The fireplace in your home is a cozy and romantic feature. Who doesn’t love to gather in front of their fireplace with family and friends?
But have you ever wondered how to clean a fireplace? It’s not that hard. Anyone can do it!
This how-to article will provide some helpful tips and tricks to spruce up any fireplace. The whole process won’t take long.
The National Fire Protection Association suggests cleaning a fireplace annually. Simple yearly maintenance will prevent stains and avoid potentially dangerous conditions. Cleaning will also remove any unpleasant odors and the unsightly look of longstanding grime.
You can use many common household items to clean a fireplace or purchase specialized products from your local grocery or home improvement store.
Whatever you choose, cleaning a fireplace can be accomplished quickly and efficiently if you follow these steps. When you’re finished you can sit back, relax, and enjoy the warm glow from your hearth as you congratulate yourself for a job well done.
1 What You’ll Need to Clean a Fireplace
There are advantages and disadvantages to using either common household products or store-bought specialized products to clean a fireplace. It will depend on your comfort with using certain chemicals. It will definitely cost less if you use common household products, but it may require more physical effort when scraping and brushing the grit and grime from a fireplace.
Whether you choose to use common household products or store-bought specialized products everyone will need the following items to clean a fireplace:
- Small brush
- Fireplace shovel, or a child’s sandcastle small shovel
- Tarp, drop cloth, or plastic sheeting
- Rubber gloves
- Ash bucket or large paper bag
- Cleaning rags or paper towels
- Safety glasses
- Handheld vacuum cleaner or shop vac
- Knee pads
1.1 Common Household Products
If you decide to use the common household products method, gather and assemble the following additional items:
- An all-purpose cleaner, such as Formula 409
- Oven cleaner
- Dish soap
- Spray bottles filled with tap water
1.2 Specialty Products
Your local hardware store should carry an array of specialized products specifically designed to clean a fireplace. These products are usually marketed as Fireplace Cleaners, Creosote Removers, Brick and Stone Cleaners, and Soot Removers.
2 Step-by-step Instructions for Cleaning a Fireplace
Now that you have all the necessary items to clean a fireplace, follow these easy step-by-step instructions.
You can click on each step to see a picture of the process. Pictures licensed by Creative Commons.
2.1 Step 1: Preparing to clean:
- Cleaning a fireplace can be quite a dirty task. I recommend putting on some old clothes, or a shop apron, to prevent ruining your nice clothes.
- Place a tarp, drop cloth or plastic sheeting on the floor surrounding your fireplace.
2.2 Step 2: Remove Debris from the fireplace:
- Use your shovel, small broom, and dustpan to transfer the debris to your bucket or large paper bag.
- Remove all the old ashes, soot, and other debris.
- You can save old wood chips to use in another fire, but get rid of everything else.
2.3 Step 3: Brush the interior of the fireplace:
- Use your small brush to thoroughly scrape every surface in a fireplace.
- Begin at the top of each wall and work down.
- You may need to scrub and scrape several times to remove everything from the surfaces.
2.4 Step 4: Spray the interior of the fireplace
- Using your common household cleaning product, or specialty fireplace cleaning product, spray the interior of the fireplace liberally.
- Spraying multiple times will guarantee you reach every surface.
2.5 Step 5: Scrub the fireplace
- Spray the surface of your cleaning brush with your cleaning product.
- Scrub the walls by starting at the top and working down.
- Do not scrub too hard.
- Spray additional cleaner on surfaces if needed.
- Use rags or paper towels to soak up the dirty liquid.
- Spray the surface of the glass with an appropriate cleaner, either a common household cleaner or a specialized product.
- Spray some cleaner on a rag or paper towel. Sprinkle some fireplace ash on the rag or paper towel too. It will act as a natural abrasive.
- Wipe the glass with your rag or paper towel. Repeat if necessary.
2.7 Step 7: Clean up
- Pick up your tarp, drop cloth, or plastic sheeting and dispose of it properly.
- Use your broom and dustpan to sweep up any remaining mess.
- Vacuum around the fireplace.
What Will You Need to Clean a Fireplace?
To clean your fireplace you will need a small brush, shovel, dustpan, tarp, drop cloth, or plastic sheeting, rubber gloves, ash bucket, paper towels, safety glasses, vacuum cleaner, and broom.
How Often Should You Clean your Fireplace?
The National Fire Protection Association suggests cleaning a fireplace regularly to prevent stains and avoid potentially dangerous conditions.
How Much Time do You Need to Clean a Fireplace?
To clean your fireplace you would need from half an hour to two hours.
4 In Conclusion
Congratulations! You’ve successfully cleaned a fireplace. I told you it wasn’t that hard. Great job!
Now that your fireplace is clean you can enjoy many relaxing nights in the warm glow of a comforting fire.
I’ve used these instructions many times to clean my own fireplace. Everything you need to know is right here. But if you have any questions or comments please let me know.
I hope you enjoyed reading this tutorial as much as I enjoyed creating it for you. Please share it with anyone you know who needs great instructions for cleaning a fireplace.