Is there anything more synonymous with a comfy home than a lit fireplace? You're curled up by the flames, toasty and warm, enjoying a quiet evening in front of the fire or playing games with your family. But unfortunately, fireplaces can also be an eyesore if they aren't kept clean and maintained regularly. Learn how to clean your brick fireplace with this tutorial.
Fireplace cleaning is essential for protecting both the appearance and health of your fireplace.
While it's important that you keep your chimney well-swept and clear of debris, you don't want to spend too much time scrubbing away at your brickwork.
To keep your fireplace looking its best, we've put together some simple tips on how to clean your fireplace bricks. These methods are safe, effective, and easy to follow.
If you enjoy looking after the things in your home that bring you joy, then you'll want to take a look at the following tips and instructions.
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Why Should You Clean Your Fireplace Bricks?
You may be wondering why this is such a big deal in the first place.
Well, char and soot also can permanently stain the bricks that they land on.
To make matters worse, soot is especially difficult to spot until it’s accumulated quite significantly, meaning your fireplace can seemingly go from clean to filthy in the blink of an eye.
Whilst some people like the feeling that a little charring of brick around your fire's flames, giving a lived-in feeling to the home, many people feel that soot just makes the house look unkempt, especially in large quantities.
Many people often feel embarrassed if their walls are in a dirty condition when they invite friends and family over.
If you want to keep your home looking welcoming to anyone who happens to visit, then you'll want to keep that darkened effect away from your walls.
What Is The Best Way To Clean Fireplace Brick?
The first thing that will probably come to mind when it comes to cleaning the bricks around your fireplace will be a bucket of warm soapy water, a cleaning rag, and a lot of elbow grease.
And whilst that will certainly make your fireplace cleaner, don't be surprised if you still find a layer of charred, blackened, and soot-covered brick around your fireplace. It's a good start, but we can do better than that.
Clear Your Fireplace
It's important to begin by clearing any items out of the way before you get started. This could include furniture, bookshelves, plants, decorations, and even pets.
If you have any of these items in the way, you'll need to move them out of the way so that you can access the area where your fireplace is located.
Make Sure The Bricks Are Wet
After you've cleared the fireplace of any loose items and furniture, you can start giving the brick a coat of water before you get to the deep cleaning.
If the fireplace bricks in question are located outside, then you can use your hose or garden faucet to wet down the whole area. Make sure to use a bit of pressure here to get that extra grit off!
Either of these processes will also have the benefit of removing the more loose dirt and grime that has stuck to your fireplace brick and walls, which means less work for the deep cleaning agent you will be using.
Prepare Your Cleaning Solution
Once you're sure your fireplace is free of anything that might damage your brickwork, it's time to remove any soot or char from the bricks that surround the fireplace.
There is an entire range of different cleaning solutions (like this one) you can use for different ages and types of stone.
Lighter dishwashing detergent, vinegar (if your nose is feeling brave enough), and even more heavy duty solutions are all viable depending on the type and state of your fire bricks.
But, whatever solution you choose, make sure that it's at least slightly alkaline, to help prevent corrosion of the metal parts of your fireplace in case it splashes onto them.
As well as the bricks, you might also want to give your firebox a good cleaning too. If you're cleaning one of them, you might as well get both out of the way.
Start To Scrub
So, you've got your cleaning solution handy, and the bricks are nice and wet. There's only one thing left to do now:
The most effective way to clean your fireplace is with a brush. A soft bristle brush works best for this job. You can use this to gently loosen stubborn layers of soot and grime that the water couldn't lift out of the brick, and then scrape away what you can.
If there are any particularly stubborn areas, consider getting a wire brush to obliterate them.
Remember to keep your brush moving back and forth across the bricks so that you can get in all the grooves of your brickwork. Soot is porous, so it will take a little time and effort for it to come out.
How Often Should You Clean Your Fireplace Brick?
How often you should clean your fireplace bricks depends entirely upon how dirty your fireplace is.
It may require no maintenance at all if it's been cleaned regularly, such as every week or fortnightly, but if you are cleaning it every few months or years, there will be a massive buildup of soot and grime on the surface of the stones.
This may turn into an absolute nightmare to clean, taking a few repeats of the steps we outlined above.
Frequently Asked Questions
Bleach is safe to use on brick but not so great for humans and nature. Bleach is caustic and should be used with extreme caution as it may harm your family, pets and kill grass and vegetation if used outdoors.
Yes, OxiClean is safe and effective on brick surfaces.
Efflorescence or salt petering is a crystalline, salty deposit with a white or off-white colour that can form on the surfaces of bricks, masonry or concrete.
It will only occur when the following three conditions are met: There is a presence of water-soluble salts. Moisture is present to turn salts into a soluble state.
You can use Simple Green Oxy Solve Concrete and Driveway Cleaner to clean brick walls, pavers, patios and more with or without a pressure washer.
It removes oil, grease, grime and most stains and discolorations. Its biodegradable formula is safer for lawns and pets.
Spray the algae with white vinegar until is completely covered. The algae should begin to wilt in minutes and die within hours. If not, then repeat the application, this time spraying more vinegar on the algae.
Don't worry about using too much; the white vinegar will not harm your brick