You’ve got your brand-new brick fireplace, and it’s everything you dreamed of. Yet now that you’ve used it and enjoyed its warmth, you start to notice soot stains on the fireplace’s brick facade and hearth.
However, there is no need to worry because we are here to help you clean your brick fireplace the right way!
6 Steps for Cleaning a Brick Fireplace
A wood-burning fireplace made of brick can create a welcoming and romantic ambiance at home. However, it also requires constant cleaning and maintenance to function and look its best.
Here’s how to clean your brick fireplace so that it remains beautiful for a long time:
1. Clear Out the Inside
The first step to cleaning your brick fireplace is to ensure the inside is empty. Remove ashes, the grate, and any accessories before starting the cleaning process. Be careful, and only remove things from the fireplace once they are cold.
2. Wet the Bricks
The next step is to wet the bricks with plain water. Bricks are quite porous, so they will absorb water. Once the water has been absorbed, you can safely use your cleaning solution. Otherwise, the solution will be absorbed.
You should also consider using a waterproof drop cloth to prevent the water from damaging your floors.
3. Use Your Cleaning Solution
There are different cleaning solutions for brick fireplaces, from mild to strong options. Some you can buy over the counter, and others you can make yourself with easy-to-find ingredients.
Here are some good cleaning solution options to properly clean your brick fireplaces:
Dishwashing detergent: It is the mildest option, so use it only if there’s not much accumulated soot and ashes in your fireplace. Just one quarter cup of dishwashing detergent should be enough if you dilute it in four cups of water.
Vinegar solution: You can also use diluted white vinegar to clean fireplace bricks. Half a cup of vinegar and half a cup of hot water should do the trick.
You can also use stronger cleaners, but you must be careful with them. Ammonia and TSP are some common options, but they can damage your bricks if misused.
Here’s what you need to know before using stronger solutions to clean your brick fireplace:
Borax: The right amount of borax is key. We recommend two tablespoons of borax with four cups of water and a tablespoon of soap. Add more water if the mix has a powerful smell.
Ammonia: For ammonia, half a cup should be enough. Mix it with four cups of warm water and a quarter cup of dish soap for better results.
Trisodium Phosphate: TSP is the most effective option, but also the strongest. Don’t use more than an eighth of a cup and combine it with a gallon of hot water.
Once you’ve decided on the right cleaning solution, put it in a spray bottle for more convenience. Or, if you are using TSP, use a bucket and a sponge.
4. Scrub the Bricks
Now that you’ve applied your cleaning solution, you can start scrubbing the bricks. We recommend working from top to bottom, preventing dirty water from streaking in areas you’ve already cleaned. Clean gently and in circular motions to use the solution as efficiently as possible.
If the ash or soot is not coming out, you can reapply your cleaning solution and scrub again. You might also need to use a stronger cleaner.
5. Time to Rinse
When the job is done, you can start rinsing your fireplace bricks. Start in small areas, and only move on once the previous area has been cleaned and dried. Remember that if the rinsing bucket and the water have become dirty, you’ll need to change them.
6. Look for Remaining Stains
After cleaning your brick fireplace, you’ll need to look for any remaining stains. Follow this step only after you’ve let the bricks dry to make the process easier. If you spot any stain that is too difficult to remove, we recommend creating a paste of baking soda mixed with water.
Apply the paste on the stain and let it sit for around ten minutes. Then scrub off the stain with a toothbrush and rinse.
Keep in mind that the ideal cleaning frequency will depend on how much you use your brick fireplace. The more you use it, the more often you’ll need to clean it. Repeat the same process every time or use a stronger cleaner if necessary.
How to Clean Above the Fireplace
Once you’ve finished cleaning the inside of your brick fireplace, you need to focus on the parts above. Sometimes smoke and soot can accumulate outside, reducing the beautiful appearance of your fireplace and room.
Here is how to clean above your brick fireplace:
Determine which part of your brick fireplace’s outer surface needs to be cleaned. It is better only to clean the parts that need it to help you prevent damage and other issues.
Once you’ve spotted the parts to clean, use gentle cleaning products and a piece of cloth. We recommend choosing dishwashing detergent or diluted vinegar and water. Avoid using stronger cleaners for the outer parts of your fireplace since they can damage them.
Remove soot and ash and rinse once you are done. Do this carefully and always prevent the water from falling onto the floor or any wooden decor.
For the Best Fireplaces and Fireplace Accessories, Contact CAPO Building Specialties
Are you looking for a new fireplace and fireplace accessories for your home? Look no further than CAPO Building Specialties.
We have the widest selection of fireplaces, from wood-burning models to the country’s best electric and gas fireplaces. Check out our full product catalog and find the perfect option for your home!