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How to Clean Your Fireplace

November 15th, 2011 Tools

Now that the cold weather is beginning to approach, you may be eagerly eyeing your fireplace. After all, what's better than kicking back with a good book in front of a fire on a chilly winter's day? Chances are, you haven't been using your fireplace all that much in the past several months, so don't be surprised if you find yourself face-to-face with a sooty mess. But don't fret! People have been cleaning out their fireplaces for hundreds of years, and there's no reason you can't do it for yourself.

Before getting started, you're going to want to put on some old clothes that you don't mind getting dirty - you're about to be working with what is essentially a big pile of ash and smoke stains. You may want to put on a pair of latex gloves and a set of protective goggles if you feel so inclined. It's also a good idea to lay down some newspaper in front of the mantel, as this work can get a bit messy.

The first thing you want to do is throw away any debris that you don't think will be vacuumed up. Don't be afraid to dig in and look for old leftover firewood. Once you've completed that, bring in your trusty vacuum and suck up any ashy residue that's been left behind.

If you'd like to clean your tools and grates, take them outside and use a mixture of water with a little bleach. You may allow them to soak overnight and then do some heavy duty scrubbing in the morning to make things easier.

This method may not give you the chimney sweep-quality cleaning you might be looking for, but it's enough to get your fireplace presentable and ready for the winter season!