Tips On Cleaning A Fireplace
It does not matter how often you use your fireplace, you need to keep it clean since miniscule particulates of ash and soot can drift and fall all over your room. Keeping this in mind, you should clean your fireplace every now and then, particularly if you use it regularly. The cleaning procedure is quite simple, but takes some time, and is a dirty job too. Warning! Never attempt to clean your fireplace if you have just used it. Before cleaning a fireplace, let it first cool down. Here are some tips, following which will help you during the cleaning process, and get the job completed quickly.
Never try to clean a hot fireplace. Wait for a minimum of two days from the time you last extinguished the fire before commencing the cleaning process. Find out old clothes that you no longer need and wear them during the cleaning process. It is strongly suggested that you wear a face mask too as well as a shampoo mask. The former protects soot from entering your nostrils and the latter prevents soot from depositing on your hair.
Close the windows and doors of your house during the fireplace cleaning process and ensure that you switch off the fans in your room. This prevents gusts of winds from scattering ash and soot throughout your house. Remember, particles of dust depositing on curtains and upholstery are extremely tough to remove.
Protect your carpet by covering it with a plastic sheet or old newspapers. Soot being extremely light will float for some distance from the fireplace while you are cleaning it, even if you have the fans turned off and the doors and windows closed. Covering the carpet before the cleaning job prevents the extra task of cleaning the carpet too. Mind you, cleaning soot covered carpets or rugs is not a pleasant task, and you might have to call professionals.
Keep a scooping tool such as a shovel as well as a receptacle such as a bucket or trash bin handy. You will require the former to transfer your fireplace’s ashes into the receptacle. Cover the receptacle carefully, take it outside, and empty the ashes. This prevents soot from floating in the air inside your room. Idea! In case you have a compost heap and acidic soil, dump the ashes into the compost heap to reduce the acidic pH level of the soil. Alert! Never try to dump ash during dry and windy weather conditions; else, soot will scatter all over the exterior of your home, and might enter its interior too.
Use a vacuum cleaner to suck up the remaining particulates of ash and soot. You might try your best to remove soot with a scooping tool, but you will eventually need a vacuum cleaner to suck out the leftover soot and ashes. Alert! Traces of soot will still remain in your fireplace even after vacuuming it.
Use soap and water to clean out the remaining soot residue. If you have a brick, cement, or stone fireplace, you can scrub it gently with a wire brush. However, you should use a piece of soft cloth dipped in a solution of lemon juice, baking soda, and water to clean fireplaces made from materials such as slate, tile, and marble.
Take this opportunity to clean accessories like irons and grate. Take them outside and wash them with a solution of water and soap. You can also use special cleaning solutions available in the market. Clean brass accessories with a soft cloth and a mixture of water, lemon juice, and baking soda.
Hire a chimney sweeper to clean the inside of the chimney to remove the buildup of grime and soot before you start cleaning a fireplace, as this helps you avoid cleaning the soot dropping into the fireplace during the chimney cleaning process.