How to Clean and Maintain a Fireplace

The fireplace is the heart of many homes, especially during winter and fall when everyone needs warmth. For top-notch functionality, a fireplace requires regular cleaning and maintenance. A well-cleaned and maintained fireplace is magnificent for homeowners and their potential guests.

Due to the sharpness of fireplaces in a room, homeowners should maintain their exteriors, including the mantel and its surroundings. Wooden fireplace surrounding requires regular dusting to keep them shiny, whereas marble ones can be cleaned with a soft damp cloth to eliminate any marks on the surroundings.

Other common materials found in a fireplace’s surroundings are stones which can be easily cleaned by applying warm water, and cast iron which is mainly cleaned by putting oil in small amounts on the surfaces. The oil will remove dirt marks and scratches on the fireplace’s surroundings, keeping them all sparkling.

Follow this guideline to grasp how to clean and maintain wood, gas, and electric fireplaces to increase their longevity and acquire the value of your money back.

1. Turn Off the Fireplace

Turning off the fire place is the first step in cleaning, regardless of the type you have. Cleaning the fireplace should be part of your regular house cleaning routine, even when unused. For wood fireplaces, you should let the surface cool completely 24 hours after your last session with the appliance.

Most gas and electric fireplaces have a manual switch on and off the system, while others use a remote-control mechanism. Whether undertaking a thorough or minor cleaning, the most standard requirements for the entire process are a bucket, warm water, spray bottle, dish soap, fireplace glass cleaner, paper towel, bleach, shop vacuum, dustpan and hand broom. For your safety, having a fireplace shovel, trash can, and safety gloves will ensure maximum safety.

2. Dis-assemble the Fireplace

After turning off the fireplace, the next step is disassembling the part for easier access to the inner side of the appliance.

If the fireplace has a baby gate and a front glass panel, as seen in many gas and electric fireplaces, you should open it carefully for separate cleaning. You will take the logs out and other decorations around the area in wood-burning ones.

3. Brushing and Vacuuming

Now that you have free access to the fireplace interior, you can comfortably start cleaning by brushing off dust and dirt from the surfaces. A standard broom and dustpan can perform excellently for wood-burning fireplaces, while gas and electric ones require a small brush or cloth to wipe off dust.

The dusting stage also allows you to inspect any issues, such as burns, breakages, or cracks within the fireplaces, that must be addressed immediately or after cleaning. You can vacuum the surfaces to eliminate even the tiniest dust particles for greater results.

4. Wipe the Surfaces

The wiping step can be done with an ordinary piece of cloth and the right cleaning solution. While wood-burning fireplaces work well with warm water, the combination should be highly avoided for electric ones due to their associated risks.

You can use a dry cloth or a blend of a fireplace cleaning solution and a piece of cloth for greater results. Your cleaning agent should be free from any explosive ingredients, even at the smallest percentage.

5. Cleaning the Surroundings

After cleaning the fireplace satisfactorily, you should proceed to the surrounding surfaces, mantle and hearth. Ensure to follow the appropriate soot remote procedure depending on the type of surfaces your fireplace hosts.

When done with the entire fireplace and its surroundings, you can comfortably re-assemble the accessories and turn the appliance on to check its functionality. However, fireplaces with pending issues should be attended to before reassembling to keep them safe for homeowners.

6. Maintain the Fireplace

Besides regular cleaning of fireplaces, whether gas, wood, or electric, they require special maintenance to increase their lifespan and safety for users. Maintenance, in this case, refers to paying attention to the performance of your fireplace, relating to the colour of its flames, any sounds produced when burning, and the burning rate. A standard fireplace flame should be blue with a tiny yellow tip, although some manufacturers have introduced adjustable flames as part of recent developments.

Correct installation of the right smoke and carbon monoxide detectors ensures homeowners’ maximum safety when using the fireplaces. Alongside cleaning your fireplace regularly, you should practice regular inspection of the appliance for maximum safety.

Experts have approved once to twice-a-year fireplace inspections by qualified and experienced experts instead of doing it yourself. The professional can detect cracks and other malfunctions that a homeowner might not realize, providing a long-lasting solution.

Another fireplace maintenance tip is ensuring the chimney is free from any obstructions that could prevent it from functioning as required. Some common obstructions in fireplace chimneys are cobwebs, dust, leaves, soil particles, bird nests, and sticks.