How to Clean a Fireplace

Steps for Cleaning a Fireplace

By Mark J. Donovan

In order to prevent the risk of chimney fires, and to minimize the amount of soot and dust particles floating around in your home, it is important to regularly clean your fireplace.

Cleaning a fireplace starts by laying out a large drop cloth over the hearth area. Once the drop cloth is in place begin cleaning the fireplace by removing the large pieces of residual wood and any ash that are sitting in the fireplace pit.

You will need a brush, pan and a bucket to collect the ashes. With some fireplaces, they have built in pits where you can sweep the ashes into.

There is usually a small service door on the chimney located in the basement where you can periodically clean it out.

The next step in cleaning a fireplace is to vacuum the fireplace with a shop vacuum. Don’t use your regular vacuum as the ash will quickly clog up your vacuum.

If you want to clean the fireplace walls, use a solution of water and bleach.

Finally, use a window cleaner to clean any glass or metal surfaces on the outside of the fireplace.

Besides cleaning the fireplace itself, it is also important to clean the chimney flue. Creosote can build up in the chimney and cause a chimney fire. You can either hirer a chimney sweep or do it yourself.

To clean the chimney flue you will need to access your chimney from the top and use a steel chimney brush to clean the flue. Make sure when cleaning the chimney that your first shield the opening of the fireplace to prevent the ash from spreading all over the inside of the home.

If you have plans of cleaning the fireplace chimney flue do this first before cleaning the fireplace.

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