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Clean Sweep Chimney Service

4004 Emerald Drive
St. Charles, MO 63304

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How to Clean a Fireplace


Chimney cleaning is a job for the pros, but it can save money to learn how to clean a fireplace because it’s a perfect do-it-yourself chore. Fireplaces are beloved amenities that are usually the focal point of a room. No matter how elaborate or simple a fireplace’s architecture may be, sooty stains can diminish its appearance. Cleaning a fireplace is easier if you tackle the job every year. Otherwise, stains could become too set in to remove.

Read on to learn tips on how to clean a brick fireplace and how to clean a stone fireplace. If you need to know how to clean a gas fireplace, that’s a completely different process that may be best left to a qualified technician.

Initial Steps for Cleaning a Brick or Stone Fireplace

When cleaning a stone or brick fireplace, follow these initial steps:

  1. Be sure your fireplace is completely cool before taking the following steps on how to clean a fireplace. The last fire should have been more than 12 hours before you begin.
  2. Be sure to handle ashes with care. Place them in a metal bucket and set the bucket on a non-combustible surface away from your home.
  3. Use drop cloths to protect the floor around the hearth and cover nearby furniture with a plastic tarp to protect it from cleaning products and dust.
  4. Use the soft brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner and vacuum the bricks inside and around your fireplace. Cleaning the bricks is easier when all of the loose soot, debris, and dust has been removed. NOTE: Never vacuum up hot embers unless you happen to have an industrial-grade chimney sweep vacuum.
  5. Wear goggles and rubber gloves for the cleaning steps that follow.

3 Cleaning Solutions for Brick and Stone Fireplaces

If your fireplace bricks are old or if your stone fireplace is only mildly stained, follow these steps for cleaning:

  • Combine 4 cups of water with ½ cup of dishwashing liquid in a spray bottle and shake.
  • Spray the bricks with the solution and scrub the bricks with a scrub brush.

For new bricks and more heavily soiled stone, use the following cleaning solution:

  • Newer bricks are typically sturdy and able to withstand a more serious scrubbing. Mix ½ cup of ammonia, ¼ cup of dishwashing liquid, and 4 cups of hot water in a spray bottle.
  • Wearing safety goggles and rubber gloves, spray the solution on your bricks, and scrub.

If a stronger cleaner is needed for tough stains on your brick or stone fireplace:

  • Wearing rubber gloves and goggles, mix 1/8 cup trisodium phosphate (TSP) with 1 gallon of hot water in a large bucket.
  • Dip a scrub brush in the bucket and scrub the bricks. Follow the above-described steps.
  • NOTE: TSP is generally available at home improvement stores and sometimes at grocery stores. Be careful not to get the solution on your skin, clothing, or carpeting.

Final Steps on How to Clean a Stone Fireplace or Brick Fireplace

  1. Once scrubbing is completed, empty the bucket, and add cold water. Using a rag saturated with the water, pass the rag over the bricks or stones to rinse loosened dirt and cleaning soap or solution.
  2. Use a clean, dry rag to dab the masonry.
  3. Before using the fireplace again, allow the wet brick or stones to dry completely.

Contact Clean Sweep Chimney Service

In the entire greater St. Louis MO area, trusted chimney services are provided by the qualified, experienced chimney sweeps at Clean Sweep Chimney Service, located in St. Charles MO. For information on how to clean a gas fireplace or to schedule chimney cleaning, a chimney inspection, chimney repair, or any other chimney services, contact us today by calling 636-477-9966 or by filling out this contact form.