Many people love the thought of having a wood burning fireplace because it provides a warm environment, not to mention that it actually provides warmth which can save you money on your heating bill. But one thing that people dread is having to clean out the wood burning fireplace at the end of they year. One thing that you should keep in mind is that if you clean it out after each fire you will have less work to do at the end of the year, but you should at least remove all of the ashes before lighting the next fire. But the good news about cleaning the fireplace is that to thoroughly clean it you will only end up spending a couple of hours, which is quite similar in time to other household chores.
Difficulty rating: Easy
Step one:The first thing that you need to do is to make sure that your fireplace has cooled along with the ashes that are in the fireplace. If you do not wait until the fireplace has cooled off you can get burned and if the ashes are hot you run the risk of burning a hole in the container that you are using to put the ashes in.
Step two:Now that the fireplace has cooled off you are going to want to make sure that you have the proper tools for cleaning out a fireplace. The tools that you are going to need is a broom, shovel, wire brush, stiff bristle brush, trash bag, bucket, and some cleaning chemicals.
Step three:The next thing you are going to want to do is to clean the ashes out of the fireplace. To do this you can use a shovel, a broom or a special ash vacuum, if you are using the ash vacuum you will not need to use a trash bag and bucket to hold the ashes. If you are not using a vacuum you are going to need to sweep the ashes into a pile and then shovel them up to deposit them into the bucket that is lined with the trash bag.
Step four:Now that you have removed the ashes the next thing that you are going to need to do is to remove the grates from the fireplace and place the grate outside. The reason you want it outside is that there is still going to be traces of ash on the grates and that can get onto the carpet and stain it.
Step five:Now that you have gotten the grates outside you are going to want to scrape the soot and grim off with a wire brush. You can also use a little bit of water on the brush to help get the build up off, but using a plain wire brush works great.
Step six:If the grates are brass or silver you are going to want to polish them with a special cleaning material that is made for that type of metal, for example silver polish for silver grates.
Step seven:Next you are going to want to take the wire brush back inside so that you can clean out the rest of the fireplace. What you are going to want to do is to use the wire brush to scrape off any built up creosote and tar from the damper and the lower part of the chimney. Once you have scraped this off you are going to want to sweep or vacuum out the debris that you have scraped out and place it into the bag of ashes.
Step eight:The last thing that you are going to want to clean is the actual firebox, or fireplace. To do this you can use a number of cleaning materials, including specialized fireplace cleaning materials. But some of the more popular cleaning choices are baking soda and water, vinegar and water or TSP and water.
Step nine:You are going to want to either spray on your cleaning chemical or scrub the water and cleaning chemical into the firebox with a stiff bristled brush and then allow it to soak for about 15 to 30 minutes.
Step ten:After allowing it to soak you are going to want to come back and scrub the firebox with the stiff bristled brush and the cleaning solution of your choice.
Step eleven: After you feel that the fireplace is clean you are going to need to rinse it out with warm water and allow it to air dry.
Posted by DF on October 28, 2007 07:18 AM | Permalink, Glendale, AZ
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