How to Clean Fireplace Bricks

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How to Clean Fireplace Bricks

You simply cannot beat the cozy, fiery warmth provided by your wood-burning or gas fireplace. It creates a warm and comfortable indoor environment on those cold Kentucky winter nights. At the same time, using your fireplace can result in stains and black streaks from soot. This can end up discoloring the surrounding bricks. The soot comes from any carbon-filled and organic materials that fail to completely burn. The good news is the fact that there is no need to worry. If you utilize the proper cleaning techniques, you can restore your fireplace bricks back to a beautiful state in a short amount of time. Our experts at Fireplace Concepts Inc. have some helpful tips to assist you. Read on to learn how to clean fireplace bricks. We have broken it down into 6 easy steps that you can follow for a revitalized look to your home’s fireplace!

How Often Should You Clean Your Fireplace Bricks?

Before going into the specifics of how to clean fireplace bricks, we first want to tell you about how often you should undertake this process. The reality is that soot can leave behind black stains on a variety of surfaces as well as unpleasant, smokey odors. These issues can affect bricks and tiles as well as drapes, upholstery, and carpeting. Unfortunately, if you go too long without treating these issues, the end result is permanent damage. This is particularly the case for porous materials.

The simple way to put it is that the more you use your stove or fireplace, the more frequently you will need to schedule cleanings. The good news is the fact that if you regularly tend to issues of soot discoloration on brickwork, it makes the overall job much easier in the end!

Before You Get Started

Before you get started cleaning your fireplace bricks, there are a few things we recommend taking care of first. They include:

  • Cover your flooring and carpets with a waterproof drop cloth to protect them from spills.
  • Make sure your fireplace is cold and then clean out all the ashes and debris from the firebox. Use a shop vacuum to collect any small particles that you missed.
  • Use a vacuum on the hearth and fireplace surround. The goal is to remove as much soot and dust as possible prior to scrubbing. You also want to clear your mantle of any decorative items so you avoid causing dust to settle on them.

Once you have completed these items, it is time to start cleaning your fireplace bricks by utilizing the 6 steps that we have detailed below.

The Steps for Cleaning Fireplace Bricks

With the following points about how often you should undertake this process, we will now talk about how to clean fireplace bricks. The steps include:

  1. Use Detergent and Salt to Clean Fireplace Bricks – The gentlest approach to cleaning your fireplace bricks is to use detergent and salt. You should attempt this method before moving on to stronger, more potent cleaning substances.
  2. Mix Up the Necessary Cleaning Solutions – Start things off by mixing up the cleaning solutions. You will begin by filling up a bucket with a gallon of warm water and 2 teaspoons of dishwashing liquid that is made for cutting through grease. In another container, you will add 1 cup of white vinegar to a gallon of cold water. 
  3. Spray Down the Areas That Are Stained – When filling up your spray bottles, you want to dilute the solution with some additional water and then generously spray down the stained areas of your fireplace bricks. It is recommended that you work on small portions of the total area at a time so your brickwork does not end up drying out too quickly.
  4. Have a Scrub Brush Ready – Take your scrub brush and submerge it into your dishwashing liquid solution. After this, generously sprinkle your brush with salt and ensure that all sides are coated. The light amount of abrasiveness from the salt will assist you in removing the soot from your fireplace bricks. At this point, it just takes a little bit of elbow grease while scrubbing to start to see a big difference.
  5. Rinse the Fireplace Bricks – Once you are done scrubbing away the soot from your fireplace bricks, you will then rejuvenate the cleaned areas with a combination of vinegar and water. Using a sponge, wipe away the cleaning solution and any soot that has been loosened up. After that, use a second sponge that is soaked in the vinegar and water mixture to ensure that all the suds are gone. This also helps to get rid of smokey odors that were present. Implementing this method is a great way to get your home’s fireplace bricks looking fresh again!

Repeat the Process as Needed – If the soot stains on your fireplace bricks persist, you can try repeating these steps with different types of cleaning solutions. For difficult cases, more aggressive cleaning methods might be required. This is where our trusted fireplace experts at Fireplace Concepts Inc. come in. We are the fireplace company that homeowners in the greater Lexington, KY area trust for all their service needs. You can count on our team to be there to help you take care of your fireplace!

Contact Fireplace Concepts for All Your Fireplace Needs

At Fireplace Concepts Inc., our team knows how to clean fireplace bricks regardless of how dirty they have become. We have all of your fireplace needs here in the Lexington, KY region covered. Whether you need new fireplace construction, tear outs, makeovers, general maintenance services or help with other issues related to your existing fireplace, you can count on us. Reach out to us today to find out more about how we can be of assistance. You can give us a call at (859) 258-2121 or you can leave us a message through our convenient online contact form. We look forward to hearing about how we can help today!