Winter: Easy Ways to Clean Your Fireplace

by Marsha Bell 11/17/2019

Photo by RawPixel via Pixabay

Before you start your first fire of the season, take a few moments to put your fireplace in order. You can do this in less than a half-hour if you gather everything you need. Here's the list:

  • Metal bucket with a lid for removing ash
  • A garden kneeling pad
  • Heavy rubber work gloves
  • A tarp or heavy drop-cloth
  • A small shovel and short-handled broom and dustpan
  • A scrub brush
  • Soft work rages
  • Paper towels
  • Used coffee grounds
  • A spray bottle with water
  • Dish soap
  • Vinegar

Getting started

If you’ve recently lit a fire, wait at least a day before you clean it. The ashes need to completely cool. Then, lay the tarp or drop-cloth in front of the hearth. Put on a protective apron or old clothes. Situate the kneeling pads and don your rubber gloves.

Carefully lift out any tinder, kindling, or logs. Keep those that are burnable and set charred ones to the side for the trash bin. Then brush ash off the grate, remove it and place it to the side. Sprinkle a handful of the used coffee grounds onto the remaining ash to keep it from billowing up and filling the room. Then shovel out the ash into your metal bucket. With your broom and dustpan, sweep out the remaining ash, being careful to get into the corners and as far up the chimney as you can reach. Use your broom to sweep ash and dust off the screens too.

Spray water onto the areas stained with soot. If you have a newer fireplace (less than 50 years old), you can use a hearth cleaner if you like, following all directions on the packaging. For older fireplaces, use just water. If your firebox has stone or marble, add a little dish soap to the water bottle. Gently scrub with your brush and then rinse and wipe dry with the soft cloth. Wipe down your grate and fireplace tools with a damp cloth, next.

Use paper towels and a solution of vinegar and water (1-part vinegar to 9-parts water) to clean the glass doors, back and front, where applicable. Then, carefully fold up your tarp, keeping all the ash and debris inside, and take it out to the trash. Let the ash sit in the metal can overnight outside before sprinkling it on flowerbeds or tossing it in the vegetation recycling bin.

Now that your fireplace is sparkling clean, you're ready for any weather the season throws at you. If you're placing your house on the market, instead of lighting a fire, consider setting candles in it. Ask your professional home stager for other advice on making your home friendlier to visiting homebuyers.

About the Author
Author

Marsha Bell

Real Estate is a relationship business. Although we negotiate and market homes, we are in the business of helping people through transitions in their lives (getting married, having babies, empty nesting, investing for family reasons) and for someone to invite us into that process is an honor and requires trust in us and our skill set.

I have been a resident of Marin for over 35 years. I raised my family, devoted time to volunteering at my children’s schools, kept an eye on local politics as they affected education and the quality of life in the region, and acquired an understanding of the cities and neighborhoods of the county.

Through my own efforts to downsize as my children left the nest, I can be a great help to others hoping to do the same – assisting them not only in finding a new home, but also with the difficult task of shrinking the volume of their possessions – all accomplished with a sympathetic understanding of the emotional aspect of this change. I also hold an SRES designation, taking this a step further with the needs and concerns of seniors.

Whether you’re looking to buy or sell in the Bay Area, I will assist you with every phase of the process. I listen and focus on what my client’s real estate needs are and make certain I exceed their expectations. I have a passion for my real estate career and I love what I do. My success is because of determination, professionalism, and attention to details.

I look forward to assisting you through your transitions.