There is nothing better than sitting in front of an open fire on a cold winter’s night, with the flames crackling over the logs or coal. Everyone loves an open fire, but cleaning it out the next day can be a real pain.
It’s a dirty and messy job that can lead to real frustration. Raking the embers creates a cloud of ash that engulfs the room and lands on your furniture. Emptying the ash container creates even more mess, and if you have to transport it outside then you will be left with trails of ash throughout your home.
An ash vacuum is a solution to this problem. The best ash vacuum cleaners allow you to empty the fire with minimal mess, and you can also safely transport the ash outside without leaving trails of ash everywhere.
The three ash vacuums on this page have been reviewed and analysed, and they are the best in the UK for cleaning out open fires. They can also be used on barbecues, wood stoves, and workshops.
Top-Rated Ash Vacuums 2019
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VonHaus Ash Vacuum
BACOENG Ash Vacuum
Autlead Ash Vacuum
VonHaus Ash Vacuum Cleaner – Best Overall
The VonHaus ash vacuum cleaner is powerful, lightweight, and has excellent filtration. Like most ash vacuums this is a bagless model and although the body is made from stainless steel, it is recommended to use it only when the ash is cool. The reason for this is that the filters are made from cloth, so hot ash would burn them. This isn’t a big deal as most people clean out their fire the next day anyway.
The VonHaus ash vacuum has a powerful 1200 watt motor. This is strong enough to pick up fine ash, as well as larger bits of coal or wood. There is a nozzle filter so although you can suck up large bits of debris, it won’t be able to get into the vacuum and cause a blockage. This increases the life of the filters and the inside of the machine.
Easy to Manoeuvre
This vacuum cleaner is extremely lightweight, weighing only 4.55kgs. This makes it easy to transport, even when it is full of ash. The swivel castor wheels further increase mobility and it should be no problem to take it outside to empty. There is an ergonomic handle at the top so you don’t have to drag the vacuum by its hose.
The dirt canister is an impressive 20 litres, so you really shouldn’t have to empty it much at all. The dual filtration – made up of a washable HEPA filter and a cloth filter – captures very fine particles and ensures that ash does not get released back into the room.
The 1.25 metres flexible hose allows you to clean hard to reach areas such as under the grate and the sides of the fireplace. The vacuum also has a blow function, which is handy when you want to get all of the ash into a pile before sucking it up.
The VonHaus 20L ash vacuum cleaner is an affordable solution when it comes to cleaning up ash. The dual filtration helps to prevent the spread of ash, and the large canister means that you won’t need to empty it after every cleanup. The fact that it is easy to manoeuvre along with the flexible hose and powerful motor all contribute to making this one of the best ash vacuum cleaners on the market.
BACOENG Ash Vacuum Cleaner
The BACOENG ash vacuum is a powerful cylinder that has great suction and dual HEPA filtration. It also has a wide range of tools that make the job of cleaning hard to reach areas much easier. The container is made from metal and the suction tube is aluminium, although this vacuum is only designed to clean up cooled ash. The filters are made from cloth material so hot ash will damage them.
The BACOENG has a powerful 1200 watt motor which is the same as the VonHaus. This gives the vacuum excellent suction power, and it has the ability to suck up very fine ash as well as larger bits of debris. A few reviewers on Amazon have stated that the filter gets clogged up quickly by fine ash, although the filter is easily removed and can be brushed down and used again.
The BACOENG ash vacuum cleaner has a double filtration system, designed to be as user-friendly as possible. It is equipped with a reusable HEPA filter which captures 99% of all particles as small as 0.3 microns in size. This is good news if you suffer from any allergies, as the HEPA filter ensures that whatever is sucked up the hose stays in the vacuum.
The second filter is a Dacron type filter bag, and this traps very fine particles and prevents them from escaping back into the room. The filtration system also protects the motor from getting clogged, and when you are dealing with fine particles such as ash this is important.
Long Cleaning Radius and Large Metal Canister
The BACOENG has a long 4.5-metre power cable and a 1.5 metre extended suction hose, making it ideal for cleaning outside barbecues or fire pits. The extended reach means you can plug it in inside the house and it can be used in the garden or outdoor workshop.
This ash vacuum has a huge 20-litre metal canister, so you won’t have to empty it regularly. It is lightweight and is easy to transport, even when full. The caster swivel wheels further aid the manoeuvrability and they work great on all surfaces.
Another handy feature is the filling level indicator. This tells you when the filter bag is covered by ash, not when the canister is full. When this indicator is red you can still use the vacuum, but the suction won’t be as good. Take the filter out and give it a quick brush, then the suction will be back to normal.
Tools and accessories include a crevice tool, dusting brush, and a floor tool for cleaning the floor around your fire. The BACOENG ash vacuum is a great vacuum for dealing with ash, and the filtration system along with the filling level indicator are nice touches which make this an affordable solution.
Autlead Ash Vacuum Cleaner
The Autlead ash vacuum cleaner is a great budget model. While it doesn’t have as much capacity or power as the other two models, it is still a good option if you are looking to save a few pounds.
It is designed to suck up ash that has been cooled down to 40 degrees in temperature so like the other models, it is best to wait until the ash is cold before attempting to clean up. It does have a heat resistant metal hose, a metal body and a fire resistant dust bag, but the HEPA filter is made from cloth so this would be damaged by heat.
Double HEPA Filtration
The Autlead ash vacuum cleaner has a double filtration system. There is a high-quality HEPA filter that captures 99.9% of all particles down to 0.3 microns in size. This is essential if you suffer from allergies as it ensures no allergens get released back into the room.
The fine dust filter bag works with the HEPA filter to separate smaller and larger particles, to prevent clogging up the system. Both of the filters are reusable and can be removed from the vacuum for cleaning. The filters are expected to last the lifetime of the machine, further reducing maintenance costs.
Large Dust Capacity
While the capacity of this ash vacuum is not as large as the previous models, 15 litres is still a good size and will ensure that you don’t have to empty the machine often. It is also smaller in size which means you don’t need as much room to store it, and it also has an ergonomic handle for easy carrying.
This ash vacuum is powered by a 900-watt motor, and the suction is powerful. The motor is not as strong as the other models but since ash is made up of light particles then this is powerful enough. It might struggle to pick up larger bits of debris but if you are using this specifically for ash then there should be no problems.
The Autlead ash vacuum cleaner is a good budget alternative to more expensive ash vacuums. It has less power and less capacity, but if you are predominantly using it to clean up ash then it will have no problem keeping your fireplace clean and tidy.
How to Choose the Best Ash Vacuum Cleaner UK
Ash is one of those substances that just seems to get everywhere. It doesn’t matter what you are burning – whether it’s from a coal fire, barbecue, fire pit, or wood stove – the burnt fuel will always produce ash.
The reason ash is so messy is that it is made up of light particles. Much like dust, ash particles are so light that they are carried through the air by the smallest breeze. Unlike dust, a lot of ash is produced in a short time, in a concentrated area. A gust of wind coming down your chimney can leave your furniture and floor covered in ash.
The best way to deal with ash is to clean it up as soon as you can. Most people leave it until the next morning when it is cool and transport it outside. The problem with this is that you have to get the ash into a container first. Pouring the ash into a container or using a shovel will produce a huge cloud of ash that will engulf your room.
Carrying the ash container outside first and then emptying it out also comes with its own dangers. The top layer of ash will be blown into the air, leaving you with an ash powdered house. The solution to these problems is an ash vacuum cleaner.
What is an Ash Vacuum Cleaner?
An ash vacuum cleaner is a machine that is specifically designed to clean up and dispose of ash. An ash vacuum cleaner will suck up ash and other bits of debris from your coal or wood fire, and seal it in its canister to prevent the ash coming back into the room. They make it easy to store and transport the ash outside while avoiding making a mess of your home.
There are a number of things that you need to be aware of before you purchase an ash vacuum cleaner, and we will go over some of them here.
When dealing with a fine substance such as ash, one of the most important things is the filtration system the vacuum uses. Filters really have two uses: to keep the ash inside the vacuum and to protect the innards of your machine.
All of the ash vacuum cleaners we have reviewed have dual filtration. This means they have a HEPA filter and another filter bag. The HEPA filter is important as it captures 99.9% of all particles down to 0.3 microns in size, which really helps if you suffer from allergies. The other filter is usually a bag type filter made from cloth. This filter captures larger particles before it reaches the HEPA filter, prolonging the life of the HEPA filter.
Always check to make sure that the filters are removable and washable because when you vacuum up ash they will quickly get clogged and need to be cleaned regularly. If they can’t be removed or cleaned you will spend a lot of money on replacement filters.
The filtration also plays another important role in the upkeep of your vacuum cleaner. They stop the motor and other inner parts from getting clogged up. As ash is a very fine substance a good filtration system is required to prevent damage to the machine.
Size and Capacity
The size and capacity of the ash vacuum cleaner is also an important aspect to think about. You may think that buying the largest one you can afford is a good idea, but it may not be. You have to think about the storage space too; a larger dust capacity will almost always mean a larger vacuum cleaner.
If you only use the vacuum to clean up after your monthly barbecue, then a 20-litre capacity may be overkill. It might be a year until you have to empty it, or you could get a smaller size, empty it more often, and save yourself some storage space.
On the other hand, if you will use it every day to clean out your coal fire or wood stove then a larger capacity may be needed. You don’t want to turn an already mundane task into a bigger one by having to empty the vacuum after every use.
Of course, if you have lots of storage space then this won’t be an issue, but if storage space is limited then it is something to think about.
The power is also something to think about when choosing an ash vacuum cleaner. Ash particles are very light so a lower powered machine will usually be fine, but if you want to clean up larger pieces of coal or wood then you may need something more powerful.
The power of a vacuum cleaner is usually referred to in watts, but this is just the power of the motor. It is very hard to measure suction power which is what matters, but in general, the more watts the vacuum has the better the suction power will be.
The cleaning radius is the length of the power cable plus the length of the hose. A longer radius will obviously mean you can clean further away, so you have to ask yourself what you will be cleaning.
If you are cleaning your coal fire with has a power socket nearby then a smaller radius will be fine. However, if you want to clean your barbecue that is situated at the other end of your garden, then you will need a longer cleaning radius.
Dealing with ash caused by a coal fire, barbecue, wood stove or fire pit and be a daunting and messy task. Transporting the ash to dispose of it can often lead to more mess to clean up, and if there is a breeze in the air it becomes next to impossible.
An ash vacuum cleaner is a great solution to this problem, as they can suck up the ash and store it until you are ready to dispose of it. The VonHaus ash vacuum cleaner is the one we liked the most, as it has a large capacity, powerful suction, and tools that aid you in your cleaning.
Ash vacuum cleaners are generally cheaper than normal vacuum cleaners and it’s better to have a separate one specifically for the job. If you use your regular vacuum to clean up ash, it will quickly become clogged up and the filters will not last as long. Any of the three on this page will do a good job cleaning up ash; you just have to decide which one is best for your needs.