We can think of few more pleasant sensations than sitting by the fireplace fire to combat the cold. Now, as with everything, there is also a less gratifying B-side. Yes, you guessed it … Surely, you are wondering about how to clean the fireplace, right?
Luckily, Poppins – our home cleaning experts – have the answer. And we assure you that it is worth taking a good note, since having the fireplace clean before the start of winter (and always!) Not only guarantees a good operation but also greater durability.
To motivate you in the task of cleaning the fireplace, first of all, we want you to know the reasons why cleaning the fireplace is a must. And, in addition to soot and ash stains, lighting the firewood leaves us with another unwanted guest: creosote. If you have not heard of it – and it is not surprising, since it is not usually a recurring topic of conversation at dinner or for drinks – it is a chemical compound that is formed from the tar that comes from the distillation of fatty coals (or coal), when temperatures between 900 ° C and 1,200 ° C are reached.
What happens when creosote accumulates? Nothing good! It can hinder the extraction of fumes, cause respiratory problems, and even be dangerous for home security. This is because creosote is a fuel in itself, so it could burn if accidentally hit by a spark. For this reason, and since we imagine that the last thing you want is to call the fire department and review what coverage your insurance has at all risks, we recommend that you take maximum care of the cleaning of the fireplace.
Okay, I get it, but … how often do you have to clean the fireplace? Well, the frequency will depend on the type of pipe for the smoke outlet you have chosen. In general, the ones that require the most care are those made of galvanized steel, since they require two annual cleanings (their duration is 5 years). On the other hand, if you have opted for vitrified steel, stainless steel, or insulated stainless steel, it will be enough for you to remove the soot once a year (which does not hurt!). The duration in these cases ranges from 10 years for vitrified steel to 20 years for insulated stainless steel.
Next, we will learn in detail how to clean the fireplace, both mechanically and chemically.
Without a doubt, resorting to cleaning the fireplace with a wire brush is one of the most useful methods if we opt for mechanical cleaning. To clean your fireplace with this element, you have to follow these steps:
- Cover the chimney draft with a sheet or tarp, which you should adjust with a strip of electrical tape. Also cover nearby furniture with blankets to avoid soiling.
- Insert the wire brush into the fireplace and move it up and down vigorously (as if you were in a Zumba class!), Trying to reach every angle on the walls of the fireplace. Focus above all on the top, which is where the soot and creosote are most concentrated. To reach the most inaccessible corners, you can help yourself with an extendable arm.
- For best results on top, you can clean in the opposite direction (i.e. from the roof). If you opt for this option, use work clothes that can be stained, protective glasses and mouthpiece, to avoid inhaling the compounds that will come out. Safety first!
- Finally, all that remains is to remove the soot that has come off. Are you lazy? In that case, you can trust our hourly house cleaning service. Everything will be impeccable!
Another super effective technique for cleaning the fireplace is to use a chain. To do this, this element must be tied to the end of a sturdy wire of a certain length, which will function as an extendable arm. This will allow you to scratch and hit the walls until the soot comes off. Go hard!
To make the process as simple and effective as possible, our advice is that the chain is large but not too heavy. Or yes, and this way you don’t need to go to the gym.
In many stores specialized in home maintenance, it is possible to buy gravel to clean the fireplace. If you opt for this option, simply dump this product in the fireplace, taking the precaution of placing a container or container underneath to collect it.
We tell you another trick to clean your fireplace from below: you can put the product in cloth bags, tied with a rope. In this way, you can use them as if it were a brush. With them, you can thoroughly rub the entire surface, until completely removing creosote and soot. Since the bag usually weighs a lot, our recommendation is that you ask for help. We love to encourage teamwork whenever we can.
Despite not being a comprehensive cleaning system, chimney sweeps or cleaners can be a powerful ally to help you leave your fireplace looking like new. Its operation is extremely simple: it is a product with chemical substances that contribute to the detachment of creosote adhered to the walls, transforming it into ash.
To use your chimney sweep, light the fire in the fireplace and let it burn for half an hour so that the inner tube heats up. Next, place a chimney sweep or a bag of this product on the fire, without removing the wrapper, and let it burn. Finally, you will only have to remove the resulting ashes, et voilà! If you wish to repeat the operation, you must allow 24 hours to elapse.
Tips for cleaning the fireplace glass
Perfect, your fireplace is already clean inside, but do you know how to clean the glass of the fireplace? At MyPoppins we usually use natural products: white vinegar and baking soda. Mix in a container 2 cups of water, half of the white vinegar, and a teaspoon of baking soda and put the solution in a sprayer. Do you want to know more? Go to this article and say goodbye to dirty glass in the fireplace.