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Basic Wood-Burning Fireplace Cleaning

Proper care and maintenance of your fireplace involves the routine cleaning of the appliance and should be a part of your regular chore list. 

When it comes to cleaning, fireplaces can be intimidating. Especially if this is your first time doing it. But it’s really not as difficult as it seems. With the right supplies and a bit of patience, you’ll have a clean – and safe – fireplace in no time. 

Note that you should only clean your fireplace at least 24 hours after you last used it.

What You’ll Need

First, be prepared for this to be a messy job. This means you definitely shouldn’t clean your fireplace in clothes that you plan to wear out later that day. In addition to cleaning clothes, you’ll also need a soft board or towel you can place near the fireplace to kneel on. Other items to pick up are cleaning gloves, a dust mask, rags and scrubbing brushes, a spray bottle, paper towels and plastic sheets to protect the surface around the fireplace. This is in addition to your cleaning detergent and household items like baking soda and vinegar.

The following tips will help maintain your fireplace, and keep it in its original, excellent condition. It should be noted that while these regular cleaning tasks will extend the life and enjoyment of your fireplace, there are deep cleanings such as the removal of soot from your vents and chimney that require the services of a professional. 

Gather Up the Ash 

First, it’s a good idea to get rid of all of the ash scattered around the fireplace. A tip to help with this process is to sprinkle some cold, discarded coffee grounds over the ash. This will make it easier to gather up the ash and will prevent the ash from spreading everywhere once you start to clean your fireplace. Use a small broom, a hand shovel and a dustpan to remove the ash and coffee grinds. Alternatively, you could also suck it up using a vacuum cleaner, although you should check the usage instructions of your vacuum. Make sure to sweep every corner of the fireplace carefully.

Stain Removal 

Next, it’s time to tackle the exterior trims and borders of your fireplace. For smaller stained areas, consider using cream of tartar, a great tool to use for effective stain removal. Simply add two to three tablespoons to some water to make a paste. Apply to it to the stained area and leave it to work while you move onto the next task. Rinse it off with water and repeat as many times as you like until you’re pleased with the results.

For larger stained areas, combine your washing liquid (you can use plain dishwashing soap) with a bit of vinegar and scrub as hard as you can. You should follow up with a water and baking soda solution to ensure the acid from the vinegar does not leave a white film. If your fireplace has a glass screen, clean it with a glass cleaner and wipe it down with paper towels. 

Note that these cleaning tips are not the only maintenance that your home and fireplace needs. Soot still finds its way into vents and can be dangerous if not cleaned out regularly. For a full fireplace cleaning, you will likely need the services of a professional. Thankfully, the Fireplace Center and Patio Shop provides you with everything you need to make sure you have a clean, soot-free fireplace. In addition to helping you find the fireplace of your dreams, we also teach you how to care for and maintain your particular fireplace. Pick up the phone and call us now. We’ll be pleased to help! 

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