Fireplaces bring families together to enjoy the warmth and comfort together. To keep enjoying the time together around the fire, it is best to have a routine cleaning scheduled. The cleanings or sweeps keep the lifespan of the chimney and fireplace system to last longer.
Below is a helpful guide on how to maintain the functionality of your chimney and fireplace system.
Cleaning Your Gas Fireplace
Gas fireplaces have many benefits. They provide the heat of a wood fireplace without the smoke and ash typically associated with a wood fireplace. However, like every appliance, they can become dirty over time. In addition to the usual debris, a fireplace’s glass door can become foggy due to the chemicals present in natural gas products. To clean your gas fireplace, follow these steps:
- Turn off the gas valve and make sure the burners are completely cooled before attempting to clean.
- Vacuum around the fireplace to rid the area of any debris and dust. Open the fireplace door or doors and, using a dry paintbrush or cloth, dust off the ceramic logs and the gate if you have one.
- Most of the time, paper towels and glass cleaner will take care of any fog or buildup on the glass screen. However, if your glass is still foggy, you can purchase a fireplace glass cleaner.
- Thoroughly clean the andirons and any fireplace tools with dish soap and finish with metal polish if desired.
Cleaning Your Electric Fireplace
Unlike gas or wood fireplaces, electric fireplaces use a heater to warm the area. Although they tend to be cleaner than other types of fireplaces, they also need to be cleaned and maintained. Here are some steps to clean your electric fireplace:
- Make sure the fireplace is turned off.
- Open or remove the glass doors.
- Dust areas such as the logs, andirons, and hearth with a clean, dry cloth.
- Vacuum out vents with a hand vacuum or vacuum hose attachment.
- Clean the glass doors using glass cleaner and paper towels or a dry cloth.
Cleaning Your Wood Fireplace
Although there are several different types of fireplaces nowadays, many homes have traditional, wood-burning fireplaces. If you have a wood fireplace, follow these steps to clean it:
- Make sure any fire is extinguished. Use a fireplace shovel to spread embers and cover them with ash or baking soda. Wait 24 hours after the fire has been extinguished to begin cleaning.
- Make a deep-cleaning solution: dish soap, ¼ cup heavy-duty cleaner, and 1 gallon of warm water.
- Remove any burnt wood with a fireplace shovel and your hands.
- Remove the andirons and fireplace grate. Try to knock off as much ash and debris as possible into the fireplace.
- Using a broom and dustpan, sweep up the ash, then vacuum with a hand vacuum, shop vacuum, or hose attachment to remove any residue.
- Scrub inside the fireplace using a stiff-bristled brush and the cleaning solution, working top-down and repeating as many times as necessary.
- Clean the bricks of your fireplace surround using a pumice stone dipped in dish soap.
- If you have them, clean glass doors with paper towels or a cloth and glass cleaner.
- Make sure the fireplace floor and walls are thoroughly dry before using again.
- Clean tools and andirons with water and dish soap; finish with metal polish if desired.
Cleaning is a simple task that will only take up a small portion of the afternoon. Regular cleanings will not only keep your fireplace working great, but it will also keep your fireplace and homework looking their absolute best.