It can be tricky to keep your fire pit or grill clean. It seems that every time you turn around, you find a new way for the lava rocks to get dirty again. Here are four easy ways how to make sure your pits stay cleaner than ever before!
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The “how to clean out a fire pit with lava rocks” is a step by step guide on how to clean the lava rocks in your fire pit or grill.

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Lava rocks look amazing and work well in a gas grill or fire pit. However, because to their porous nature, they collect dust rapidly and may get quite unclean as a result of oil and food residue. It’s important to clean them carefully to ensure that no moisture remains in the rock, since this might cause them to explode in the heat of a fire!

To clean lava rock without using water, set them on the grill with the greasy side down, cover them with aluminum foil, and turn the grill on for 30 minutes to burn off the grease and filth. You may also soak lava rock in hot, soapy water for a day and then completely dry it.

Cleaning big amounts of lava rock at once may be difficult. We spoke to several folks who have been using lava rocks in their grills and fire pits for a long time to find out how they maintain them clean.

What Are the Benefits of Cleaning Lava Rocks in a Fire Pit?

In a gas fire pit or barbeque, lava rocks are necessary to shield the burner and properly spread the heat. However, if you use lava rocks for this, they will surely get caked in oil and filth as you cook meat.

Because of their porous nature, lava rocks may absorb oil like a sponge!

Cleaning the lava rocks on your barbeque is equally as vital as cleaning the grill grates, exterior, and base. A skilled pitmaster maintains the condition of their grill.

You must clean the lava rocks on a regular basis; otherwise, the burner may get clogged with food particles, limiting the grill’s performance.

Flare-ups — powerful bursts of flames caused by grease catching fire – are also caused by dirty lava rocks. By overcharring whatever you’re preparing, they may spoil it. Flare-ups may also be hazardous since they can result in a grease fire.

How Often Should Lava Rocks Be Cleaned?

Cleaning the lava rocks after each use is recommended, particularly if the meat you’re cooking is saucy, juicy, or fatty, creating a lot of dripping on the rocks. Cleaning them each time will completely remove the chance of flare-ups.

When it comes to barbeque upkeep, though, not everyone is as conscientious. Clean the lava rocks every second or third grilling session. If you see an increase in the number of flare-ups, it’s time to clean your lava rocks!

In a gas grill, what is the best way to clean the lava rocks?

Burning the oil off of lava rocks is the simplest and safest technique to clean them. Here’s how to do it:

  • Switch the burner off after you’re done using the grill to allow the lava rocks to cool.
  • When the lava rocks have cooled, turn them over with tongs so that the greasy portions are facing down towards the burner.
  • Place a sheet of aluminum foil over the grill that is big enough to cover all of the pebbles. The heat from the burner will be radiated inwards by the foil, allowing the grease to burn off more quickly.
  • Turn the burner on to allow the grill to heat up while the lava rocks are covered.
  • Smoke should be coming from behind the foil, indicating that the grease is burning.
  • For half an hour, leave your grill on with the lid open.
  • Allow the rocks to burn for another 30 minutes if there is still smoke coming from them after the timer has expired and the rocks seem oily.
  • After that, clean your lava rocks, and your grill will be ready!

How to Use Water to Clean Lava Rocks

Another option for thoroughly cleaning your lava rocks is to use soap and water. Depending on how frequently you use your barbeque, you should do this once every six months or at least once a year.

Remove the pebbles from the grill and soak them in hot, soapy water. Water alone will not dissolve grease, thus dish soap is essential.

Allow at least an hour or up to a day for the lava rocks to soak, depending on how dirty they are. Empty the water and replenish it with cold water after the lava rocks have finished soaking.

Soak the lava rocks for one hour in cold water. This allows the soapy water trapped within the pores of the pebbles to escape.

Using clean water, thoroughly rinse the lava rocks. Laying them all out on the grass and spraying them with a hosepipe works great.

Cleaning Lava Rocks Is Dangerous

As previously stated, lava rocks are porous, much like a sponge. The use of water to clean your lava rocks has the disadvantage of causing water to get trapped within the rocks.

When you heat lava rocks in the fire pit while they are still damp inside, they will erupt! The water in the pores of the rocks expands as it turns to steam, causing the rocks to shatter.

Anyone sitting near the fire pit is at risk from exploding lava rocks. As a result, if you wash your lava rocks with water or if they become wet, it’s vital that you dry them completely.

How to Properly Dry Lava Rocks

It takes some time to properly dry lava rocks, but it is vitally required. Lay the rocks out in the sun to dry if they’re very wet.

Place all of the lava rocks into the fire pit when the outside of the rock feels dry. Turn up the heat by lighting the fire pit.

To prevent bursting rock fragments from flying out of the fire pit, cover it with a metal grating. Keep a safe distance from the fire pit while it is burning – at least 15 feet.

Allow 10 minutes for the fire pit to burn. When the rocks start to erupt, you should hear popping sounds. Maintain a high temperature in the fire pit until the popping stops. The rocks might take 45 minutes to an hour to thoroughly dry.

After you’ve finished this procedure, you may sit around the fire pit as normal without fear of being hit by a stray rock.

Taking Care of Your Lava Rocks

Flipping your lava rocks over on a regular basis is a good way to maintain them clean and guarantee that they last a long time. This will prevent oil and food particles from accumulating on the rocks.

The frequency with which you flip the pebbles is determined by how often you use the grill. If you cook on it every day, the lava rocks should be changed every two weeks. You can get away with turning them every six months if you cook on the grill once a month.

When flipping and cleaning your lava rocks, be gentle with them. They are harmed if they collide and scrape against each other.

When your grill or fire pit is not in use, cover it with a waterproof cover to preserve your lava rocks in excellent condition. The more things get wet and have to be dried, the more wear and tear they incur.

You will not need to replace your lava rocks as often if you keep them in good condition.

When Should Your Lava Rocks Be Replaced?

Lava rocks aren’t designed to stay indefinitely. The more you use your fire pit, the more often your lava rocks will need to be replaced. Lava rocks usually endure around a year or two.

Small chunks will break off, the rocks will split, and they will grow smaller over time as the lava rocks move and smash together. The lava rocks lose their effectiveness in preventing oil from dripping down onto the burner as they age.

When your lava rocks get old, they will begin to crumble. This is a clear indication that they need to be replaced.

Recycle Your Fire Pit’s Old Lava Rocks

Throwing your lava rocks in the garbage after they’ve fulfilled their purpose in the fire pit may seem wasteful. Fortunately, there are a few options for repurposing your old lava rocks.

They are a great soil amendment due to their porosity. They assist to retain water and control soil temperature. To make a mulch for your garden, crush your old lava rocks and mix them with potting soil.

In plant containers, lava rocks are excellent for enhancing drainage. Before filling the planters with the remainder of the dirt, place them at the bottom. This is a fantastic technique to make use of ancient lava rocks.

Lava rocks are often used as a ground cover in flower gardens and landscaping. They help your garden use less water by reducing evaporation from the soil surface.

For garden walks, walkways, and driveways, chipped lava rock is a terrific, environmentally friendly alternative to asphalt or concrete. While a considerable amount is required, you can always combine your old lava rock from the fire pit with lava rock purchased from a landscaping firm.

How Do You Get Rid of Old Lava Rocks?

You can’t recycle old lava rocks in a regular trash can! There are many more appropriate methods of disposal.

Your local landscaping supply store should gladly accept your old lava rocks. However, before bringing them to be recycled, make sure they are clean.

Renting a dumpster is another option for getting rid of them. This is the ideal method to dispose of heavy material, such as gravel and boulders, that cannot be disposed of in your domestic garbage.

Lava Rock Alternatives That Are Easier to Clean

In fire pits, fire glass is a popular substitute for lava rocks. Fire glass is highly tempered, unlike ordinary glass, which would shatter when exposed to extreme heat. It doesn’t burn, melt, or shatter.

Fire glass does need cleaning just as often as lava rocks, but it is considerably easier to do so. You may simply use water to remove the coating of soot that has built up on them.

If you want a more polished look for your fire pit, fire glass is the way to go! It has a lovely sheen to it and can be used in both indoor and outdoor fire pits.

In a gas barbecue, ceramic briquettes are a fantastic alternative to lava rocks. They operate like lava rocks because they are made of charcoal, coal, and wood dust.

Because they do not retain oil, they are considerably simpler to clean. They’re a better long-term option than typical lava rocks.

In a barbecue, ceramic tiles are an alternative to lava rocks. Grease and oils are able to travel through the gaps in the tiles. The filth burns off before it reaches the gas burners, leaving the tiles clean and simple to use.

Last Thoughts

It’s vital to maintain the lava rocks in your fire pit or gas barbeque clean if you want your grill to work properly. If you flip your lava rocks often, you won’t have to clean them as frequently. The frequency with which you clean your lava rocks is determined by how often you use your grill.

Simply place aluminum foil over the lava rocks and turn on the burner to burn the grease and filth off of them without using water. You may wash them with soap and water, but you must properly dry them before putting them in your fire pit to avoid damp pebbles exploding.

When your lava rocks have served their purpose and no amount of cleaning can bring them back to life, you should recycle or properly dispose of them. Lava rocks should be updated every year or two in most cases.

Lava rocks are a type of rock that is found in the Earth’s crust. The lava rocks can be used to heat up your fire pit or grill. The lava rocks must be cleaned before they are put into the fire pit or grill. Reference: can you use lava rocks in a wood burning fire pit.

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