Sunday, February 5, 2012

Vacuuming your kiln

A while back I posted about a Kiln sign I have in my kiln room.   (see by clicking here)  Jan, from Snippety Gibbet, commented the following...

Do you vacuum it or do your custodians? What kind of vacuum? Is it just a regular one? I' ve never gotten any instruction about that. Jan

Thanks Jan for your questions.  I recently had a kiln guy in because the kiln at the middle school I am working with kept giving me an error every time I fired.  We discovered we had the wrong voltage for the elements that it had in it.  He told me he gets a call for simular problems a couple times a year.  Who knew.  Anyway, I was asking him about maintenance of a kiln.  He tole me you SHOULD vacuum your kiln on a regular basis.  We are going to have a cleaning every quarter for our kiln.  He also mentioned ANYTIME you blow something up, you NEED to vacuum as well.  Any bits of clay or even dust can cause damage to the elements.   I have an amazing custodian who cleaned out my kiln well this last quarter.  He used a wet/dry shop vacuum and got any pieces a the base as well as a quick one over on the coils.  That is what I have been told. I'm always learning new things, and this is one of them:)


  1. Get my vacuum quick! I have been neglecting my elements! There is an exploded mess at the bottom of my kiln. Good thing I wear high heals to teach so I can reach into that kiln!

  2. Thanks so much for the information. I will share it with folks. I'll also use the info before " the kiln doctor" comes to check my kiln this month....and yells at me for having a nasty kiln! Jan

  3. BTW.....I posted a link to your coil video on my video blog. Let me know if that is not okay. jan

    You're so productive!

  4. I had never vacuumed a kiln until last year. The previous art teacher must have had an entire load of stuff explode. It was crazy. I just used a shop vac. I had another kiln where someone had put a weird clay (or something) in the kiln. There was a hard puddle. Fortunately, it only ruined the shelf. I tried scraping it off, but it wasn't worth it.