, you should wear some long sleeves to protect your skin.
- People who suffer from lung or heart disease should consult their doctors before coming as near such fine particles.
- Every time you vacuum stuff out of your fireplace or stove, you should also clean the floors of the room where that took place. If the ash is outdoors, you should do some gentle sweeping.
- Make sure not to empty the vacuum container into water and storm drains. Instead, dispose of all the debris in the regular trash.
Can I vacuum Ash with a Shop Vac?
A: You probably already know the different types of ash vacuums and what they’re intended for. While upright, canister and stick units are ideal to use around the house, they’re terrible for cleaning ash.
Try avoiding everything else when it comes to picking up ashes from your fireplace, BBQ, wood stove, etc. The reason behind this is mainly the materials and components most regular vacuums come with. Upright, canister and even shop vacuums feature many plastic parts that aren’t suitable for handling warm ash.
If you’re going to use a shop vac, make sure that it’s a shop vac meant for this type of task.
Where can I buy the Best Ash Vacuum Cleaner?
A: While these are fairly easy to find, by far the best place to buy them at is Lowe’s. It’s where you get the most choices when it comes to capacity, attachments, and warranty deals.
What can I do with Firepit Ash?
A: Make winter traction – spread firepit ashes on driveways and sidewalks to melt ice. You might not get the same results you’d get with salt, but you’ll get some traction making the paths somewhat less slippery.
Use it on garden soil – if you burn wood, you have ashes rich in minerals that are useful to plants.
Repel slugs – sprinkle ashes around plants to irritate and repel slugs. Still, you might have to repeat the process after each rain.
Clean metal and glass – hardwood ash is ideal for cleaning grime and grease and for tarnishing on silverware, glass, grills, and ovenware. It’s a great way to remove residue from labels and stickers.
At this point, you probably picked one of the ash vacuums we’ve reviewed above. These are the top of what the market has to offer, so you can hardly make a mistake in choosing one.
Use our Buyer’s Guide to figure out and consider the most critical factors that can help you make the final decision. Choosing an ash vacuum isn’t as hard though you should think about a few things before you opt for any of the above.
The right ash vacuum can make all the difference in how you maintain and use your fireplace, BBQ, pellet, or wood stove. Hopefully, you’ve found the best ash vacuum that’s suitable for you.