Spring Cleaning: How to Clean Your Fireplace
It’s that time of year again when spring is here, and the fresh smell of blooming flowers fills the air. But while everything feels rejuvenated outside, inside your fireplace is full of filthy soot, creosote and ash from months of wood-burning. And there is no better time than today to clean your fireplace.
So, get into some old clothes and let’s get to work. You will also want to wear good quality work gloves, sturdy shoes, a protective mask and eye protection to avoid breathing in any chemical particulates. First, gather up your cleaning supplies to assemble your fireplace cleaning kit.
Fireplace Cleaning Kit
- Newspapers or drop cloth
- Stiff bristle brush
- Broom and dust-bin or heavy-duty vacuum
- Fireproof storage container
- Spray bottle
- Baking soda
- Warm water
Before cleaning your fireplace, make sure the ash has cooled for at least 24 hours. Then, lay your drop cloth or some newspapers down in front of the fireplace. This will help contain any ash and debris from getting into your carpeting or flooring. Remove the grate and anything else that is in the firebox. Set aside to clean separately later.
Now that you have everything removed from the firebox, gently sweep the ash out of the firebox and dump into your fireproof or metal storage container. You can vacuum any remaining dust on the firebox floor.
Next, mix your cleaning solution with equal parts warm water and vinegar in a clean spray bottle. Put on your protective gear and spray the walls inside the fireplace with the cleaning solution. Allow to soak for ten minutes then start scrubbing with your stiff bristle brush. The thick tarry creosote build-up in the chimney can be particularly difficult to clean, especially if the fireplace is not cleaned very often. For stubborn stains, you can add 1 to 2 tablespoons of ammonia to your spray bottle to make a stronger cleaning solution. Alternatively, you can create a paste with 3 to 4 tablespoons of cream of tartar and water for a more natural fireplace cleaner. Apply the paste directly onto the stain allow to soak in for ten minutes and brush clean with warm water.
Finally, it’s time to clean your fireplace surround. You can use an all-purpose cleaner or the same vinegar and water solution that you used to clean inside your fireplace to remove any soot and stains that are clinging to the outside of your fireplace. Don’t forget to clean your fireplace doors including the glass. To get rid of an odor of vinegar, add 3 to 4 tablespoons of baking soda to a spray bottle filled with water. Spray and wipe down the fireplace with a clean sponge and the smell of vinegar will dissipate.
Put the grate and logs back inside the firebox sit back and enjoy the pleasant appearance of a clean fireplace.
While its still fresh on your mind, contact Chimney Solutions to schedule your annual chimney inspection. We are available to answer any questions you may have.
Our CSIA certified chimney sweep specialists can also do the chimney cleaning for you. The National Fireplace Institute and fire safety experts recommend all homeowners have a chimney inspection every year to ensure their fireplace is safe for use.