5 Easy Fireplace Spring Cleaning Tips Any Homeowner Can Do
While winter has come and gone, you are looking forward to enjoying the warm sunny days ahead. And cleaning your fireplace is probably the last thing on your mind. But spring is the perfect time to get your fireplace ready when cooler weather returns. And with these 5 easy spring cleaning tips, you will get the job done in no time.
Remove the Ash
The easiest way to remove the ash is to remove the grate and any other components from the firebox. After the ash has cooled, use a broom and dust bin to sweep the ash into a container for disposal. Never attempt to sweep hot ash as it could be a fire & safety hazard. Instead of disposing the ash in the trash, recycle it in your garden. Wood ash is a nutrient-rich fertilizer that helps plants grow. It also helps protect your garden against pests such as snails and slugs. Reserve a small amount of ash in a sealed metal container and store in a cool dry place. Spread the reserved ash on the floor of the firebox to help get your fire going when you’re ready to light your fireplace.
Scrub Off the Creosote
This is a dirty job, but somebody’s got to do it. Every time you burn wood a small amount of creosote sticks to the walls inside your fireplace. It needs to be scrubbed away because it is highly flammable and could spark a fire. Put on some old clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty. You will need a few supplies including gloves, protective mask, nylon scrub brush and all-purpose cleaner. Lay down a protective cover like towel or sheet on the floor to catch loosened debris. Then just start scrubbing the soot and creosote away from inside the fireplace. When you have scrubbed off as much of the loosened material as you can, spray all purpose cleaner on the walls being careful to avoid any wood. Let the cleaner penetrate the more difficult creosote for about 30 minutes. Then use your elbow grease to scrub it clean.
Don’t Be Surrounded in Soot
The outside of your fireplace is called the surround and it can get quite filthy, especially if you have your fireplace doors open during the fire. If you have a brick or masonry surround that hasn’t been cleaned in a while you can apply an all-purpose cleaner and use a nylon brush to scrub away the dirt and soot build-up. Otherwise, a few drops of mild dishwasher liquid in a small bucket of warm water and a sponge will do the trick.
Be Kind to Fireplace Doors
You can stop by our showroom and purchase fireplace cleaning solution that can be used on your fireplace doors, or you can easily make your own at home. Just add ½ cup of white vinegar in a spray bottle and fill with water. For a stronger solution, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of ammonia. This cleaning solution works on glass doors too! Then spray the cleaning solution on the fireplace doors. Allow to penetrate for about 10 minutes then wipe clean with a lint-free cloth.
Schedule an Annual Chimney Inspection
Its important to keep in mind that cleaning a fireplace yourself is not a substitute for a professional chimney cleaning and inspection. The National Fireplace Protection Association (NFPA) and fire safety professionals strongly recommend all homeowners have an annual chimney inspection and cleaning by a certified chimney sweep. Having your inspection in the spring will give you plenty of time to make any necessary safety repairs so that your fireplace will be safe to use when the cold winter season arrives.