As the weather begins to take a turn for the frostier, your fireplace will
begin to look increasingly enticing. Before you break open your woodshed
and brush the dust off your logs, you need to spend some time cleaning
and preparing for any future fires. After months of disuse, your fireplace
may have built up a surprising amount of dirt and grime that needs to
be cleaned out. Otherwise, what may start as a lovely time around the
fire could turn into a smoke-filled fire hazard. While you will want to
hire a professional chimney sweep to make sure the chimney itself is clear
of any debris or blockages, it’s easy enough to clean the actual
fireplace on your own.
The best way to protect yourself from needing to go on any mid-clean shopping
runs is to run down the necessary checklist and make sure you’re
prepared for work. The basic list includes:
- Abrasive brush or sponge
- Small broom and dustpan
- Tarp (old towels you never use will do in a pinch)
- All-purpose cleaner
- Oven cleaner (for any built up burnt material)
- Ammonia (be careful if you choose to use this – it may damage brick
- Fireplace cleaner
Now that you have your cleaning supplies, take the time to protect yourself
and your home from getting dirty. Wear clothes that you don’t mind
getting filthy, put on an old apron that you don’t mind getting
covered in soot, and lay a tarp down to cover the area immediately surrounding
your fireplace. Soot is incredibly difficult to get out of carpeting and
clothes, so if you don’t have a tarp make sure to cover the area
with old towels or clothes you don’t mind ruining.
Don’t Clean Right After A Fire: Wait at least 24 hours after your last fire to begin cleaning. If you try
to jump in right away without letting your fireplace cool off, you may
end up burning yourself.
Clear Out Debris: Make sure to have a pair of gloves ready for this part – it can be
hard to tell what you’re pulling out, and you don’t want to
start out your clean with a nasty splinter that needs to be disinfected.
Because the majority of the debris will hopefully be wood, sort the debris
into piled for disposal and for salvage – if it can still be burned,
there’s no need to let it go to waste. You may want to use a vacuum
to clear out any remaining loose debris before moving on to the next step.
Sweep It Up: Take your small broom and dustpan to thoroughly sweep out the entirety
of your fireplace, including the top, back, and sides. You may be able
to mitigate cough-inducing ash clouds by sprinkling some coffee grounds
around your fireplace to give them a more solid texture.
Start Spraying and Scrubbing: Use your all-purpose cleaner and spray down the entirety of your fireplace
before grabbing your abrasive brush or sponge. Dip it in whatever cleaner
you’ve chosen – oven, fireplace, ammonia, etc. – and
begin scrubbing. Use circular motions while scrubbing to apply this cleaner,
but be careful not to scrub too hard to avoid damaging your fireplace.
If you’re having trouble reaching any nooks and crannies, dip your
toothbrush in the cleaner and use that instead.
Now Wait: Depending on how bat the stains are, you may need to wait and let the
cleaner sit for as long as 30 minutes. Otherwise, 15 minutes should do
the trick, unless the cleaner you used has specific directions on how
long you need to wait. Once time is almost up, fill a bowl with warm or
Rinse It Down: Dip your rags in the warm or hot water and use it to wipe away the cleaner
and any remaining soot. Any stains should rub off with a bit of elbow
grease. If it’s giving you trouble, you may need to go back and
reapply cleaner, let it sit, and wipe it down again. Repeat as necessary.
While it’s important to go in with a deep clean every so often, there
are a few ways to keep your fireplace clean throughout the winter that
don’t require you to break out all of your cleaning supplies. Try
to vacuum out any built up debris once every week or so, just be sure
to give the fire at least 12 hours to completely go out before you do.
Also, try to avoid putting out your fires with water except in emergency
situations. Dumping water on it can turn the ashes into a pasty mess that
is noticeably more difficult to clean.
Keeping all parts of your home clean is an important job that needs to
be taken care of throughout the year, but your busy schedule may make
it hard to stay on top of it all the time. That’s there The Maids
Dallas is ready to jump in – our team of professionals will make
sure your home is spotless through our specialized 22-Step Healthy Touch
Deep Cleaning System.
Start your cleaning process today by filling out our online form, or give us a call at (972) 471-9509 to get a free price estimate!