While the pros at A Noble Sweep are happy to perform annual or semiannual cleanings of your fireplace, there is no better time than the present to learn how to manage your fireplace between servicings to prevent the buildup of creosote and soot in your hearth.
Here are some tips for DIY fireplace cleaning:
- Make sure that at least 12 hours have passed since the last fire you lit your fireplace. This gives the area a chance to fully cool down. To avoid the risk of getting soot on surfaces, make sure to have drop cloths or plastic sheeting handy to cover furniture. Protect your skin with old clothes and gloves, and have a dust mask at the ready to avoid inhaling soot or dust. To minimize knee pain while you’re working on your fireplace, consider wearing knee pads or work on a thick, folded towel.
- Cleaning starts with removing loose, dry soot and dust from the fireplace. Use a small hand broom or shovel to put it all into a dustpan and dispose of it. Sweep off all surfaces, including the grate and irons, and take them outside for cleaning. Grates and irons can be cleaned with a small amount of dish detergent on a dampened scrubbing brush. Scrub until soapy and rinse well before drying these items off with a clean rag. Leave them out to dry while you finish up your fireplace.
- To clean slightly heavier soot deposits that may have accumulated on the walls of your fireplace, use a hand broom or dry brush with tough bristles. Start from the top of each wall and sweep downward. Once that is done, consider using a hose attachment on your vacuum cleaner to collect any remaining dust.
- To start wet cleaning, one recommended solution is 3 tablespoons of TSP, half a cup of bleach, and a quart of hot (but not boiling) water. Fill a spray bottle and saturate the fireplace walls and floors before letting it sit for five minutes, then repeat. Saturate your brush with the solution before scrubbing the same way you performed the dry agitation cleaning, by starting at the top and sweeping down. If a surface needs more wet cleaning solution, add more as needed. Wipe after scrubbing with old rags and repeat until finished.
- To address glass doors, use a 50-50 mix of white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Glass doors generally take about a cup of this solution at most. Spray the glass doors and folded paper towels with the vinegar solution and sprinkle some ashes onto the towels for some light abrasion cleaning. Scour the doors gently and repeat as needed with fresh paper towels.
- To clean the facing of your brick fireplace, you can mix a 1/4 cup dish detergent with a gallon of water in a fresh bucket. Spray this mixture on the facing and lightly scrub the surface. Then, use clean dry rags or paper towels to wipe down after spraying with plain water. If your facing is more than 50 years old, consult with a professional about what would work best, as scouring an old fireplace can damage the brickwork.
Need more tips on fireplace cleaning or want a professional to service your hearth? The pros at A Noble Sweep are more than happy to assist you. For more information about our services, or to get a quote for your needs, you can contact our team today at (504) 370-9157 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.