Wood burning pits are fairly forgiving but:
- Burning trash or pressure treated wood can release harmful toxins that are unhealthy to breathe and can damage pit surfaces. Dry, split wood is recommended. Do not burn green wood.
- Whenever possible use broken pallets or yard-picked leaves and sticks as kindling to help get your fire started. Use of accelerants can be dangerous and can discolor or damage the fire pit and is strongly discouraged.
- Unless it’s an emergency, don’t extinguish the flame by pouring water on it as this can cause rapid temperature shifts that may crack or otherwise damage the vessel.
- Shovel ashes regularly because they are acidic and can cause long term damage to your pit.
- Shield your pit from the elements with a cover to minimize cleaning.
- On masonry fire pits, scrub residue buildup with a solution of one part muriatic acid to nine parts water. Rinse with water and allow to dry 48 to 72 hours before use.
- Keep gas fire pits in working order by keeping burners clean for proper gas flow and check fuel lines regularly.
- Scrub metal fire pits with a stiff wire brush to remove surface rust. You can also apply a protective coating but it is important to determine which are appropriate for the type of metal. Consult manufacturer instructions before applying any surface treatments.
- If you plan to use your fire pit to cook outdoors, grates or other cooking surfaces should be promptly cleaned. Grease, juices and food residue can build up on the inside of the fire pit, causing stains and exacerbating deterioration.
Source: HGTV Image from Hearthstone Environments