Skip to content
How to Clean a Fireplace

How to Clean a Fireplace

To ensure safety and efficiency, fireplaces require both regular and seasonal maintenance and cleaning. It's a good thing you can clean your fireplace from the comfort of your own home, and it's a lot easier once you get used to it. But don't worry if you're new to this, this article will guide you on how to clean a fireplace – whether it's a wood-burning fireplace, gas fireplace, electric fireplace, or fireplace inserts.

Note: All of the cleaning instructions for a fireplace may or may not be applicable to every fireplace. Always refer to the manufacturer's manual for specific instructions.

How to clean a fireplace

How to Clean a Wood-Burning Fireplace

Nothing beats the warm crackle and glow of a traditional wood-burning fireplace. But the more you use wood, the more ash, soot, dust, and creosote accumulates. Regular maintenance will ensure that it runs as safely and efficiently as possible. Here's how to clean a wood-burning fireplace.

How to Clean a Wood-Burning Fireplace

  • Any fire should be extinguished. Spread the embers out with a fireplace shovel or poker and cover them with ash to smother the fire. You can also apply a thin layer of baking soda. Allow them to cool and wait for 24 hours before you start cleaning.
  • Remove all burnt wood and dispose of them.
  • Pull out the fireplace grate and andirons and remove as much ash and debris from the firebox.
  • Sweep up all of the dust and ash with a broom and dustpan. You can use a vacuum cleaner like a hand vacuum or shop vacuum to thoroughly get rid of all residue.
  • Use a deep cleaning solution that you can buy at your local store or make your own by mixing dish soap, heavy-duty cleaner, and warm water in a large bucket.
  • Scrub the inside of the fireplace using a stiff-bristled brush and cleaning solution. Begin from the top and work your way down. Repeat this process a few times if necessary.
  • Using a dish soap-soaked sponge or pumice stone, clean the bricks surrounding the fireplace. You can use a trisodium phosphate cleanser for extremely stubborn soot spots.
  • If your fireplace has glass doors, clean them with glass cleaner and paper towels. Alternatively, soak a paper towel in warm water and rub the ash and fingerprints away until they are gone. Polish and dry with a paper towel.
  • Clean the andirons, grate, and other tools with dish soap and water. Apply a coat of metal polish if needed.
  • Allow the walls and floor of your fireplace to dry completely.

 

How to Clean a Gas Fireplace

Gas fireplaces provide heat without the smoke or ash that a wood fireplace produces. It's a more efficient and speedier technique to heat a room. However, dust, dirt, and soot can accumulate over time. The glass door of a fireplace can also get milky or fogging as a result of gas combustion. The following is a guide on cleaning a gas fireplace.

How to Clean a Gas Fireplace

  • Switch off the gas valve and allow the burners to be completely cool before cleaning.
  • Vacuum the area around the fireplace and vents, as well as around and beneath the gas grate and unit, to remove soot, dust, and debris. If you have a flue liner, don't forget to vacuum it too.
  • Remove the gas logs with care and place them on a cloth. Dust the gas logs with a dry brush or towel.
  • Collect any stones, glass rocks, lava rocks, and other fire media in a container filled with cleaning solution and water, then swish around to clean them. Rinse and air dry them on a cloth.
  • Scrub or wipe off soot and grime from the walls and floor of your fireplace with a cleaning solution. Begin from the top and work your way down. Repeat this process a few times if necessary.
  • Keep the gas unit and grate from becoming too wet by lightly spraying them with a cleaning solution and wiping debris away with a clean cloth.
  • If you have glass doors, clean them with a glass cleaner and microfiber cloth. You can find fireplace glass cleaners at any local store. Alternatively, use warm water and rub it with a paper towel until the residues are gone. Polish and dry with a paper towel.
  • Clean the andirons, grate, and other tools with dish soap and water. Apply a coat of metal polish if needed.
  • Allow the walls and floor of your fireplace to dry completely.
  • Place back the logs, fire media, andirons, or other accessories in the fireplace.

Note: If a gas fireplace's logs or ports aren't positioned properly, soot can build up. Consult a plumber to check on it and ensure your gas fireplace line is in good working condition.

 

How to Clean an Electric Fireplace

Electric fireplaces are cleaner than gas or wood fireplaces since they use a heater to warm the air. They do, however, require cleaning just like any other aspect of the house. Learn how to clean an electric fireplace with these simple steps.

Note: If you have a wall-mounted electric fireplace, follow the manufacturer's instructions on how to open it.

How to Clean an Electric Fireplace

  • Before you begin cleaning your electric fireplace, make sure the unit is turned off and unplugged and allow the unit to cool completely.
  • Check the cables or plugs. Damaged or frayed cables and plugs, if not addressed, can create a fire hazard. If this occurs, get your electric fireplace repaired or replaced by a professional before using it again.
  • Dust your logs, andirons, and fire media with a dry brush or clean cloth. Apply a coat of metal polish to your andirons if needed/applicable.
  • Use a vacuum cleaner to clean the area inside and outside the fireplace, as well as the vents, and then wipe with a clean damp cloth.
  • Clean the glass panel and doors with a glass cleaner and cloth or paper towels.

 

Other Important Tips

  • Clean the glass and dust your fireplace once a week.
  • Protect your flooring from drips by using a drop cloth or a plastic cover over your work area. Furniture and carpets should be moved as well, and a waste bag or bucket should be kept on hand.
  • Cleaning a fireplace is a messy job. Protect yourself by wearing old clothes, cleaning gloves, eye protection, and a face mask, especially if you are using any abrasive cleaners.
  • Fireplaces, chimneys, flues, and vents need cleaning and inspection at least once a year. It’s a good idea to have this done when the weather starts to get chilly.
  • Hire a professional to inspect and clean your chimney. This will clear the chimney of highly combustible creosote accumulation and prevent mechanical or structural concerns with your fireplace or woodstove.
  • Animals and birds can create nests in the chimney, which can cause a hazard. Install a chimney cap to keep birds, leaves, and animals out.
  • Install a fireplace screen to keep smoldering embers from burning the hearth or floors.
  • Install a carbon monoxide detector and make sure it is operational.
  • Be aware of fireplace safety practices and precautions. If you want to learn about fireplace safety, check our article here: Fireplace Safety Tips For All Types of Fireplaces

Although cleaning the fireplace may seem like a difficult task, it can be completed in just less than a day. It's a wonderful feeling to know that your home feels and looks amazing thanks to your polished and pristine fireplace.

Previous article How to Childproof a Fireplace
Next article Fireplace Safety Tips For All Types of Fireplaces

Leave a comment

Comments must be approved before appearing

* Required fields