It’s nearing the end of winter, and although cleaning out your fireplace is probably the last thing you want to do, it’s important to stay on top of it so that there’s less cleaning required at the end of winter. Here’s some helpful tips on how to clean your fireplace.
Source: nous decor
Be prepared to get messy
Soot, smoke, ash, and crumbling chunks of charcoaled timber… be prepared for things to get more than a little messy.
- Smock up – an artist’s smock, old apron, or even a plastic poncho will do.
- Gloves – something heavy duty and made of fabric.
- Drop sheet – you’ll definitely need a plastic drop sheet, or an old bed sheet that you’re happy to dispose of for the floor. Tape it down around the base of the fireplace door/opening, and a bit past the sides.
- A mask – if you haven’t cleaned your fireplace in a while, it might be worthwhile wearing breathing protection and an eye mask to protect you while you get grubby.
Get the right tools and materials
Before you start, get yourself sorted out with the many bits and pieces you’ll need to clean a fireplace. You probably already have some of these items as part of your fireplace ‘tool kit’ or in your cupboard.
- Wire brushes specifically for chimney and furnace cleaning – long and short handle
- A scraper/small shovel
- Dustpan and brush (that you don’t mind getting covered in black soot)
- Vacuum cleaner – a hand held one or one with a brush attachment would be perfect
- Used coffee grounds – if you’ve got some (we’ll tell you why below)
- Scrubbing brush
- Paper towel/drying cloth
- A bin, bucket or cardboard box – or you can just use the drop sheet if you’re not going to miss it
- Hearth or fireplace cleanser – either a commercial product or homemade version
Tip: Apartment therapy have some great homemade cleanser ideas that use typical cupboard products like cream of tartar and vinegar.
Basic steps for cleaning the fireplace
- Remove any chunks of wood or debris from your cold, dry fireplace (yes, let that furnace cool down first or Darwin will get you)
- Dislodge any out of sight objects up the chimney using a long stemmed brush
- Brush the sides of the inner furnace with a heavy duty or wire brush
- Sprinkle used coffee grounds over the ash – their weight and moisture help cling to the ash and prevent it from flailing around your living room
- Scrape or shovel the ash and small burnt leftovers out
- Brush the inner sides out with a dustpan and brush and if you have one available, go over it with a vacuum cleaner to remove the majority of the particles
- Use a hearth or fireplace cleanser of your choice to scrub the insides of the furnace walls, glass and door (don’t forget to clean the grate and fireplace toolkit too if they need it)
- Clean the exterior with the product of your choice
- Wipe everything out
- Collect all of your rubbish and dispose of it
- Allow to dry completely before using again
Okay, so you’re all set to get your Chim Chim Cher-ee on! If you’d rather let someone else be an ‘appier bloke, find an Airtasker to ‘shake ‘ands with you’. They’ll cheerfully spend time rolling around in the ashes and smoke.
YouTube video: Chim Chim Cher-ee (from ‘Mary Poppins’)