Springtime is the time to clean the fireplace in your home. With a few tools and cleaners, you can have a clean and safe fireplace to use in the fall and winter season. Wait for 24 - 48 hours after lighting a fire to make sure that the firebox and grate are completely cold before cleaning it. Here is the process to thoroughly clean a fireplace in your home:
Chimney Flue: Prior to cleaning the fireplace, hire a commercial chimney cleaner to clean the chimney flue. This will remove creosote buildup and create more draft when you light a fire next winter. While working on the flue, the chimney cleaner can inspect the exterior of the chimney for cracks or obstructions and repair them. He can also check the crown and cap to make sure they are in good repair.
Get Prepared: Cleaning the fireplace is a dirty task, so wear old clothes, an apron, and rubber gloves. Have a trash bag nearby, such as a brown grocery bag, to hold soot and debris that you remove. Gather cleaners and tools such as a fireplace cleaner (available in hardware stores), a general household cleaner, a spray bottle of warm water, a whisk broom, a paint scraper, a wire brush, an abrasive scrubber, a large sponge, and a roll of paper towels.
Empty the Firebox: Remove all unburned logs and wood from the firebox and discard. Brush off the fireplace grate, remove it from the firebox, and place it outside. Scrape off any burned on debris with a scraper. Rinse the fireplace grate with a hose and clean running water and allow it to air dry.
Brush Out the Firebox: Use a whisk broom to brush out the firebox starting at the top of the box and brushing down. This will knock off pieces of loose masonry and soot. Sweep the loosened pieces into a fireplace shovel and place in the trash bag. Sweep the floor of the firebox so that all debris is removed.
Spray the Firebox: Spray the sides of the firebox with a liquid fireplace cleaner, or a general household cleaner. Start spraying at the top of the firebox and move down the walls. Completely wet the firebox to loosen soot, smoke, and debris on the walls. Allow this cleaner to soak into the walls of the firebox for 20 - 30 minutes.
Scrape and Clean the Firebox: Use a paint scraper to loosen and remove charred soot and debris from the firebox walls. Scrape all interior fireplace bricks evenly and use a wire brush to clean between the bricks. Sweep up and discard all loosened debris and soot. Clean the firebox walls with an abrasive scrubber soaked in fireplace cleaner or general household cleaner. Use paper towels to soak up the cleaner and debris.
Clean the Fireplace Exterior: Spray the hearth, mantel, header, legs, and trim panels surrounding the firebox with a general household cleaner. Wipe these areas with an abrasive scrubber to remove smoke residue and use a wire brush if necessary. Remove all residue of the cleaner with a sponge and paper towels soaked in warm water. When the fireplace interior and exterior is completely dry, place the clean fireplace grate back into the firebox.
During the fall and winter season, keep the floor of your firebox free of ashes and debris by sweeping it out often. With a clean fireplace, flue, and chimney, you can have a safe fireplace all year long. Contact a company like Quality Fireplace and Chimney for more information and assistance.