Can You Use a Rusty Fire Pit: Tips for Cleaning up a Fire Pit

In the summer or fall evenings, it’s nice to spend more time outdoors. One popular way to enjoy the outdoors is by gathering around a fire pit. But what do you do if your fire pit is rusty? Can you use a rusty fire pit? 

Rusty fire pits can be challenging to clean and maintain, but with the right strategies, you can restore yours back to its former glory. In this article, we will give you tips for cleaning up a rusty fire pit. We will also tell you whether or not you can still use it, depending on how bad the rust is. So read on to learn more!

Can you use a rusty fire pit?

Can You Use a Rusty Fire Pit

Fire pits can get damaged quite quickly due to the heat of the flames, which is tough on the paint. It depends on the severity of the rust as to whether you should use your fire pit. If your fire pit is only lightly rusted, then you’ll still be able to use it.  

However, if your fire pit is heavily rusted and has large areas where the metal has completely corroded or has even burnt right through then, it may not be safe to use. 

Embers can fall through fire pits with holes, and flames can lick the outside of the pit, injuring anyone who gets too close. It’s not worth risking your family’s health and well-being by using a rusted firepit. 

If your fire pit is damaged and past its best, to consider replacing the fire pit or getting it professionally cleaned and restored.

How to clean up a fire pit

Can You Use a Rusty Fire Pit

If your fire pit is only lightly rusted, there are some strategies that can help to clean it up and restore its appearance. You can scrub the surface of the fire pit using backing soda; this will help to remove some of the rust.

Alternatively, try sanding off any rust that has accumulated on the surface of your fire pit. You may also want to consider applying a coat of rust-resistant paint or sealant to help protect against future rust build up. Ensure that any paint you apply is suitable for a fire pit; otherwise, it will quickly burn off and create dangerous fumes as it does so. 

Ongoing maintenance

Be sure to keep your fire pit clean and dry when it’s not in use, and perform regular maintenance to prevent future rusting issues. This may include using a cover to keep it dry when not in use. 

To help expand the life of your fire pit, you can also add a layer of sand to the bottom before lighting a fire. This will help to protect the fire pit from the heat of the flames. You can use builders sand for this purpose and add a layer between 1 and 2 inches deep. 

When purchasing a fire pit, choose one that’s either stainless steel or copper, as these metals are more heat resistant and last longer. Fire pits made of steel are more likely to be affected by heat and rust and don’t generally last as long. 


If you have a rusty fire pit, it is important to be mindful of how severe the rust is before deciding whether or not to use it. In most cases, if your fire pit has only minor or surface rust, then you can still use it without any issues. 

However, if the rust has severely compromised the structural integrity of your fire pit, then you may need to replace it. 

With proper care and maintenance, you can keep your fire pit looking clean and functional.