Cleaning the Fire Place

Cleaning the fire place will not only prevent soot and other debris from being tracked all over your house but it can help make sure no dangerous buildup occurs that can lead to unpleasant fumes or a fire getting out of control. If you perform this task regularly then your chore will be no more difficult than changing door locks or purchasing a soot eraser and going over the walls to remove any buildup. However, if you have had several fires recently or have not cleaned out your fire place in some time you will need to put a bit more work into the job.

Step By Step Instructions

Since the cleaning process will be messy, you will probably want to wear old cloths and latex gloves and cover the area in front of your fireplace with a sturdy tarp. Keep a garbage can nearby as well so you can quickly dispose of debris. If you are using a fire place cleaning solution such as tri-sodium phosphate (TSP) you may also wish to wear protective eye-ware. Do not perform this task until you are absolutely sure there are no hot coals remaining in your fire place.

Remove your fire place irons, andirons and grate and take them outside. Scrub them down with a wire brush to remove any excess soot. If you have brass irons you may also wish to polish them. Set these aside and reinstall them when you have finished the rest of your cleaning.

Shovel all the excess ashes into your trash can. Sweep or vacuum up any loose dust that remains. Use the wire brush to scrub off the soot clinging to the fireplace walls, which you can then sweep up and dispose of with the rest of your ashes.

If you are looking to deep clean your fire place, you will need a TSP solution to remove stains on the brick. Be very careful with this substance as it can burn if it comes in contact with your skin or eyes. It will also damage any paint or dye it comes in contact with so be sure to lay down newspapers before you get started and avoid splashing Read the label carefully so you are aware of the instructions and what to do if you get some of the substance somewhere it should not be.

Mix a batch of the TSP solution according to the instructions on your package. Start at the top of your fire place and scrub the walls down, working your way to the floor. If a fire place has seen a great deal of use it is likely that the walls will remain black. You will know the walls are clean when your solution is no longer removing residue.

When you are finished scrubbing make sure you dispose of all newspapers and other debris safely. TSP is not flammable when dry so you do not need to worry about the papers igniting in your garbage but you will need to dilute any leftover solution before pouring it down the drain to make sure there will be no issue. Do not pour out this substance anywhere a person or animals may come in contact with it.

If cleaning the fire place is part of your regular routine then it is likely that you will not need to put a great deal of physical effort into cleaning. Be aware of what the best tools are for the materials your fire place is made of. This will make the process that much quicker and easier when it comes time to scrub down your fire place.

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