In front of the fireplace is really nice place during cool winter evenings. It is also another way you can heat up your home. You have to maintain your fireplace regularly. Not only because it is necessary for making sure your fireplace is functioning safely and properly, but also because this will minimize dust and soot in your home. The best time to clean your fireplace is in late summer or early fall, before the cold weather arrives.
If you’re reading this guide, it means that you’re staring at a soot-stained fireplace and asking yourself how the heck you’re going to get it clean. Here you will find all the things you need to buy (shopping list) and simple step by step method for great result.
- Rubber Gloves
- Plastic Drop Cloth
- Tarpaulin sheet
- Nylon Scrub Brush
- Tri-sodium Phosphate (TSP)
- Trash Can
- Metal Polish
When you already have everything you need for the fireplace cleaning is time to follow our Step by step method:
- Wait at least 24 hours after you have burned your last fire so the ashes cool thoroughly.
- Dress in old clothes. Putting on a pair of rubber household cleaning gloves, and face mask is required. Now, you are ready to touch the toxic substances from your fireplace.
- To protect the floor in front of the fireplace put some sheets of newspaper. To catch the soot you will dislodge arrange the newspapers so they go up the fireplace walls by several inches. Also if it is needed you could protect your furniture or carpet with some plastic drop cloth.
- Check again if there is residual warmth.
- By using shovel and bucket remove all the ashes form the fireplace.
- Sit down on your knees and with a torch look up into the chimney. You have to able to see all the way to the flue. Usually it looks like a small metal door near the chimney top. To be sure that you look at the right thing, find the metal pull, which control the flue and give it a yank. You are looking at the flue if you are able to see the moving of the little door. The door should stay open until you finish with the cleaning. If you see only black, brown or soot, powdery residue. It is easily disposed of. But you could also have creosote. This is cracking and dry to the touch in flaky and thick layers or hardened, shiny, black deposits. So, if you notice one of these things inside of your chimney you have to get rid of it.
- To remove the creosote or soot you have to use an appropriate brush. Buying a circular metal chimney brush is the right choice. But you have to know that the brushes can be found between eight and ten inches. So, you have to know the diameter of your flue, because the brush have to be an inch larger than it.
- Put on an apron.
- Sprinkle a handful of used coffee grounds on the ashes to minimize flyaways.
- Sweep each interior wall top to bottom with the fireplace brush.
- Shovel the ashes into a metal bucket.
- The best cleaning solution is a mixture of а cup of chlorine bleach and six tablespoons of trisodium phosphate diluted in a gallon of warm water. But if these substances bother you, you can use baking soda or vinegar. Start from the top to the bottom. The higher you reach the better the results will be. At the begging you may be worried about how much dirt there is. Do not stop cleaning because of the mess and you will be rally happy when you finish with this cleaning.
- When the fireplace walls are already clean you have to remove the newspapers carefully. Then put them in the trash.
- By using sponge or rag wipe down the fireplace floor and chimney walls with clean water.
- Depending on material of your fireplace door, use a proper cleaning product to remove the residuals of gunk and soot from the back and front of each door.
- Spray the tools and grates by using hearth cleaner. Then wipe down with clean paper towel or newspapers.
- Replace the grate and logs.
- Carefully ball up and throw the tarpaulin sheet.
- Take the trash can out of the house.