How to Clean Fireplace Bricks (Step by Step)

Everyone loves the fireplace in their home. It’s really nice to light a fire on a cold night and spend some quality time together or read a book.

But fireplaces can get quite dirty. Smoke and soot will discolor the bricks. Bricks are porous, which means they have lots of tiny little holes that trap smoke and soot.How to Clean Fireplace Bricks

Cleaning those bricks might seem hard. Unfortunately, you can’t just wipe away the soot and streaks with a wave of your magic wand. But you can use readily available cleaning products from your local store or even ordinary household items you may have in your home right now.

Fireplace bricks should be cleaned at least once every year. If you clean more often the chore will be easier the next time you clean them.

OK, let’s take a look at some tips and tricks for cleaning those unsightly fireplace bricks.

1 Tools for Cleaning Fireplace Bricks

Before you begin cleaning your fireplace bricks let’s gather a few things. Having them within easy reach before you start will prevent unnecessary trips to get these supplies when your hands are dirty.

You can clean fireplace bricks using traditional household products or more specialized cleaners. The list below divides these options by the products you want to use.

Both options work equally well. You may prefer to use common household products instead of specialized cleaning products. Specialized cleaning products usually contain harsher chemicals than household cleaning products.

For best results, I recommend you use both methods simultaneously. The common household products will do an amazing job, but if you use a specialized cleaning product your fireplace bricks will look amazing.

See also
Electric Fireplace Cleaning (A Step-by-Step Guide)

For both methods you will need:

  • Tarp or drop cloth
  • Rubber gloves
  • Apron
  • Scrubbing brush
  • Small broom
  • Small ash bucket
  • Cloth, rags, or paper towels
  • Sponge
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Spray bottle filled with water
  • Empty spray bottle for dish soap mixture
  • Empty spray bottle for ammonia mixture
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If you want to use everyday household products you can use any of these items:

  • Dish washing liquid
  • Ammonia

If you want to use a specialized cleaning product then the following item will be needed:

  • Foaming bathroom cleaner or oven cleaner, such as Scrubbing Bubbles

2 Instructions for Cleaning

Now that you’ve gathered all your items let’s see how to get those fireplace bricks looking clean again.

You can click on each step to see a picture of the process. Pictures licensed by Creative Commons.

2.1 Step 1: Prepare to clean

  • Put on your rubber gloves and apron. You don’t want to get your hands and clothes too dirty.
  • Place your tarp or drop cloth in front of the fireplace to prevent any dirt, soot, or other items from damaging your rug or flooring in front of the fireplace.
  • Place everything you need nearby.
See also
How Hot Does a Fireplace Get? (User’s Guide)

2.2 Step 2: Remove grate or andirons

  • Take out the grate or andirons and place them on your tarp or drop cloth. This will make it easier for you to reach all the fireplace bricks.

2.3 Step 2: Vacuum bricks

  • Remove all the dust, dirt, and other debris from fireplace bricks by using the brush attachment on your vacuum.

2.4 Step 3: Soak fireplace bricks with water

  • Thoroughly soak fireplace bricks with the water in your spray bottle.
  • Use cloth rags or paper towels to soak up any standing water.

2.5 Step 4: Use household cleaning products

How to Clean Fireplace Bricks

  • Fill your empty spray bottle with ½ cup dish detergent and four cups of water. Shake well.
  • Spray the mixture onto the fireplace bricks.
  • Let stand for five minutes or longer.
  • Scrub bricks with a scrubbing brush.
  • Spray bricks with water to rinse.
  • Use cloth rags or paper towels to dry bricks.
  • Mix ½ cup ammonia, ¼ cup dish detergent and four cups of hot water in an empty spray bottle. Shake well.
  • Spray mixture on bricks.
  • Let stand five minutes or longer.
  • Scrub bricks with a scrubbing brush.
  • Spray bricks with water to rinse.
  • Use cloth rags or paper towels to dry bricks.

2.6 Step 5: Use a bathroom or oven cleaner

  • Spray bricks with bathroom or oven cleaner.
  • Let the cleaner soak into bricks for 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Dampen scrubbing brush with a quick spray of bathroom or oven cleaner.
  • Scrub bricks with a scrubbing brush.
  • Spray bricks with water to rinse.
  • Use cloth rags or paper towels to dry bricks.
See also
What Is Creosote Buildup (How to Get Rid of Creosote Buildup)?

2.7 Step 6: Clean up

How to Clean Fireplace Bricks

  • Place the grate or andiron back into the fireplace.
  • Place dirty cloths or paper towels into a wastebasket.
  • Pick up a tarp or drop cloth
  • Pick up remaining cleaning supplies

3 FAQ

What Tolls do You Need to Clean your Fireplace Bricks?

To clean your fireplace bricks you will need a tarp or drop cloth, rubber gloves, scrubbing brush, small broom, ash bucket, paper towels, sponge, vacuum cleaner, a spray bottle filled with water, dish soap, and ammonia mixture.

How to Prepare for Cleaning Fireplace Bricks?

Put on your rubber gloves. Drop cloth in front of the fireplace to prevent any dirt and soot from getting on your floor. Place everything you need nearby.

Do I need to Remove Grates from the Fireplace Before Cleaning Bricks?

Take out the grate before starting to clean the bricks. This will make it easier.

4 In Conclusion

Your fireplace bricks should look sparkling clean now. Don’t they look nice?

Following these step-by-step directions should have been a quick and painless process for removing the soot and dirt from those dark looking fireplace bricks. Remember that if you clean your fireplace bricks more often they won’t be so hard to clean in the future.

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Did you find any shortcuts to make these steps easier? Maybe you have some advice you’d like to share with others? Please leave any questions, comments, or suggestions if you like.

I really liked making this step-by-step guide for cleaning fireplace bricks. I hope you liked it too. You can share it with anyone you like. I’m sure they’d love to learn how to clean their fireplace bricks too.