Get a reliable and easy to use vacuum for ash and soot with my in-depth guide. I recommend 5 of the best available but just one that beats all others.
There are a lot of good ash and pellet stove vacuum cleaners currently on the market and a lot of ones that just suck – and not in a good way!
To help you find the perfect ash and soot vacuum cleaner for your needs, I’ve done some digging.
Keep reading to discover which one I recommend over all others. There's also some helpful information for first-time buyers.
Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, we may make a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
Save yourself some time and view my five recommended ash vacuum cleaners in the table below.
I go into detail about each model in the following section.
My Recommended Ash Vacuums
Read about my recommendations in more detail as I explain what makes these soot vacuums worthy of a place on this list.
My Top Pick
A powerful yet quiet hot ash vacuum with a 2-year warranty.
Vacuuming up the rest of the competition is this hot ash vacuum from PowerSmith.
It's the easiest to use ash vacuum that I've tried and makes cleaning out barbecues and stoves a quick and hassle free job.
With a 3-gallon capacity it's one of the smaller models on the market and that makes it lightweight and really easy to manoeuver.
I've never found it to be too small either. Three gallons in capacity is certainly large enough for a decent sized wood stove or barbecue. But, if you have a large fireplace you might want to look at something slightly bigger.
The other huge benefit of having a slightly smaller three-gallon capacity is that this ash vacuum cleaner is exceptionally quiet (for a vacuum).
In fact, it will only produce a maximum of 79 decibels, which isa really good for a vacuum cleaner. Just because it’s a quiet operator, doesn’t mean it’s not powerful.
It has a thirsty 10-amp motor beneath its shell which proves smaller designs can also pack one of the biggest punches.
This fireplace vacuum also has a two-stage filtering system to ensure your machine keeps running at its smoothest.
The standard filter is backed up by a second filter which is designed to catch the finest pieces of ash and dust.
This secondary filter is made of reliable microfiber mesh. Both filters can be removed from the product to be washed or replaced if needed too.
This black and green ash-killing machine comes complete with all the bits and pieces you'll be needing to keep your fireplace in top shape. There's a durable metal nozzle and metal hose, two extension wands, different types of nozzles and a filter.
Snow Joe 4.8 Gallon
Next in my line of fire – no pun intended – is the Snow Joe vacuum. This model is quite different from the PowerSmith model.
It has a less-powerful motor at just four amps but does have an extra 1.8 gallons of room to its name.
It differs in another way too. It can only be used on cool ash, whereas the previous model was for cool and warm ash cleaning.
Not to worry – it means you can clean up last night’s party-come-barbeque in the morning instead of setting off the neighbor’s dog at 1 am.
It has an impressive filtering system. This pellet stove vacuum will trap dust particles while you're cleaning to prevent them from entering your breathing space. These filters can be removed and washed, making them reusable and the product a much more convenient purchase.
There is no bag inside the model. By not having a bag, it makes the whole process of disposing of your ash much more seamless. There’s no chance of a ripped bag spilling all over the just-washed floors, and it doesn’t make removing the bag a game of chance.
Instead, you simply lift up the lid and tip the ashes away. Alternatively, you could keep the ashes to come in useful around your home or garden? Confused? Check out the buyer’s guide section at the end of this post and all will be revealed.
So, what else is there to get excited about? We’ve only really seen the tip of the iceberg so far. There are plenty of other awesome features on this vacuum.
The design team over at Snow Joe have added an innovative safety feature. If you’re a forgetful person and forget to reinsert the filter after cleaning, the vacuum will refuse to start.
They also added a convenient handle on the top of vacuum’s body to make transporting all nine pounds of the machine effortless. This is on top of a wire basket to protect the filter, a window so you can see how full the machine is and to identify potential blocks, and a section to store the cord and hoses.
Just like the PowerSmith vacuum, this ash cleaner also comes with a two-year warranty for added peace of mind.
My Final Verdict: Choose this fireplace ash vacuum if you want a cheap model that will still do the business relatively well. It’s not short on features and won't leave you short of money either!
If was hosting a beauty contest for these devices then there wouldn’t be much competition. This Shop-Vac model is arguably the coolest looking with its all-around metallic body.
It’s actually made with a combination of aluminum and stainless steel. These mesh together to create lightweight portability with user safety – and the awesome aesthetics we just mentioned.
The filtering aspect of the design is again another area where the manufacturers have invested a lot of time and thought.
They have gone with the renowned HEPA type of filter. This enables the machine to trap even the finest particles of dust and ash.
The filtering system also prevents ashes from being expelled out of the vacuum’s exhaust pipe.
The machine comes with a steel hose that easily locks onto the vacuum. It is wrapped in a vinyl that allows flexibility to retrieve the leftover ash from those hard-to-reach places. It’s a great combination of reliability and practical functionality.
The intake nozzle is of excellent quality as well and continues the metallic theme. Much of the device is then added with thermal protection. This is to enhance safety, even though the vacuum is only to be used on cool or cold ash. It even has a thermal cut-off just in case it gets too hot.
This is an all-around fantastic design that is made even better by its portability. It weighs a minuscule 12 pounds and has one of the thickest and most comfortable handles - compared to the other models.
The only complaint I had was that it was quite difficult to remove the top lid – a bit of elbow grease may be needed.
Compared to the two models you’ve already had your magnifying glass on, and the two to follow, this fireplace ash vacuum cleaner can easily compete amongst the best. It’s a design with some of the most robust features aided by some well-planned additions.
The flexible hose is one of its most lucrative features. This particular feature will undoubtedly win over a chunk of the market that the other brands will miss out on. The capacity and power of the machine are comparable to the industry standard and there isn't much to complain about there.
Probably one of the things you could complain about is the price. It’s one of the most expensive models on my shortlist and doesn’t completely justify the bigger price tag in my eyes.
Our Final Verdict: This is a strong competitor for the title of best ash vacuum, but it isn't going to win any awards for its price tag. Overall, I wouldn’t begrudge anyone wanting to own this exceptional machine!
The penultimate model on this shortlist of the top hot ash vacuums currently on the market is this impeccable design from the guys and gals over at Workshop.
It will clean up any ashes under 112 degrees Fahrenheit, which makes it capable of tackling warmer ash than many of its competitors can – including all of them here. You could say that it’s vacuuming up the competition!
It’s a compact build that can be stored under most staircases, closets or sheds. Simply grab it by its handle and move it when needed. It’s also very powerful and has 3.0 peak horsepower. The filtering system is a sophisticated take on the HEPA style to trap the smallest particles of ash and dust - and is another filter encases with a mesh protective.
Yet, the filter has something that none of the other four here claim to have. It has been coated with a special substance to help prevent clogging.
One of the other unique features on this pellet stove ash vacuum cleaner is that its accompanying three-foot long hose has an LED light at the end.
Why, you ask?
\Well, by placing a light on the end of the hose, the user can see into the darker crevices of the fireplace and be able to tell when the job is complete without holding a flashlight in the other hand.
I'm sure the thank you letters are already on the way to Workshop for that clever inclusion.
It's not just fancy features and no longevity. The pellet stove vacuum has a metal drum which has been powder coated for enhanced durability and comes with metal wands. The designers even added slots to store the wands so you always know where they are.
The vacuum comes with a colossal and unbeatable five-year warranty.
None of the other pellet stove ash vacuums can offer this sort of peace of mind for consumers. There are many other aspects of this stove cleaner that the others can't compete with too.
It takes care of much warmer ashes than the others can clean up. We know the PowerSmith model and the one to follow - *spoilers* - can be used on warm ashes, but this one can be used on even warmer ash than those.
The designers cleverly thought about putting a non-stick substance over their filter to allow it to work more effectively. Did any of the competing designers? Unfortunately not.
The Workshop designers must be a creative bunch because the LED light that they’ve added to the end of the vacuum hose is another innovative design. None of the competing fireplace vacuum cleaners can boast the same set of features.
This is one of the most expensive options. However, I don’t believe that makes it bad value for money. This is a unique take on a product that has a lot of the time been designed in the same vein with the same features. The innovation involved in designing this vacuum makes it really good value for money.
The only complaints I have is that the hose length is a little short.
Our Final Verdict: If you want quality then this is the way to turn. It matches many of the other models and then excels above them with its convenient and clever features. You have to pay for quality, but with this model, it’s worth it.
Last but certainly not least for many people wanting their fireplaces and barbeques to look new again is the Bacoeng 5.3-Gallon Cleaner.
Just like the PowerSmith vacuum, this model has a powerful ten-amp motor for intense suction power and to leave no ash behind.
It has been manufactured to pick up cool ash but can also clear away any ash up to 104 degrees Fahrenheit.
All of which is then stored in its huge capacity. It may not be able to pick up ash as hot as the model we just looked at, but it’s still impressive considering many of them are for vacuuming cool ash only.
The filter has been manufactured in a specific way to prevent any lingering ash particles from escaping into the motor or into the user’s breathing space. The filter bag is also washable – but that’s not where the filtering system excels the most!
On the machine, you'll find an indicator. Once the filter surface has an ash coverage of 100%, the corresponding indicator will turn red so you know it’s time to clean it. This also means you don’t waste time wondering why your hot ash vacuum isn't working as good as it used to.
One of the best aspects of this model is the length of the hose that accompanies it. Most of the above have a standard three-foot long hose whereas this one makes things that little bit more convenient with a five-foot-long hose and a 4.5-meter electric power cable.
This barrel-looking vacuum has other convenience aspects to it. It comes with accessories such as a brush nozzle, extension wands, a crevice tool and more. These accessories are all neatly stored by slotting into the product’s feet!
Compared with the previous four models, this one matches the power on offer. It can even pick up warm ash as well as cool ash. This puts it ahead of two of the other models for many people, despite some of them being more expensive.
This model doesn’t just match the quality on offer. It outperforms some of the other vacuums in some areas. It has a longer electrical cable and has an extended hose. This is going to be a deciding factor for many people weighing this model up with the others. What may make them favor this one, even more, is its range of accompanying accessories.
This is a hot favorite for the prize of stretching your dollars further. It’s one of the cheapest ash vacuums I've had the pleasure of using and by no means a slouch in any department – from power to convenience!
Our Final Verdict: If you’re a bargain hunter then I'm sorry I've made you wait until the end, but you’ve certainly found a powerful, quality hot ash vacuum for an unrivaled price.
Now we’ve seen five fantastic options for people wanting to make light work of messy cleaning, it’s time for us to jump down from the fence and pick our favorites.
If I was to pick one of these five models based on performance, features and value, I would choose the PowerSmith ash vacuum without hesitation.
The intelligence oozing out of the design with an array of innovative features makes this a special vacuum for wood/pellet stoves, barbecues and small fireplaces
It offers amazing value for money and a high level of performance and reliability.
All these features are then made even more impressive by being strapped to a powerful motor and impressive filtering system.
Hopefully, I’ve given you enough information to make a smart choice when it comes to picking a vacuum cleaner for ashes.
To make it even easier, I would like to clarify two terms that may have cropped up and left you staring blankly at your screen.
I would also like to finish by highlighting the key considerations when buying an ash vacuum for your needs and telling you the useful things you can do with your leftover ash!
Ash Vacuum Terminology Explained
Things to Consider Before Buying an Ash Vacuum
To help you choose, here are three key consideration to bounce around your head before deciding.
Capacity vs storage and portability
Some of these models have impressive capacities that will mean you will get multiple uses out of them before needing to empty them.
Some of them are less impressive and may need to be emptied after every couple of uses. Don’t be tricked into buying a bigger machine for this convenience benefit.
In fact, choosing one because it has a bigger and more-convenient capacity may be an inconvenient move.
What on earth am I talking about?
If you choose a model with a bigger capacity, you simultaneously choose a less-compact model and one that could be a struggle to transport from the fireplace to the patio barbeque.
You need to decide if storing and transporting your ash vacuum is more important to you than extended times between emptying. If so, don’t be fooled by big capacities and look at product dimensions and the vacuum’s weight instead.
Undoubtedly, one of the most important aspects of any vacuum is its power. If sucking up ash is the aim, then how well it can suck it up is crucial.
Look at the type of motor and its particular specifications to find one you can rely on. The benchmark for any model is a five to ten amp motor. Try not to buy anything less powerful without a good reason.
Just remember more power equals more noise!
Cord and hose length
It finally arrives! You open the box and find a gleaming new and powerful ash vacuum cleaner that is about to make your Sunday cleaning errands so much easier.
But, wait a minute. The cord isn't reaching, and the hose isn't long enough to get over the fireplace hearth. Don’t let this happen to you.
Always check the length of the electrical cord and the hose and make sure you compare them to the needs of your home’s layout.
Can I Use My Collected Ash For Anything Useful?
Once it’s time to empty your vacuum, where do you head? The bin most likely. But, hold it there just a minute.
There are actually a few good reasons why you should keep hold of your ash. Ash can come in useful around your home and even in your garden.
Here are a few more reasons to hold another barbeque soon!
Improve your garden soil – ash from burned wood is capable of providing soil and some plants with a mixture of nutrients in rapid time. These nutrients can encourage healthy growth and living. There are some plants that won't fare well from a scatter of ash. Do some research on your current crop before spreading ash everywhere.
Clean your glasses – it might need to be seen to be believed, but adding some ash to a damp cloth, or mixing it with warm water to create a paste, will work fantastically as a cleaning agent. Your glasses and cutlery will be sparkling again in no time. It can even get oil spills out of other materials.
Slug problem! What problem? – you can use ash to deter slugs from reappearing. Sprinkle some around plants or in your bathtub. Or wherever they're continually commuting to. Just be sure to rinse the bath before your partner jumps in.
Ash Vacuum Cleaners: Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is an ash vacuum cleaner?
An ash vacuum cleaner is a specialized type of vacuum designed to safely clean up ash from fireplaces, pellet stoves, wood stoves, and BBQ grills. These vacuums have metal components and fire-resistant filters to safely handle hot or cold ashes.
2. Can I use my regular vacuum cleaner to clean up ashes?
No, it's not recommended to use a regular vacuum to clean ashes. Ash is very fine and can easily clog standard vacuum filters, impairing performance and potentially damaging the motor. Additionally, hot ashes can melt plastic components or even cause a fire.
3. Are ash vacuum cleaners safe for hot ashes?
While most ash vacuum cleaners are designed to handle warm ashes, it's generally advised to let ashes cool completely before vacuuming to ensure maximum safety. Some models can handle hotter ashes than others, so always check the manufacturer's guidelines.
4. How often should I clean my ash vacuum cleaner?
Cleaning frequency depends on usage. After heavy use, it's advisable to clean your ash vacuum to maintain its performance. Check the filter regularly and clean or replace as needed. Always refer to the user manual for specific maintenance instructions.
5. Can an ash vacuum cleaner handle large debris?
Ash vacuum cleaners are designed primarily for fine ash. Larger debris could potentially damage the machine or block the hose. It's best to remove any large pieces manually before using your ash vacuum.
6. How do I choose the best ash vacuum cleaner?
Consider factors like capacity, filtration system, hose length, heat resistance, and additional features like a blowing function.
Also, consider the type and size of the appliance from which you'll be removing ash (like a large fireplace or a small pellet stove).
7. Do all ash vacuum cleaners come with a warranty?
Most manufacturers offer a warranty, but the length and coverage details can vary. It's always recommended to check the warranty information before making a purchase.
8. Are there cordless ash vacuum cleaner models available?
While most ash vacuums are corded to provide the necessary suction power, there are a few cordless models on the market.
These might be suitable for small, less frequent tasks, but may not provide the same level of performance as corded models for larger jobs.
9. Can I use an ash vacuum cleaner for other tasks around the house?Yes, many ash vacuum cleaners come with accessories for other cleaning tasks, such as a brush for agitating stuck-on debris.
However, if you plan to use your ash vacuum for general cleaning, ensure you thoroughly clean the filter and container to avoid spreading ash dust around your home.
10. What's the best way to dispose of ash after vacuuming?
Ash should be disposed of in a safe and environmentally friendly way. Many people use it as a fertilizer in their gardens, but make sure it's fully cooled before spreading.
If you choose to throw it away, place it in a metal container with a lid to reduce the risk of accidental fires.
Thanks for joining me on another one of our buyer guides. I hope I’ve helped with your quest for an outstanding fireplace vacuum and hope you join me for another buyer guide in the near future!
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