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If you're planning to install a true wood-burning fireplace, you need to know how to keep it clean! We've made a guide on how to clean your fireplace.
Proper fireplace maintenance will prolong the life of your fireplace and help prevent the buildup of potentially toxic materials inside your home. It's important to clean your fireplace regularly and properly. That's why we, along with our friends over at Lehrer Fireplace & Patio
, compiled this handy guide to teach you how to keep your fireplace clean so you can enjoy a crackling fire all year long.
Step 1: Select the Right Materials
You can use store-bought cleaners or make your own! Oven cleaner can be used on fireplaces and works particularly well if there is a lot of built up burnt material in your fireplace. You can also check your local hardware store for a cleaner designed specifically for fireplaces. For a homemade cleaner, you can mix 2 tablespoons of cream of tartar with water to make a quality cleaner.
You will also need a small brush or broom to sweep out the fireplace and an abrasive tool for scrubbing the debris out of your fireplace.
Step 2: Protect the Area
Be sure to protect the surrounding area and yourself. Wear old clothes that you don't mind getting dirty and lay a tarp over the floor around the fireplace. Cleaning the fireplace is going to get very dirty, and soot can be difficult to get out of clothes and carpeting. If you don't have a tarp, you can try using old clothes or towels you don't use anymore. Make sure it's not something you're attached to, because it's likely to get ruined.
Step 3: Remove Debris
Any old wood and other debris should be discarded prior to cleaning. Put on some sturdy cleaning gloves and remove the debris. If any of the wood is salvageable, set it aside to burn later. You may have to use a vacuum to pick up very loose or small debris.
Step 4: Sweep the Chimney
Take your small broom or brush and sweep. Thoroughly sweep and dust or ashes from inside the chimney. It can help to sprinkle coffee ground over the ashes first. This can give them a more solid texture and prevent the ashes from scattering through the air. Make sure you also sweep off the doorway to the chimney, as it is likes dusted with ash.
Step 5: Spray Down the Fireplace
Your all-purpose cleaner or homemade cleaner goes into the fireplace first. Spritz the inside of your fireplace with a light layer of the cleaner. Make sure to wet the entire inside of the fireplace before proceeding.
Step 6: Use Your Abrasive Tool
Dip your abrasive tool in the the cleaner you're using, whether it's handmade or store-bought. Now it's time to start scrubbing! Don't scrub too hard. Use circular motions to apply until the fireplace is completely covered. If there are any hard-to-reach cracks in your fireplace, use a toothbrush to clean those areas.
Step 7: Let the Cleaner Sit on the Fireplace
If the chimney only has minor stains, letting the cleaner sit for 10 to 15 minutes should be enough. If your fireplace has bad or very persistent stains, let the cleaner sit for at least 30 minutes. If you're using a store-bought container, be sure to read the label carefully. There may be specific instructions on how long to let the cleaner sit.
Step 8: Remove the Buildup
The cleaner should loosen up dirt and debris from the fireplace. You should be able to easily remove it all with some scrubbing and cleaning. Wet a cloth under warm or hot tap water and buff away any stains. They should come away easily. Usually, doing this once should be plenty. However, if you're fireplace is very stained or damages, you may need to do a second or even third cleaning.
With this step-by-step guide, you should now be ready to properly and thoroughly clean your fireplace! Do you keep your fireplace well maintained?