DEEP CLEANING YOUR BEE SMOKER IN 3 EASY STEPS

Posted August 12, 2016
by Hilary

Deep Clean Your Bee Smoker in 3 Easy Steps

Hi, everyone! It’s Sara writing today to share some tips on how to effectively—and naturally—deep clean your bee smoker without a lot of hassle.

One look inside my malfunctioning bee smoker was all I needed to diagnose its disease: filth! My hard-working tool had finally succumbed to soot buildup. Surprisingly, deciding on the best way to clean my smoker was not easy.

My internet research turned up disappointing results. I found a lot of information, but not many methods that jived with my style of doing things. I like all-natural products and using what I already own. I did not want to, for example, dabble with torches, chemicals, or any degree of disassembly, and I didn’t want to call it good after only scraping the soot out.

So, I decided to come up with my own deep-cleaning protocol using distilled white vinegar. Vinegar is an amazing cleaner, and it worked like a charm on the smoker! In fact, I was so happy with the results that I asked Hilary if I could share my method on the blog. So, if your smoker needs a lot of TLC, read on for a deep cleaning tutorial.

How to Deep Clean Your Smoker in 3 Easy Steps:

Time Breakdown: 30 minutes of active work; 6-10 hours for overnight soaking

Tools: small flathead screwdriver or hive tool; hot water; distilled white vinegar; large mopping bucket with a handle; gear ties or twine; and tape

Deep Clean Your Bee Smoker in 3 Easy Steps

Step One: Scrape

Scrape or chip the hard soot layer off the inside of the smoker with your hive tool or, better yet, a flat-head screwdriver. It comes off in flakes or small chunks. Keep working at it until most of the soot is gone. Don’t worry if there is a little bit left. It will come off in the next step, which is soaking.

By the way, if your smoker has a perforated removable base plate at the bottom, pop it out, so you can scrape the very bottom of the chamber, too.

IMG_0295

Step Two: Soak

First, to protect the bellows from accidental water intrusion, cover the bellows’ air tube with a few small pieces of tape. Next, use gear ties or twine to suspend the smoker in your bucket (see photo below), so that the bellows will be just above the water level. The bucket’s handle and the smoker’s heat shield make great places to anchor gear ties or tie off twine.

Deep Clean Your Bee Smoker in 3 Easy StepsPour a cup of white vinegar into the bottom of the bucket. Then fill the bucket with hot water (I used a combination of hot tap water and boiled water) until the smoker is mostly submerged. Check to make sure that water is not touching the bellows’ air tube. Don’t forget to drop the fire base plate into the water, too. Allow the smoker to soak for 6-10 hours.

IMG_0296

Step Three: Wipe

After 6-10 hours of soaking, remove the smoker from the bucket and discard the water. Using a rag, wipe the smoker clean, both inside and out. You may need your hive tool or screwdriver to knock off some softened thicker chunks of soot. When done, your smoker should be mostly gleaming, but keep in mind that it won’t be perfectly like new. Some soot stains just stick!

IMG_0297

 

4 Comments

  1. chris

    Thank you Sara. That was very useful. I have seen smokers that are muy gunky. You’re amazing to get this experimented for us

    Reply
  2. michelle

    This is super helpful! I have never seen this addressed anywhere. I’ll be cleaning mine at the end of the season. Thanks for sharing this!

    Reply
  3. Roger Senechal

    If you use pine needles there will be a lot of sticky gunk stuck inside the cover. Put a propane torch to it and it will all burn away. Then you can use Hilary’s method to finish off the job.

    Reply
  4. EVA WARD

    Thank you so much. I have been dreading cleaning mine. You have motivated me to get it done. Like you, I much prefer to use things that I have on hand.

    Reply

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Beekeeping Like A Girl DEEP CLEANING YOUR BEE SMOKER IN 3 EASY STEPS - Denton County Beekeepers Association - […] Source: Beekeeping Like A Girl DEEP CLEANING YOUR BEE SMOKER IN 3 EASY STEPS […]
  2. How To – Using your bee smoker – HiveKeepers - […] Deep cleaning your smoker (I’ve done it using Sarah’s method and it works great) […]

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

My name is Hilary Kearney. I’m the author of the book, “Queenspotting” and founder of the urban beekeeping business Girl Next Door Honey in San Diego, California. I’m an artist turned beekeeper on a mission to help new beekeepers succeed and educate the public about the magic of bees!

Follow Me

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Buy My Book: Queenspotting

Now Streaming Online!

Online Intro to Beekeeping Class! Now streaming! Great for beginners or intermediate level beekeepers.

Top Posts

HOW TO KEEP A NEWLY CAUGHT SWARM FROM LEAVING
QUEENSPOTTING: HOW TO FIND YOUR QUEEN BEE
WHY AREN'T MY BEES USING THEIR SUPER?
IS THE FLOWHIVE BAD FOR BEES?

Shop: Educational Game for kids!

Shop: Educational Game for kids!

You’re Sweet

Your donations help keep this blog going! Thank you!