© Olha Kryvosheieva | Dreamstime.com

How Do You Clean Your Fireplace?

Don't forget this spot when getting ready for winter

© Olha Kryvosheieva | Dreamstime.com

In between enjoying cooler weather with fall activities like visiting the best pumpkin patches and going apple picking, you need to take time to give your home some TLC. Ahead of harsh winter weater is the best time for some deep cleaning and home maintenance, and your fireplace in particular is a place you might forget to clean but should

How To Winterize Your Home (If You’ve Put It Off Until Now)

Your fireplace is an important part of your home that you should make sure to get cleaned annually. If you don't, flammable materials can build up in your fireplace, increasing the risk of releasing poisonous gasses such as carbon monoxide. It is also important to keep it clean to minimize dust and soot in your home.  

You have the option of getting your fireplace professionally inspected and cleaned, but if you cannot afford it or you would rather do it on your own, there is a way to do it thoroughly and safely. 

First, you must remove any soot and debris from your fireplace. Remove the andirons and grate from your fireplace and take them outside. Scrub with a nylon brush to remove soot and rinse with water, then wipe it dry. You can use a metal polish for extra shine.

Using a fireplace shovel, remove piles of ashes and debris and throw them in the trash. Once the large piles are removed, scrub the walls of the fireplace with a nylon brush. Start at the top and work your way down,  and put newspapers along the bottom to catch the falling soot. Then take out the newspapers and throw them away.

You can use a warm-water, bleach and Trisodium Phosphate (TSP) solution to really deep-clean your fireplace walls and floor. Before making the solution, make sure you are wearing rubber gloves. In order to make the solution,  mix 6 tablespoons of TSP, 1 cup of bleach and 1 gallon of warm water into a plastic bucket. Then dip your nylon brush into the bucket and use the solution to scrub the walls and floor of your fireplace until they’re clean. Rinse the floor and walls with clean water and a dry towel. Then you can replace your grate and andirons. 

Related

This is just one of the many chores you need to keep up within your home that should be on your annual home maintenance checklist.