Written by Chad Murray on January 6, 2017
While you love how cozy a roaring fire can make your living space, you also enjoy a clean and attractive fireplace when it’s not in use. However, the continual cleaning can seem like a daunting task in your day. While you should have a yearly inspection by a professional chimney sweep, for those times in between when you’re on your own for cleaning your fireplace, here are a few techniques that will speed up the process.
#1: Wait Until the Chimney Is Cool
When you’re ready to get your fireplace clean, it can be easy to want to check it off of your list as soon as possible. However, wait until the chimney has cooled at least twenty-four hours before you start cleaning because it can stay warm for quite some time. Safety should always come first when cleaning and using your fireplace.
#2: Clean and Cover the Area around the Fireplace
Start working your way in to the chimney so that you get everything covered in case a mess occurs. While it will add a few minutes to the job, it’s worth it in case something goes wrong and you end up spending much more time cleaning rugs and furniture. The entire process should take you anywhere from fifteen minutes to a half hour, and don’t hesitate to get the family involved to speed up the process!
#3: Use the Best Tools and Wear the Right Gear
Chimney sweeps wear the proper gear, and you should too. Make sure you have gloves and facemasks, and that you’re prepared with brushed and buckets. Being ready when you actually start the elbow work will make the process go by smoothly and quickly.
#4: Brush the Interior Out
When you brush the interior out, you can lay something a little heavier down like sand or coffee grounds to keep the ashes from getting away. Many chimney sweeps will use knee pads for this jobs, and if you find yourself doing it often, or you have knee problems, these would be a good investment.
#5: Do a Visual Inspection of the Exterior
Walk around the outside of your chimney to make sure that you don’t have any residue that needs to be sprayed off. Also, if you see any cracks in the brick, be sure you call a professional chimney sweep right away to inspect it.
#6: Clean and Store Your Fireplace Tools
If you are having more fires, then you should clean and sharpen your tools before putting them back by the fireplace. If you are cleaning it for the last time of the season, then either store them where kids can’t reach them or you can display the clean tools by the mantle.
#7: Replace with Grate with Fresh Logs
Now, it’s time to replace the grate that you’ve cleaned and place fresh logs on top. You can enjoy the clean look for a few days or go ahead and start a new fire right away.