Fireplaces have been used since the 1700s to heat houses. These initial fireplaces weren’t the most effective heating method as the chimneys would pull cold air into the house which would replace the warm air. This meant people needed to burn a lot more wood to ensure their homes stayed warm during cold nights.
These days fireplaces are designed much better and keep homes toasty for hours on end. But during the winter months, many people forget they need to do a thorough fireplace cleaning to ensure everything is still working as it should. The buildup of soot and creosote can also be a hazard as they are highly combustible.
Keep reading to find out more about essential fireplace cleaning tips to help you keep your home dirt free.
Sweep the Interior of Your Fireplace
Before you start scrubbing, you need to sweep the interior of your fireplace. Use a brush and ash pail to remove all the ashes and debris from your fireplace, taking care to brush down the sides. You want to remove as much of the combustible materials as possible.
Creosote is a combustible material that gets left over in your fireplace and chimney that needs to be removed periodically. If your chimney hasn’t been used in a while, you can remove most of the buildup when sweeping your fireplace.
Creosote can appear light and fluffy, or tar-like. If the creosote resembles fluffy soot, you’ll be able to easily brush it away by dislodging clumps with your brush.
When cleaning your fireplace, you shouldn’t use your vacuum to get rid of the ash dust. The filters in most vacuums aren’t designed for these particles, so you’ll just end up spreading the ash throughout your home.
For the best cleaning, you should either stick to a brush or purchase a vacuum designed to clean fireplaces.
Tackle the Creosote
If you leave the creosote in your chimney, it will start to build up. If the creosote buildup becomes too thick it can be a serious fire hazard.
If brushing the buildup didn’t get rid of it you’ll need to use some elbow grease. You’ll need a quality wire brush to scrub away at the buildup. At this point, the buildup might be brittle and flake off if you apply some force to the area.
If the buildup is more tar-like in appearance, you will need to be extremely cautious. This buildup is a highly concentrated fuel and you should not use your fireplace if you notice this buildup. For best results, you should contact a professional to safely remove the buildup.
Clean the Fireplace Glass
Most modern fireplaces have glass doors to keep the heat in and as a safety precaution. As you use the fireplace, the glass will get dirty and stained. If you have a wood fireplace, you’ll start to notice soot and ash stains, whereas a gas fireplace will develop a cloudy appearance over time.
The easiest way to clean the glass of your fireplace is to remove it (if possible) This way, you can take the glass door outside while cleaning. This will reduce the change of ash or soot spreading during the cleaning process.
If you can’t remove the door, you’ll simply need to be careful and vacuum the room afterward.
When cleaning the glass, you should avoid cleaners that contain ammonia. If any ammonia is left behind, it can cause permanent etches on your glass when you light your next fire. Most common window cleaners contain ammonia, so you might need to purchase a specialized appliance cleaner.
If you can’t find a suitable cleaning product, you can make your own vinegar cleaning solution. You should regularly clean the glass of your fireplace to ensure there are no cracks.
Hire a Professional
The easiest way to ensure your fireplace is as clean as can be is to hire a professional cleaning team to take care of it for you. Cleaning a fireplace can be dirty work and takes time and patience to do properly. You also need to clean your fireplace semi-regularly, so it’s not like you can simply take one afternoon a year off to do it.
One of the benefits of hiring professional cleaners is that they have the tools and skills needed to clean messes that you wouldn’t even know how to tackle. Your fireplace will be cleaned from top to bottom, and all flammable and combustible materials will be taken care of.
You can sit back and relax while someone else ensures your fireplace is soot free. You can even consider hiring a cleaning team to clean your entire house to ensure none of the fireplace soot has made it into the rest of your home. This way, your house will feel clean, and you’ll be ready to light a new fire when the weather calls for it.
Fireplace Cleaning Made Easy
When it comes to fireplace cleaning, you can’t just dust the area every few weeks. You need to properly clean your entire fireplace to ensure you remove all the soot, debris, and creosote. If you don’t properly maintain your fireplace you run the risk of damaging your fireplace and possibly starting a home fire.
If you’re ready to hire a professional cleaning service to come and take care of your fireplace, contact us now. At Dirt Busters, we strive to clean what you need, when you need it.