Winter’s coming and it’s time to take care of chores you might have forgotten completely about over the summer. One of these is cleaning your fireplace. MyMove.com and Lowe’s Home Improvement have some handy suggestions:
Fall is the perfect time to prepare your home for winter, and this includes performing fireplace maintenance. Get a jump on cold weather, and ensure your fireplace is functioning safely and properly. Minimize dust and soot in your home by giving it a good cleaning.
Tools and Materials
Goggles or protective eyewear
Plastic drop cloth or Old Sheet (to cover hearth and floor)
Nylon scrub brush
Vacuum with a hose extension or a hand-vac
Trisodium Phosphate (TSP) or another heavy-duty cleaner
1- or 2-gallon plastic bucket
Metal polish (optional)
Remove Soot and Debris From Your Fireplace
Before cleaning your fireplace, follow these steps to remove soot and debris:
Remove the andirons and grate from your fireplace and take them outside. Scrub them with a nylon brush to remove soot. Rinse them with water and wipe dry. Apply a metal polish for extra shine.
Wear protective eyewear or goggles and a facemask to prevent the inhalation of ashes and dust. Cover the hearth and the floor around the fireplace with a drop cloth or newspaper. Use a fireplace shovel to remove piles of ashes and debris, and discard in the trash can.
Scrub the walls of the fireplace with a nylon brush after the ashes and debris are removed.
Use a vacuum or hand-vac to remove excess dust.
Deep-Clean Your Fireplace
After dust and debris have been removed, it’s time to thoroughly clean your fireplace:
Use a mixture of warm water, bleach and TSP to deep-clean your fireplace walls and floor. Mix 6 tablespoons of TSP, 1 cup of bleach and 1 gallon of warm water into the plastic bucket.
Dip a nylon brush into the bucket, and use the solution to scrub the walls and floor of your fireplace until they’re clean. Remember to wear rubber gloves while doing this. Some older fireplaces may contain stains you can’t remove.
Rinse the walls and floor with clean water and towel dry.
Replace the grate and andirons.