How to Clean Your Solid Fuel Fireplace without Professional Help
Aside from the warm fuzzy treats we have during winters, nothing makes it better than the homey warmth that is emitted from a fireplace. However, now that winter is fast approaching again, we discover how dirty the fireplace is and panic to get it cleaned. Fireplaces are ideally best inspected and cleaned right after winters but not all of us has the time to do that. Sometimes we just tend to forget due to overwhelming schedules.
Another main reason for putting off the cleaning of their fireplace is strict budget. You don’t need to hire professional fireplace cleaners! You can do it on your own easily. It is also not as time consuming as one might think. The longer you put off the cleaning and allow the soot and dirt to stay there, the harder it will be to clean your fireplace. Neglecting your fireplace is just not an option. If you fail to maintain your fireplace, you will end up paying sky high amounts of money for professional cleaning services, fixing services and worst, you will have to get a new fireplace. Here are some tips on how you can clean your fireplace without professional help:
Check for debris: If you don’t use your fireplace that often, birds and other animals can bring materials that will block your chimney and this can be very dangerous. It is therefore important to keep checking for such materials as it might bring in health hazardous things like dust and parasites. You can easily do this by going up on your roof and clearing the debris with a stick or a broom. For the future, you can use chimney nets to prevent animals from bringing debris.
Clear your firebox: The firebox is where the wood in your fireplace actually burns. This area of the fireplace should be cleaned and inspected at least twice per week. After the winter season however, the firebox should be kept 100% clean and free of any kind of dirt. Scrape the andirons and sweep the firebox with special firebox broom and dusters. Before doing this, make sure that you line the fireplace with a newspaper or cloth so the ashes do not scatter everywhere.
Clean your bricks: To soften the soot that is stuck on your bricks, use a wire brush and gently scrub it with baking soda diluted in warm water. Then scrub the bricks gently as the soot softens up. Playdoh clays can also be used for stains that cannot be removed by brush and the baking soda mixture. Just stick them to the stained area and peel it off.
Remove the creosote: Creosote is the resulting by-product of the wood that has burned down in your fireplace. If the creosote is not cleaned off of your fireplace, it can cause the room to smell horribly during humid seasons. Baking soda and warm water paste can effectively clean creosote. If not, you can substitute the baking soda and warm water paste with basic dish-washing soap.