How to Clean Your Fireplace
Is the fireplace full of ash and debris? Wondering how the best way to clean your fireplace and ensure it’s working to its full capacity? The Firewood Company looks at the best way to clean your fireplace and what you should do if you notice any possible issues.
Before you get started you must wait at least a good 12 hours before you last lit your fireplace before giving it a good clean. It’s also recommended that you have an expert inspect to ensure that everything is in good working order and nothing needs to be replaced. Things such as your intel (the steel bar that supports the top of the inside of your fireplace) and bricks are all in good working condition and not in need of repair. If you are unsure, call in an expert to look or simply take some photos and pop into your local fireplace provider.
It’s important to remember that the bricks in your fireplace can withstand a lot higher heat compared to normal bricks. They can be rather costly to replace but they must be in good working order. Some can be fixed using high-temperature cement, but again if you are not sure what you are doing, it’s best to seek professional advice. Cracked and broken bricks will get worse with time and can comprise your fireplace, so once you notice any cracks, chips, or bricks completely missing, it’s highly recommended you get these fixed or replaced.
Before you get started consider the following:
Protect the area with an old sheet or newspaper around the fireplace
It will get messy so slap on some rubber gloves and even a facemask
Have all your needed equipment handy
Cleaning products (see below)
Paper towel & ample newspaper
Sweeping pan & brush
Small dishwashing brush
It’s a good plan to start with the glass first. This can easily be done with damp newspaper or paper towel. Dip the paper into a little of the ash in the firebox and using circular motions carefully clean the inside of the glass. You can also use a little white vinegar with warm water to help with stubborn stains, or if you are wanting a real professional look – consider buying a specially purposed fire glass cleaning product.
Firstly, remove all ash and debris from the firebox. Work slowly to prevent dust from enveloping the area and yourself. Carefully pop this into the bucket and remove it from the house. Then begin by vacuuming the box to remove as much of the dust and ash as possible.
Once the firebox is completely dust-free you can start to wash the inside of the firebox using a nylon dishwashing brush to get to the hard-to-reach places. Be very careful to gently scrub the bricks. This is the point you can analyze what type of condition your firebox bricks are in. If you notice any cracks or chips now is the time to call up the experts and see if you can fix, or replace them.
Gardens simply love wood ash as it’s a wonderful source of potassium (as do chickens – makes a great dust bath). So don’t let all these lovely nutrient-rich by-products go to waste. Consider adding it to your vegetable patch or garden. But you must never use ash from treated timber or coal.
Gently remove any soot and tar build-up by using a gentle solution of dishwashing liquid. You can always increase this to a harsher chemical mixture if need be.
Borax & dishwashing liquid
Dishwashing liquid & salt
Vinegar & warm water
Remember to keep vacuuming as more debris is removed from the firebox.
Gently give the entire firebox a good wipe and clean the area. If you have an open fireplace, you can now look at removing the soot from the outside using a clean cloth and your choice of cleaning product. Remember to rinse or replace your rags often to prevent any streaking.