How to Clean the Fireplace?

clean fireplace
Fireplaces are a lovely addition to your home during the cold times of the year. It not only brings warmth to the room but also to the hearts of anybody that enjoys drinking a cup of tea or coffee and reading a book by the firelight.

However, when the season ends, the sad truth is many fireplaces are left with debris, charcoal, soot, stains, and overall dirtiness. Not a pleasant sight anymore! Besides, the build-up of creosote, which is an oily wood-tar by product, can make fires go out of control.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at how to clean a fireplace, including some specific situations.

A Fireplace-Cleaning Strategy

The steps below will work with most wooden fireplaces, but be sure to adapt them to your particular scenario.
  1. Ensure it’s cold - Even though it’s obvious, you should never underestimate the importance of checking whether the fireplace is cold. Ash can still be hot days after the fire is extinguished.
  2. Remove and clean the grate and andirons- You need to remove both items from the fireplace for proper cleaning, so why not give them a clean-up as well? The best option is to use detergent and water. However, if they’re made of metal that tarnishes, such as brass, use acids like vinegar or lemon juice.
  3. Remove any debris - Use a brush and shovel to remove all large pieces of debris. If you want to protect yourself from inhaling soot, consider using a mask.
  4. Remove the ashes - Now that the big pieces are gone, you can use the shovel to scoop the ashes. The best way to clean ashes from the fireplace is by using a brush to carefully remove them and scooping them with a shovel. Remember to make slow movements since it’s very light and can cause a mess on your floor. Don’t forget to have a bucket or container next to the fireplace to minimise dirt on your floor.
  5. Vacuum the soot- If you performed the previous step properly, you likely removed most of the dirtiness. Get rid of the remaining soot with a vacuum cleaner. It’s recommendable to have an appliance specific to this purpose and spare your everyday one.
  6. Use a damp cloth or sponge -  You can make your fireplace shine by using a cleaning solution after vacuuming. This is especially important if there’s still dirt or stains. You can mix equal parts of detergent and water and use it on a damp cloth. Rub stains with the cloth in a circular motion, and scrub dirty parts with the sponge.
  7. Put the andirons and grate back - All that’s left is to put these elements back into the fireplace.

That’s it!

As you can see, it’s not rocket science to clean your fireplace, but it’s easier said than done. This is because it’s challenging to handle all the dirtiness without making things worse. Besides, there are some specific issues which we’ll discuss apart from this general guide.

How to Clean a Marble Fireplace

If you have a marble mantel surrounding your fireplace, it can be very challenging to strike a balance between the marble being pristine and all the ashes and burnt material. Since marble is porous, it easily absorbs dust and dirt.

The first thing to do is to follow the steps we mentioned previously to clean the fireplace properly. Take extra care, given the porous nature of marble. When you’re finished, use a pH-neutral cleaner or detergent with water.

Apply the solution with a cloth and rub, again, in a circular motion. After you’re finished, rinse it with clean water and dry it with a soft cloth.

Removing scratches from a marble fireplace

If your precious marble has been scratched, fret not! There are two things you can try to make it look like new.

If it has light scratches, you can use elbow grease to buff them out. Use elbow grease with a damp, soft cloth and rub it over the scratches in a circular motion. Apply pressure but don’t do it too hard to prevent damage.

If it doesn't work or the scratches are deeper, you can use a marble polishing product. These are available in hardware stores, and it generally implies using the product with a soft cloth and rubbing.

Summing Up

As you can see, fireplaces require some care after the flames extinguish. You should typically do this once a year when the cold season ends or when you know you won’t be using the fireplace for some time.  If it looks like too much trouble, don’t forget we can connect you with the right cleaning professionals for the job. Simply get in touch with us today for a quote!


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