How to Clean and Maintain Your Woodfired Pizza Oven

There’s nothing like cooking pizzas in an outdoor oven but, eventually, even the best pizza oven will need to be cleaned and maintained. How do you do this if you’re a beginner? Don’t worry. We have all the instructions you need to keep your oven looking and cooking great.


Safety First

Before cleaning your pizza oven, we can’t overstate the importance of being safe. What’s so dangerous about cleaning a pizza oven? The ashes and soot in there can be easily disturbed by the slightest breeze, let alone when you’re cleaning. Breathing in potential carcinogens is never healthy, so ensure that your nose, mouth, and eyes are covered.

You should always wait until your pizza oven has cooled before you start cleaning, but you can still encounter hot spots, so you’ll also want to wear heat-resistant gloves. If you know it’s already completely cool, regular gloves to handle stubborn soot are perfect.


Removing Ashes

Even though certain woods will add great flavors when cooking, their ashes need to be removed from time to time. Make sure you have a brass bristle brush and shovel. Use the brass bristle brush to sweep all the debris to the center before using a shovel to lift it out. Keep repeating this step until everything has been removed, and then take an ash vacuum cleaner or brush to the inside for what’s left. We recommend avoiding chemical cleaners to clean the interior of the oven, as the stones could absorb the chemicals into your food. We also warn against using liquids to clean the stones, as this could lead to the stones cracking from thermal shock.

What can you do with the ash you remove from your wood-fired pizza oven? Use it in the garden! No, you didn’t read that wrong; ashes contain tons of nutrients that your plants will love. Don’t have a garden? Store your ashes in a lidded container and use them as natural traction control for the winter months in place of salt.


Removing Soot

mangiafuoco wood fire pizza oven

Soot is another thing you need to ensure you clean from your pizza oven. Just as with a working fireplace and chimney in the home, it’s important to ensure that oven soot is removed on a regular basis to prevent airflow blockages. Cleaning the soot buildup from oven walls is easy; just fire it up for a while. The high heat will easily eliminate soot; you’ll know when it turns white.


To clean soot from your oven’s flue and chimney, take a bristle nose brush and scrub as much of these surfaces as possible until you see very little dropping from the chimney, or none at all.


The Final Step

Now that you’ve removed the soot, ash, and other stuff from your outdoor oven, you’ll need to brush any remaining bits from the floor and walls, and then wipe it down with a damp cotton cloth. Why cotton? Because it absorbs the most dust and ash. The easiest way to reach all surfaces is to put the cloth at the end of a long stick.

In the market for a new pizza oven? Fontana Forni ovens are 100% Italian-constructed with over 40 years of innovation. Check out our beautiful ovens online, or call us at 1-877-842-9822 for more information.