What Can I Use to Vacuum Up Ash?


If you have a fireplace in your home, disposing of the ash is an important duty to fulfill on a regular basis. Once the ash has cooled, you can vacuum it up in a variety of methods. All vacuums will suck up the ash, but some machines are more suited to performing the task effectively.

Ash Vacuum

  • The best style of vacuum to use for collecting fireplace ash is an ash vacuum, which is produced specifically for this task. The filter, hose and other parts of this vacuum are typically made from fire-resistant materials, which allow you to collect the ash even if it is slightly warm. Because the vacuum attachments can get sooty, it's ideal to use an ash vacuum for this job because you don't use this tool for any other jobs.

Shop Vacuum

  • A shop vacuum, often referred to as a "Shop Vac" because of the company that produces this kind of vacuum, is ideal for vacuuming up ash. Shop vacuums are durable, have large hoses and are powerful enough to suck up a variety of items. Because they're typically used for messes in the workshop and garage, you don't have to worry about fireplace ash dirtying them.


  • A traditional vacuum is often suitable for sucking up fireplace ash, but doing so can cause a blockage in the filters of some brands and models. After using a traditional vacuum to vacuum up the ash, empty the bag and clean the filter according to the owner's manual. Additionally, check the manual prior to the task to see if the vacuum is deemed unsuitable for ash. Virtually every vacuum will work, but some manufacturers do not typically recommend this type of usage.

Hand Vacuum

  • A hand vacuum is suitable for vacuuming ash. Though not as ideal as using a shop vacuum, hand vacuums will typically perform this task as they excel at collecting light products such as dust and ash. As with a traditional vacuum, clean the hand vacuum's filter after using it to collect the ash.


  • Regardless of the style of vacuum you choose to collect fireplace ash, the key element to remember is to wait for the ash to cool. Use a fireplace poker to push the ash around to inspect it for hot pockets or glowing embers. Once it has cooled, pick through it with a fireplace shovel to collect any large chunks of wood. Trying to vacuum these items can result in a blockage in the vacuum's hose.

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