The Dos & Don’ts of Fireplace Cleaning

You may have read our last blog about how to clean the glass on your fireplace. This one offers a list of tips, specifically dos and don’ts, for cleaning your fireplace. It’s good practice to clean your fireplace after the winter, but there are some things you should know about how to do it properly and safely. 


Know When to Clean It

Timing is key when it comes to cleaning your fireplace. As winter comes to a close and you say goodbye to your fireplace until the next season, it’s prime time to schedule a cleaning session. If you clean your fireplace yourself, ensure that all embers are fully extinguished and cooled down. Additionally, make sure there are no lingering smoke or fumes inside the chimney flue, as inhaling these remnants can pose health risks.

Clean the Firebox 

A clean firebox is essential for the efficiency, safety, and aesthetic appeal of your fireplace. Regular cleaning helps prevent the buildup of soot and creosote, reducing the risk of potential fires. To clean the firebox, mix baking soda with warm water and use a gentle scrubbing motion to remove debris. 

Clean the Surround

Make sure you also clean the bricks (or whatever surround you have) surrounding your fireplace. Begin by spraying the bricks with water and allowing them to soak for 10 minutes. Next, scrub off any stubborn spots using a mixture of warm water and baking soda. The baking soda’s gentle abrasiveness helps break down dirt, grime, and soot without damaging the surface. After removing all spots, rinse off any remaining soap and allow the bricks to air-dry completely.

*Test a small spot on the surround to make sure the mixture you use isn’t going to harm the surface.


Make a Mess

Avoid making a mess while cleaning by taking certain steps beforehand. Start by covering nearby furniture with old sheets or tarps to prevent ashes and debris from getting on them. Keep a trash can nearby for easy disposal of large wood pieces and soot. To further contain mess, sprinkle damp coffee grounds over the ashes before sweeping to facilitate easier cleaning afterward. We also recommend you wear protective gear to prevent stains from ash and debris.

Sweep Ashes Right Away

It’s important to wait at least 24 hours after the last fire before sweeping ashes. This waiting period allows all embers to extinguish and cool down fully, preventing potential flare-ups and safety hazards during cleaning.

Use Flammable Chemicals

Steer clear of abrasive or flammable chemicals to protect brickwork and other surfaces from damage. Opt for natural cleaners like a blend of warm water and baking soda, which effectively eliminates debris without causing harm. Never use flammable chemicals near a fireplace, even when it’s not in use, as this poses a significant safety risk.

Don’t Clean a Gas Fireplace the Same Way

Gas and wood-burning fireplaces are very different. So don’t clean them the same way. Never spray water or cleaner onto an electronic gas fireplace, as this could trigger a short circuit or electrical fire. Similarly, don’t use abrasive chemical cleaners on gas firebox surfaces, as they can cause permanent discoloration and damage delicate parts like grates or glass doors. We carry a special gas fireplace glass cleaner available for purchase in our showroom.

Contact Team Harding for Help & More

Now that you know how to properly and safely clean your fireplace, you can use these tips to get your fireplace shined up for next year. If you’d like to schedule a cleaning, service appointment, or you’re looking to update your fireplace, contact us. Our team can help with anything you need related to your fireplace. 

For your fireplace service needs, contact us today! 

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Team Harding is Ottawa’s go-to destination for grills, fireplaces, and outdoor heat options. We’re stocked with the brands you know and love.

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