How To Clean a Fireplace Like a Pro

The weather outside is getting frightful. And we love when the fireplace is delightful. And since we have no place to go, it’s time to clean your fireplace like a pro! A fireplace is only as good as it works. And when it gets too dirty, we could be dirtying our house but also allowing for harmful smoke and debris to be inhaled and break down our appliances. 

That’s why it is so important to learn how to clean ash from a fireplace. It’s also important to learn how to clean a gas fireplace. That’s why this is your ultimate guide to making your fireplace look brand new again. 

fireplace cleaning

How To Clean a Wood Burning Fireplace

Let’s start with the traditional fireplace since these tend to get messy. Here we can learn how to clean a fireplace brick as well as how to clean the soot off inside of a fireplace. Because wood eventually chars and becomes ashy, it creates a complete mess. First, let’s do a deep clean. Then we can look at maintaining the fireplace. 

Deep Clean

The first step to getting your fireplace nice and clean is to understand what you need to clean. Many people don’t know what soot or creosote is. 

  • Creosote is the buildup of greasy byproducts from burning wood. When too much of it does not get cleaned up, it can cause all sorts of problems, such as skin irritations, breathing difficulty, and more. 
  • Soot is more dust-like and is simply the ash that becomes of the wood burning. This is different from creosote, wood that doesn’t break down and turns into tar. 
Get Your Materials 

Here is what you need to clean the inside of a fireplace.

  • Shovel 
  • Dustpan and sweeper
  • Baking soda cleaning solution
  • Scrub brush
  • Newspapers
  • Eye goggles and mask
  • Bucket of water
The How To
  1. Start by laying newspapers around your floor to protect them from any debris or ash that comes out of the fireplace. You want to line a nice pathway from the fireplace to the nearest doorway where you will remove the soot from. Be sure to put your eye goggles and mask on next to protect your eyes and face from the debris. 
  2. Take your shovel and remove any soot and creosote from the fireplace. You can place them in trash cans or leave them outside somewhere. Remember that this isn’t the most earth-friendly stuff, so throwing it in the trash is a better option. 
  3. Next, take your sweeper and try to get any stuck on soot from the walls down. Use your dustpan to get the remaining scraps up if possible. This can take some time. Do not rush, as you don’t want to kick loose particles up into the air and out of the fireplace. 
  4. Once this is done, you can go ahead and make your cleaning product by mixing 3 tablespoons of dish soap with ½ cup of baking soda and water. Mix together to create your paste. 
  5. Take a soft bristle brush and lather the insides of the fireplace with the cleaning solution. Scrub to remove all the stuck-on particles. Have a bucket of water nearby to rinse the brush and start fresh with more paste. 

This is the best way to deep clean your wood-burning fireplace. You can let the inside air dry once you have all the muck out. 

how to clean fireplace

Regular Maintenance 

Now, figure out how often to clean the fireplace and how to clean a fireplace brick is another story. This section is your regular maintenance and covers cleaning the fireplace mantle and hearth. You should take out the soot after every use. This involves the steps of taking the shovel to dispose of any logs, soot, or creosote when it is safe. 

Deep cleans don’t need to happen as much. You can do it once a month during the heavier seasons and every few months during times of the year when you are not burning as much. 

Regular Maintenance on the Fireplace Mantel and Hearth

Get Your Materials 

Here is what you need for this part of the project. Be careful and use wet wipes that have no chemicals in them. You don’t want to use flammable products. 

  • Shop vac or vacuum
  • Dry cleaning sponge for soot
  • Wet cloth
  • Dish soap
The How To
  1. Start by vacuuming the mantel and hearth. You want to run the vacuum extension or part over the nooks and crannies multiple times. It can take a little while to get the soot to come off the brick. 
  2. Next, you can take your dry clean sponge for soot and smoke and rub it over the mantel and hearth. This is a sponge specifically designed for this. It absorbs the smoke damage and soot right into itself. It is not wet, so there is no need to wet it. 
  3. Now, after you are done, take a wet cloth and run it over the hearth and mantel to get up any remainder. This will make the entire outside look new and squeaky clean. You can also use some dish soap here as well. Just be sure to get any suds up. 
how to clean a fireplace

Cleaning A Gas Fireplace

Cleaning a gas fireplace is completely different than cleaning a wood burning. For starters, it is a lot easier because there is not much to clean up. But you do need to be careful when you do this. 

You will occasionally want to clean your gas fireplace because dirt and debris build-up. This can create problems in the mechanics. For a simple and quick cleanup, it can save you a lot of money. A broken gas fireplace can sometimes cost hundreds or thousands of dollars to repair. 

Get Your Materials 

This is the list of items you need to clean the gas fireplace. 

  • Shop vac or vacuum
  • Wet wipe 
The How To
  1. Make sure the gas fireplace is completely cool and off before dismantling any parts on the inside. Some gas fireplaces have lets that can be taken out. This is best for cleaning all around, but if you are not sure, do not dismantle anything 
  2. Run a vacuum in and around the fireplace to get up cobwebs and any dust. If you have left any pieces in, be sure not to jab or try to force the vacuum in areas it does not fit. 
  3. You don’t need to use wet wipes for the inside of the fireplace. You also don’t need a soot dry sponge. It’s better not to use anything wet on the inside because of the gas flame. Wet wipes are only for the exterior glass. 
how to clean fireplace glass

How to Clean a Fireplace Glass

Cleaning a fireplace glass is as easy as it comes. All you need to do is get a wet wipe or a damp towel and run it over the glass to ensure the dust gets up. You should take a dry towel and wipe it down afterward as well. To let it dry, leave the doors open. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Cleaning a fireplace can seem like a pain in the neck job. That’s why we have compiled a list of common questions and answers for your benefit. 

How to Clean a Fireplace Chimney?

The chimney is something that is harder to clean as a homeowner. Many people go to a professional for this service. If you want to do it yourself, you will use a wire brush to poke up into the flu and move around. This should cause some of the ash and debris for wood-burning fireplaces to come down. You’ll need to get this up with a dustpan. 

Be careful with this because you need to reach into the fireplace in order to do this. You don’t want the ash and particles to fall back down into your face. Wear goggles and a mask to protect yourself from breathing it in or getting in your eyes. 

How Much Does it Cost to Clean a Fireplace?

If you have the money to hire a professional, letting them do the dirty work is never a bad idea. On average, it will cost around $350 for the fireplace to be cleaned. The range is wide, though, with services falling between $100 and $400. You can call a professional ahead of time and ask for a quote before you commit to anything. 

It can save a lot of money if you divide to do the process yourself because regardless of which type of fireplace you have, you need to give it a few good cleanings a year. 

How Do I Find Fireplace Cleaning Near Me?

The best way to find a good fireplace cleaning service is to Google “fireplace cleaning near me.” From here, you can go ahead and look at their websites as well as look at reviews. Just remember to call and ask what types of services they offer and how much they will be charging. Sometimes all you need is someone to clean the flu, and you can do the rest of the work. 

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