The Best Fireplace Cleaners: What to Use and How to Use It
Our top tips for picking and using a fireplace cleaner. Specific advice for different fireplaces and for fireplace glass cleaner, brick cleaner, and soot cleaner.
A fireplace is a great addition to any home. It keeps you warm and improves the ambiance and appearance of your home.
However, if you use your fireplace frequently, ash, soot, and debris buildup are inevitable. This doesn’t just ruin the aesthetics of your fireplace, but can also affect your ventilation and cause flame flare-ups in some cases.
In this article, we reveal the best fireplace cleaners and provide a helpful guide on cleaning your fireplace to keep it looking good and in top working condition.
How the professionals clean fireplaces
Cleaning a fireplace is tricky. You would expect that an oven cleaner should also work but quite the opposite. Also, not all fireplaces require the same cleaning supplies or techniques. For instance, a wood-burning fireplace requires more cleaning products and time than an electric or gas fireplace.
This is why one of the most common questions cleaners on Homeaglow get is, “What can I use to clean my fireplace?”
We’ll show you how to clean a fireplace effectively, whether gas, electric, or wood burning. But first, here are our pro selections for the best fireplace cleaners.
The best fireplace cleaners for gas, electric, and wood-burning fireplaces
If you’re unsure which cleaners work best for your type of fireplace, we’ve got you covered.
There are several cleaning products available for cleaning a fireplace. However, these are the favorite cleaning product options among cleaners on Homeaglow.
- Fireplace glass cleaner: white vinegar, cornstarch solution
- Fireplace brick cleaner: white vinegar solution, dish soap, and baking soda
- Gas fireplace cleaner: white vinegar, dish soap
How to clean a gas fireplace
Since a gas fireplace doesn’t burn wood or produce ashes, it’s easy to neglect cleaning it regularly. Thankfully, once you have the right cleaning supplies, a gas fireplace isn’t so hard to clean.
Cleaning Supplies You’ll Need
- Protective gloves
- Dust mask
- Vacuum cleaner
- Soft-bristled brush
- Mild detergent or glass cleaner
- Clean cloth or microfiber towel
- Bucket of warm water
Steps to clean a gas fireplace
- First, ensure the fireplace's gas supply is turned off. Then allow the fireplace to cool completely. This could take a few hours, depending on how long it has been in use.
- Disassemble the glass door covering your fireplace, including its burner, fire glass, lava stones, or logs. If you’ve never cleaned your fireplace, you may need to take a picture before disassembling it. This will help you remember how to assemble it after cleaning.
- Carefully clean out dust, debris, and soot on these parts with your bristled brush. At this point, you also need to inspect these components to be sure none is damaged.
- Using a vacuum cleaner with a soft-bristled brush attachment, gently clean the fireplace's interior, removing any loose dirt, dust, or debris. Be sure to vacuum the burner and pilot light as well.
- In a spray bottle, mix equal parts white vinegar and warm water.
Vinegar is a mild acid that effectively breaks down and removes dirt and mineral deposits, removes soot and ash, and leaves your fireplace looking clean and shiny. Additionally, vinegar is a very versatile cleaning solution that can be used for multiple cleaning tasks around the home, like dishwashers and stovetops.
- Spray the cleaning solution onto the fireplace's interior, logs, and accessories. Let it sit for a few minutes to allow it to penetrate and loosen any dirt or grime.
- Next, use a soft-bristled brush to scrub the fireplace's interior, logs, and accessories, focusing on areas with built-up dirt or grime.
- Dip a clean cloth or microfiber towel into a bucket of warm water, wring it out, and use it to rinse the interior and accessories of the fireplace. Then wipe down the interior and accessories with a dry cloth or microfiber towel.
- Finally, carefully replace the logs and accessories in the fireplace, ensuring they are securely in place.
- Once you have finished cleaning the fireplace, turn the gas supply back on.
How to clean an electric fireplace
Electric fireplaces are low maintenance compared to their counterparts. You only need a few cleaning supplies and a short amount of time to get your fireplace clean and functioning properly.
Cleaning Supplies You’ll Need
- Handheld vacuum cleaner
- Soft brush
- Microfiber cloth
- Vinegar/Dish soap (optional)
Steps to Clean An Electric Fireplace
- Before cleaning the electric fireplace, turn it off and unplug it from the electrical socket. This will ensure you don’t accidentally turn it on while cleaning it. Allow it to cool completely before you start cleaning.
- If dust has gathered on the inside, carefully open the glass panel and remove any debris or dust clumps from the electric fireplace. You can use a soft-bristled brush to sweep any debris into a dustpan. Be careful not to damage the workings of your fireplace.
- Using a vacuum cleaner, remove any dust or debris you could not sweep away with a brush.
- Spray a cleaning solution of dish soap and water on the glass surface of the electric fireplace. Allow it to sit for a few minutes, then use a microfiber cloth to wipe away any dirt or grime. Be careful not to dampen the electrical components of your fireplace.
- Use a microfiber cloth to wipe down the exterior of the electric fireplace. If there are any stubborn stains or marks, spray a mixture of vinegar and water and let it sit for 30 minutes. Then clean it with a microfiber cloth.
- Finally, use a dry cloth to wipe every part of the fireplace. Once the electric fireplace is clean and dry, carefully close the glass panel. Then, plug the fireplace into the electrical socket and turn it back on.
How to clean a wood-burning fireplace
Wood-burning fireplaces are the hardest to maintain because they require the actual burning of wood logs. Here’s all you need and how to clean a wood-burning fireplace.
Cleaning supplies you’ll need
- A fireplace shovel or brush
- A dustpan
- A stiff-bristled brush
- A vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment
- Rubber gloves
- Protective eyewear or goggles
- A dust mask or respirator
- A drop cloth or tarp to cover the surrounding area
- A metal trash can with a tight-fitting lid
Steps to clean a wood-burning fireplace
- Wait until the logs burn out and the hearth is cool before cleaning.
- Wear rubber gloves, protective eyewear or goggles, and a dust mask or respirator to protect yourself from soot and other debris.
- Spread a drop cloth or tarp around the fireplace to catch any debris that may fall during cleaning.
- Use a fireplace shovel or brush to remove any large, unburned pieces of wood or debris from the fireplace.
- Then use a stiff-bristled brush to sweep the walls and floor of the fireplace, dislodging any loose soot and debris.
- Next, use a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment to suck up the loose debris and ash from the fireplace. Be sure to vacuum the walls and floor of the fireplace, as well as the surrounding hearth and any nearby furniture.
- Use the fireplace shovel or brush to sweep any remaining debris into a dustpan and dispose of it in a metal trash can with a tight-fitting lid.
- If your fireplace has a screen or glass doors, remove them and clean them with a mixture of warm water and mild dish soap.
- Rinse thoroughly and dry with a clean cloth before reattaching. Fill the hearth with new logs, and you’re ready to go.
Fireplace cleaning best practices
Maintaining a fireplace doesn’t just stop at cleaning it alone. There are other best practices to embrace so your fireplace continues functioning correctly. Here are some valuable tips that are highly recommended.
- It’s best to clean your fireplace at least once a month. If you own a wood-burning fireplace, we recommend cleaning out the ash and replacing your logs after each use.
- When cleaning your fireplace, always inspect all components for signs of visible damage. If there are any, replace them to prevent fire outbreaks.
- It's recommended to have a professional chimney sweep inspect and clean your chimney and fireplace at least once a year. Additionally, you should check the chimney cap, liner, and fireplace damper regularly to ensure they're in good working order.
- Ensure you burn only seasoned wood to reduce the amount of creosote buildup in your chimney.
- Never leave a fire unattended, and always make sure the fire is completely out before leaving the room or going to bed.
Get your fireplace ready for winter
Nothing beats sitting close to a roaring fire in winter. But keep in mind they need extra care and maintenance to work optimally. You can prepare your fireplace for winter and beyond with the supplies and methods explained in this article. If you need any help, find a cleaner on Homeaglow.
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