Fireplaces add coziness, warmth, and value to your home. You likely enjoy this feature of your home in the colder months and know you should have an annual chimney sweeping and inspection at least once a year, preferably before lighting your first fire of the season.
But you should clean the fireplace itself more frequently, usually once a week, for optimal safety and appearances in your home. Consult with your local chimney expert to ensure you are completing this task properly.
Different types of fireplaces will require their own cleaning processes. For a wood-burning fireplace, read on to find three steps you will need to take when you clean this fixture.
Instructions to Clean Your Wood-Burning Fireplace
Sweep Lingering Ash and Soot
When it is time to clean your wood-burning fireplace, use an old sheet or trash bag to cover the surrounding area to ensure you do not track soot or debris into the rest of your home. You should remove any grates or other attachments so that you can access the entire interior of the fireplace.
Scoop out ashes or partial pieces of wood that remain in the fireplace after usage using a shovel. To ensure all embers have burned out, you should start this cleaning process 24 hours after you last used it.
Place this debris into a trash can. Then you should use a small brush to gently sweep any remaining dust and ashes inside and outside the fireplace.
Scrub the Interior of the Fireplace
With the loose debris swept away, you can clean grime and creosote build-up from the fireplace next. You should spray a specialized fireplace cleaning solution around the area.
Then use a bristled brush to scrub the fireplace, preferably working from the top to the bottom for best results. Scrub the outside of your fireplace as well. For stubborn stains within the fixture, you may need a more targeted cleanser or a pumice stone.
Clean Fireplace Attachments
The attachments for your fireplace will need cleaning as well during this process. If your fireplace has a glass door, you can use glass cleaner and paper towels to get this looking pristine.
The andirons, tools, and grate of your fireplace will also require cleaning. Dish soap and water can remove creosote and stains from these attachments effectively. Some people will also use metal polish for a beautiful finish on these items.
You should let these items and the rest of your fireplace dry for 24 hours before reattaching these fixtures and using the fireplace again. Though deep cleaning a fireplace will only need to be done once or twice a year, you should sweep and tidy the area weekly with regular usage.
Do not forget that your flue will also need routine cleaning each year. You should trust this sweeping process to professionals who can also spot potential structural problems in your chimney. Call your local chimney sweeps today for an estimate at no cost to you.