What could be more romantic or atmospheric than a roaring fire? The crackle of the flames, the smell of woodsmoke, you can easily lose yourself for hours just gazing into its ever changing picture. In order to keep it wonderful you have to keep on top of the cleaning, the last thing you want is for soot to build up in the chimney flue and cause a chimney fire or worse build up so badly the noxious gases have nowhere to go and so leak back into the room causing carbon monoxide poisoning. You don’t need to get down and dirty regularly, just once in the autumn and potentially again in January if you use your fire place regularly. You also don’t need to pay someone to do it for you, we have the answers, so read on and we will have you back in front of your fireplace before you know it.
- Choose your cleaning weapon of choice. Oven cleaner works well to remove built up soot deposits, but if you are looking for a more natural cleaning product, then simply make your own with cream of tartar and water mixed together in a spray bottle.
- Cover yourself and the surrounding area. Make sure you at least wear an apron, this job will get dirty and getting soot out of clothes is a mammoth task in itself, you also don’t want to have to add ‘clean carpet’ to your to-do list.
- Clean up. Remove all debris from the fireplace and make sure you sweep up any loose lumps and dust. Salvage any old wood for burning later. Hoover all remaining dust up.
- Sweep the chimney to clear all dust and ashes, a top tip would be to sprinkle coffee grounds on the dust to give it some substance and prevent it from puffing off in a cloud and scattering to the four winds.
- Spritz the entire fireplace with your cleaner of choice, make sure everywhere is thoroughly coated. Leave it to soak for a few minutes then use an abrasive scrubbing brush, rubbing in circular motions to really help lift the dirt. Once you have scrubbed use a damp cloth to wipe all dirt away. You may need to repeat the spritz and soak for very dirty fireplaces.
- To prevent a build up of dirt again be sure to use dry, seasoned wood as it gives off less smoke and burns more efficiently. Regularly sweep the fire place and hoover up the soot dust left behind.