Thursday, January 24, 2013

How to Clean your Fireplace

Cleaning out a fireplace can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn't have to be.

What you need to get started cleaning:
Dish Washing Liquid
Fireplace Tool Set
Glass Cleaner
Paper Towels
Plastic Tarp
Rubber Gloves
Scrub Brush
Soft Cloth
Spray Bottle full of water
Trash can with a lid
Used Coffee Grounds
An apron or smock to keep your clothes clean
Something soft to kneel on to save your knees, optional but recommended.

How to Clean your Fireplace:
Be sure to allow your fireplace to cool for at least 24 hours after your last fire before you attempt to clean it.
Place your tarp in front of your fireplace, this will help you to catch ashes and keep the area around the fireplace clean.
Lay out your tarp in front of the fireplace to catch ashes, etc.

Remove your fireplace screen, leftover firewood, tinder, and the fireplace grate. Set these on your tarp.
Throw out any badly burnt firewood, if there is firewood that is still burnable you can keep it.
Used coffee grounds should be sprinkled over the ashes to keep them from blowing around and creating a larger mess.
Using your brush from your fireplace tool set, sweep out your fireplace starting at the top of each interior wall and work your way down and out.
Shovel the ashes into a pan and dump them into the trash or into your compost pile if you have one.
Sweep off your fireplace screen to remove any dirt and debris on it.

On the brick of your fireplace's exterior you will need to spray water onto any sooty areas. If your fireplace is less than 50 years old you can use a hearth cleaner, if it is older than that you will want to use only water. Scrub with your scrub brush, spray with more water than use your soft cloth to dry it. If your fireplace has an iron exterior you will spray it with hearth cleaner, rinse with water, and dry off with your paper towels. For marble, spray with water and wipe down with your dish washing liquid and soft cloth. Spray to rinse and dry with paper towels.
For fireplaces with glass doors, clean them with hearth cleaner, front and back, be sure to remove the cleaner before it dries. (You can also try the method we talked about previously in Wood Stove Glass Cleaning Tip we haven't tried this method ourselves yet, so use your own best judgement.)
Lay your fireplace tools on the tarp, spray with hearth cleaner and wipe clean with your paper towels.
Place your grate and still good firewood back into your fireplace.

Once you dispose of all the debris on your tarp you are officially finished with cleaning your fireplace.

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