how to clean a chiminea

How to Clean a Chiminea: A Step-by-Step Guide

Last Updated on February 1, 2023

If you’ve ever looked at a chiminea and wondered how on earth to keep it looking like new, then this is the guide for you. Cleaning a chiminea can seem intimidating if you don’t know where to start. But with these simple steps, we’ll show you exactly what’s needed so that your chiminea will be gleaming in no time. So put down those cleaning supplies – because once we’re done here, your chiminea will have never been cleaner. Get ready to learn how to clean a chiminea today.

Table of Contents:

Gather Your Supplies

When it comes to cleaning your chiminea, the first step is gathering all of the supplies you’ll need. You’ll want a brush with stiff bristles, a bucket for mixing up your cleaning solution and storing any debris that you remove from the chiminea, and some kind of cleaner or detergent specifically designed for outdoor use.

You may also want to wear gloves while handling ash and other debris as well as when applying cleaner to protect yourself from any potential irritants. If you don’t have an outdoor-specific cleaner on hand, dish soap can be used in a pinch but should not be left on too long, or it could damage the finish of your chiminea.

Finally, make sure you have plenty of water available for rinsing off both the inside and outside surfaces after they are cleaned. Once all of your supplies are gathered together, you can move on to the next step, which is removing ash and debris, before tackling the actual cleaning process itself.

Remove Ash and Debris

Removing ash and debris inside a chiminea is an important part of keeping it in good condition. This task can be done with either a brush or vacuum cleaner, depending on your preference.

Using a Brush

an empty chiminea on the ground

A wire brush is ideal for removing ash and debris from the interior walls of the chiminea. Start by using long strokes to sweep away any loose material that may have accumulated over time. Then use shorter strokes to get into crevices and corners where ash might have settled. Ensure you are wearing protective gloves while doing this, as some materials can irritate the skin if touched directly.

Using a Vacuum Cleaner

If you prefer not to use a brush, then using a vacuum cleaner will also do the job just fine. To begin, attach the appropriate nozzle to your vacuum cleaner hose and turn it on to low power so that it doesn’t damage any parts of your chiminea. Slowly move around all areas inside, making sure to cover every corner thoroughly until all dust has been removed from within its walls. Once finished, turn off the vacuum cleaner before detaching its nozzle again for storage purposes later on down the line when needed again.

It is important to remember that both methods should only be used after allowing enough time for any remaining embers or ashes inside to cool completely; safety always comes first. Doing this regularly will help keep your chiminea looking like new for years to come.

Key Takeaway: Removing ash and debris from a chiminea can be done with either a brush or vacuum cleaner, but always remember to let the embers cool completely before beginning. Make sure to wear protective gloves when using the brush and keep the vacuum on low power.

Clean the Exterior

Gather a damp cloth and a mild detergent or cleaning solution before beginning.

Start by removing any ash or debris from the outside of the chiminea with a brush or vacuum cleaner. Make sure to get rid of any soot, which can be difficult if it has been there for some time.

Once all ash and debris are removed, use your damp cloth and cleaning solution to wipe down the exterior of your chiminea. If you are using a detergent-based cleaner, make sure not to use too much, as this could damage the finish on your chiminea over time. For tougher stains such as rust spots, try using steel wool or an abrasive sponge instead of harsh chemicals that may cause further damage.

After wiping down with either water or soap-based cleaners, rinse off with clean water and allow plenty of time for drying before lighting up again. Ensure no moisture remains in crevices that could cause corrosion later on; check thoroughly.

Let it Dry

 a clean chiminea with some chairs

When it comes to maintaining your chiminea, the last step is just as important as all the others. After cleaning and removing ash and debris from your outdoor fireplace, you need to let it dry completely before lighting it again.

The best way to do this is by allowing your chiminea plenty of time in direct sunlight or warm air. This will help evaporate any remaining moisture that could cause damage when heated up. If you’re short on time, try using a hairdryer set on low heat for about 15 minutes or so. Be sure not to get too close to the hairdryer; keep at least a foot away from the surface of your chiminea while drying it off.

If you live in an area where rain is frequent, make sure you store your chiminea indoors after each use until it has had enough time to dry out properly—otherwise, rust may start forming on its exterior surfaces over time. Additionally, if possible, avoid storing wood near your chiminea when not in use; damp wood can also lead to rusting and corrosion down the line if left unchecked for too long.

Finally, be sure never to light a wet firewood log inside of your chiminea either. The steam created by burning wet logs can easily crack ceramic models due to extreme temperature changes caused by water vaporising quickly during combustion. So remember: always let it dry before relighting.

FAQs in Relation to How to Clean a Chiminea

How do you clean the inside of a chiminea?

Cleaning the inside of a chiminea is an important part of keeping it in good condition. To do this, start by removing any ash or debris from the firebox using a brush and dustpan. Then, fill the firebox with warm water and add a few drops of mild detergent. Scrub the walls and floor with a long-handled brush to remove any soot or residue that has built up over time. Finally, rinse out the chiminea thoroughly with clean water and let it dry completely before use.

How do you care for a terracotta chiminea?

Terracotta chimineas are a great way to bring warmth and atmosphere to your outdoor space. To keep it in good condition, you should regularly clean the inside of the chiminea with a brush or vacuum cleaner. You should also coat the outside with a waterproof sealant every few months to protect it from weather damage. Additionally, make sure that you only burn dry wood in your chiminea, as wet wood can cause smoke and soot buildup, which will damage the terracotta material over time. Finally, never leave an open flame unattended and always extinguish fires before leaving your home or garden area.

Can a chiminea get wet?

Yes, a chiminea can get wet. However, it is important to note that the material of your chiminea will determine how much water it can handle. Clay and cast iron are both materials used in chimineas, and they have different levels of tolerance for moisture. Clay chimineas should not be exposed to large amounts of water as this could cause cracking or breakage. Cast iron, on the other hand, is more resistant to moisture but still needs to be dried off after getting wet so that rust does not form over time.

Should you pour water on a chiminea?

No, you should not pour water on a chiminea. Chimineas are made of clay and metal and can be damaged if exposed to too much moisture. Instead, the best way to clean your chiminea is by using a dry brush or cloth to remove any ash or debris that has accumulated in the firebox. Additionally, it’s important to keep your chiminea covered when not in use so that it doesn’t become wet from rain or snow. Taking these steps will help ensure that your chiminea lasts for years to come.


Cleaning a chiminea is an important part of keeping it in good condition and ensuring it works properly. With the right supplies, you can easily remove ash and debris from your chiminea, clean its exterior, and let it dry before using it again. Now that you know how to clean a chiminea, you can enjoy your outdoor fireplace without worry.

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