The arrival of good weather marks the end of the heating season, and when we’re not going to use our fireplace for a long period of time, it’s also time to do some cleaning. The truth is, we love using our fireplaces and enjoying the warmth they provide, but cleaning them is not as enjoyable, right? All the soot and ash accumulated over months can be quite a tedious task.
That being said, cleaning and sweeping a fireplace is not something that requires too much time. In a couple of hours, we can have it completely clean and ready to be lit again, so it can be compared to any other household cleaning task. Today at HotFireDoor, we’ll tell you how to clean a fireplace to have it ready at the beginning of the season.
First steps to clean a fireplace
The first thing to do is to make sure the fireplace is completely cold, as well as the ashes inside.
Then, with a brush and a shovel, we sweep the interior thoroughly. We can also use a vacuum cleaner if we have one. We remove the tray and do the same as with the interior of the fireplace.
Once we have removed the soot as much as possible, either by ourselves or by hiring professional chimney sweeping services, we proceed to continue with a more thorough cleaning.
Brushing the chimney
With the help of a wire brush, such as the ones used for barbecues, for example, we scrub until we remove all the particles adhered to the surfaces. Some may require some effort, but with a good brush, the task will be done better. We remove everything that accumulates with the brush or the vacuum cleaner inside and outside until we reach the final stage, the combustion chamber.
Cleaning the combustion chamber of the chimney
When we reach the combustion chamber itself, there are certain products that we can use to facilitate the cleaning process. Choosing a specific one depends on us, actually. Some of the most commonly used options are vinegar with trisodium phosphate mixed in warm water. Other people use a mixture of bleach and hot water.
A piece of advice: no matter what, never mix vinegar with bleach or ammonia, as this generates a chemical reaction that produces toxic vapors that can be lethal. We rub with a hard-bristle brush, but not wire, all over the chamber after letting the chosen product act for a few minutes on the entire surface. Ideally, soak for at least 15 minutes after applying the product to let it work well, so it’s a good time to take a break.
When we finish scrubbing, we’ll clean again with our favorite cleaning product, rinsing afterwards with clean, warm water until the chimney is completely clean. We leave it open to air dry completely.
Once finished, we close the chimney damper to prevent anything from entering the house through the chimney during the summer, and we clean the door and close it until the cold returns and we have to once again enjoy the warmth of our wood-burning fireplace.