How to Clean Your Older Fireplace

List: Posted: 03/18/11

Do you have an older fireplace in your home that is dirty and soot filled but that you think would look great with a little bit of hard work?  Perhaps you want it to function again, or perhaps you just want it to look better than it does.  At any rate, you need to know how to get it clean without calling in a professional chimney cleaning company.  

One of the very first things you will want to do is to remove everything from around the fireplace, such as the grating.  Put down some old newspapers or a plastic sheet to protect your carpet or flooring, and then remove any old coals or ashes from the fireplace. 

 

Once the fireplace has been swept out and vacuumed, use a wire brush to scrub the walls.  Reach well up and scrub the flue, and make sure the shutoff flue doors are operational and aren't stuck shut.  These will need to be open if you light a fire or the smoke will go out into your room rather than up the chimney!

 

Because the soot will fall and stain as you clean, you will want to start at the top and work your way downwards.  You can use bleach if needed to help clean, but ensure that you dilute it with water.

Once all of the major scrubbing is done, use clean water and paper towels to wash the walls and remove any leftover soot.  Clean your grates using a garden hose and wire brush or soak it in your bathtub.  Once all of these things are cleaned, you will be able to replace your gate. 

 

Your fireplace should now look excellent again, and can make a lovely conversation starter or even provide you and your loved ones with added warmth and comfort this winter.

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