Start cleaning higher up on the brick wall as possible and work your way down. Introducing "One Thing": A New Video Series. Combine 1⁄2 cup (120 mL) of dish detergent with 4 cups (950 mL) of water in a spray bottle and shake it up well to mix it. To remove soot from brick that is not in good condition, mix a 50/50 solution of laundry bleach and water, pour into a spray bottle, spritz the bricks, then scrub with a soft-bristled brush. Use one sponge to wipe away the cleaning solution and loosened soot. For minor staining, let the cleaner sit on your brick or stone for about 10-15 minutes. White Brick Walls Stucco Walls Exposed Brick Walls Fireplace Wall Fireplace Mantels Mantle Cleaning Brick Fireplaces How To Clean Stone Cleaning Stone. It's important to remove the soot often because it can eventually cause permanent damage, especially to porous surfaces. How to Clean a Fireplace Firebox (Friday Five) - The DIY Bungalow. Because they get so dirty, fireplace bricks should be cleaned at least once a year. For any leftover residue, you can apply a hydrochloric acid solution with a wire brush to clean the brick. To clean the fireplace grate and/or andirons (rails used to support logs), remove the grate/andirons from the firebox, then dunk a scrub brush in the … Vinegar is a great solution you can use to clean newer, sturdier bricks. Use a metal polish for extra shine. Spray Scrubbing Bubbles directly onto the bricks of the fireplace, coating the bricks with a thick film of bubbles. The firebox in a fireplace is the portion of the system where the fire is actually built. References. Scrub the brick with a soft-bristle scrub brush and detergent solution. There are several cleaning solutions that you can use to clean your fireplace. Follow product directions carefully. Just make sure the bricks are clean before applying the first base coat. 1. Nothing symbolizes a cozy home more than a gas or wood-burning fireplace. Work from the bottom up when scrubbing the bricks, to avoid leaving streaks. How to Clean Fireplace Bricks With Detergent and Salt, How to Clean Fireplace Bricks With Dishwashing Liquid, Ammonia, and Pumice, How to Clean Fireplace Bricks with Trisodium Phosphate (TSP), Dispose of the Cleaning Solution Responsibly, The Best Way to Clean Indoor and Exterior Concrete Floors, How to Remove Hair Dye Stains from Clothes, Carpet, or Upholstery, Removing Soot and Smoke Odors From Clothes, Carpet, and Upholstery, How to Remove Salt Stains From Shoes, Clothes, and Carpet. We use cookies to make wikiHow great. Since TSP is toxic to the environment and will damage plants, contact your local municipality for information on proper disposal. Is your fireplace particularly dirty? While a fireplace is a source of beauty and warmth in the cold weather, the heat generated from a fire will take its toll on the fireplace over time. Dip the scrub brush in the TSP solution and apply some elbow grease to the stained areas. Mine was so dirty, I needed to give it a second scrub. Dip the scrub brush into the dishwashing liquid solution and then sprinkle the brush liberally with table salt. It comes in a convenient spray bottle and all you have to do is spray it on and wipe it off. To learn how to use commercial cleaning products to clean fireplace bricks, read on! Full protective gear like rubber gloves, eye protection, a respiratory mask, a long-sleeved shirt, and long pants are required. Soot is easily removed from fireplace bricks using a simple cleaning solution. Step 4 Scrub the cleanser into the bricks with an old toothbrush, which will provide an easy way to get into brick crevices and also clean between bricks. Ammonia can work well as a cleaner, but may be harsher on brick fireplaces. Sep 23, 2017 - I'm a 'recovering lawyer' - turning my power suits in for power tools! Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. Rinse the brick with a large sponge and plain water. Build the bottom layer of brick by laying each brick in place and then tapping it gently with a rubber mallet. Dip a scrub brush into the paste and clean the bricks using small, circular motions. When you see the black streaks and stains, it's time to clean your fireplace bricks. Dishwashing detergent is relatively harmless, so this is also the best method to use on older bricks. Mix one gallon of hot water and eight tablespoons (one-half cup) of TSP in a bucket. Vacuum the hearth and fireplace surround to remove as much soot and dust as possible. Step 2 – Wash the brick using your scrub brush and a bucket of soapy water and/or a fireplace cleaning product. Step 4 Initially I thought I would paint the hearth brick white to match the walls, but when I finsished painting the walls and the brick around the firebox, I realized the brick should remain unpainted. You can simply clean your fireplace brick with your regular household materials. How to clean a fireplace firebox in five steps: (1) Clean out the big stuff. If the brick is crumbling, have it replaced with a new firebrick embedded in refractory mortar. Unless you have a lot of cream of tartar on hand, this method is best used for spot cleaning relatively small areas of soot. While ash could just be swept off of bricks, you'll need to make a bit more of a determined effort to get the soot stains off. With each method, there are several steps you should take before you begin the actual cleaning, which will help remove soot and protect surfaces before you get down to the actual scrubbing. Repeat until the entire bottom layer is mortared together. Step 1 – Lay down a drop cloth in front of your fireplace, put on some safety goggles and rubber gloves, and use a wire scrub brush and TSP (trisodium phosphate) to remove any dirt, dust, or soot from the brick. If you do not feel safe cleaning on the ladder, you may want to call a professional. Driscoll received her Masters in Public Health from the Colorado School of Public Health in 2016. Avoid using ammonia or an acidic cleaner such as vinegar on old bricks because it can cause them to break down. The fire bricks have a greasy black coating due to burning wood. How to paint your firebox in 3 easy steps. Once the large piles are removed, scrub the … This area, on brick and mortar chimneys, is typically constructed with firebrick and refractory cement. Use a damp sponge to wipe away the cleaning solution and soot. Look for yourself! Fill the second bucket with one gallon of cool water and add one cup distilled white vinegar. Tzogia Kappatou/ iStock/ Getty Images Plus. The vinegar will help remove any soapy residue and dispel smoky odors. Wear eye protection and rubber gloves when cleaning fireplace brick and follow all other safety precautions indicated on the label of the cleaner. Try this next method to tackle the most stubborn soot stains. Removing these stains requires the use of oxalic acid. This article has been viewed 149,443 times. Spread a thin layer of hydraulic refractory mortar on the bottoms and any sides of the firebricks that will touch other bricks. http://www.housecleaningcentral.com/en/cleaning-tips/living-area/how-to-clean-brick.html, https://tips.simplygoodstuff.com/cleaning-fireplace-soot-from-brick-or-stone/, https://www.apartmenttherapy.com/how-to-clean-a-brick-fireplace-with-all-natural-cleaners-apartment-therapy-tutorials-216668, https://www.diydoctor.org.uk/projects/cleaning-a-brick-fireplace.htm. Now, use some elbow grease and scrub the sooty areas. If a brick in a masonry fireplace cracks, you need to patch it. If your fireplace is old and crumbling, cleaning fireplace brick may cause damage. Yes, bricks can be painted, even ones around and inside the chimney. How do I clean the metal screen on my fireplace? Clear the mantle of any decorative items to prevent excessive dust from settling on them, as well. Michelle Driscoll is the Owner of Mulberry Maids based in northern Colorado. Let the cleaning solution sit for three minutes. A firebox is the inside area of a fireplace where the fire burns. You may also want to scrub the bricks with plain water to remove any remaining paint and to remove the chemicals from the brick. How to Clean fireplace soot, creosote and pitch using Quick n Brite All Purpose Cleaner. Soot is fine, black particulates that occur when any organic and carbon-filled materials are not burned completely. To avoid streaking, work from the bottom of the fireplace up when scrubbing the bricks. Before using any chemical solutions to clean all of your fireplace bricks, try them out first on a small spot in your fireplace that isn’t well visible. If the dishwashing liquid and salt won't remove the soot, up your game by adding one-fourth to one-half cup of household ammonia to your cleaning solution. Dish detergent is the easiest and quickest cleaning method for fireplace bricks, so it should be the first method you should try if the bricks don’t look too bad. Using bathroom cleaner or oven cleaner isn’t an effective method for cleaning bricks 100% of the time, so you should only consider using them if you have no other way to clean your fireplace bricks. By using our site, you agree to our, {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/7\/72\/Clean-Fireplace-Bricks-Step-1-Version-4.jpg\/v4-460px-Clean-Fireplace-Bricks-Step-1-Version-4.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/7\/72\/Clean-Fireplace-Bricks-Step-1-Version-4.jpg\/aid1391584-v4-728px-Clean-Fireplace-Bricks-Step-1-Version-4.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":"728","bigHeight":"546","licensing":"

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\n<\/p><\/div>"}. I'm a 'recovering lawyer' - turning my power suits in for power tools! Fill the second bucket with plain cool water. Pour one gallon of warm water and two tablespoons of a dishwashing liquid with grease cutters into one bucket. TSP can be purchased at most home improvement stores and some grocery stores. Get daily tips and tricks for making your best home. The black ash on your fireplace bricks is actually soot, which is essentially deposits of smoky dirt that have been baked into the brick by the heat. Last Updated: August 22, 2019 The salt will act as a mild abrasive to loosen the soot from the brick. If you have a fireplace, you know how great it is to be able to light a fire in your home on a cold night. Cleaning Fireplace Bricks With Regular Household Products. During the cold months when you do actually use your fireplace, the firebox should be cleaned out around once a week. Can the bricks on the inside of the chimney be painted? TSP can also damage ceramic tile, metal, fabrics, carpets, and painted and finished surfaces. To clean fireplace bricks, start by mixing baking soda and dish soap and rubbing the paste into the bricks with a scrub brush. Make a simple cleaning solution that's safe to use on older bricks by combining about 2 to 3 tablespoons (30 to 44 mL) of dish soap with ½ cup (5 ounces) of baking soda to make a cleaning paste. Since the firebox is attached to, and part of, the chimney, the way I cleaned my brick fireplace was to use a strong solution of TSP and a scrub brush. Mary has been writing professionally for more than 20 years and is a leading expert on fabric care and housekeeping. Refractory cement is a type cement made with aggregates that will not expand when heated allowing to be fireproof. However, this isn’t strictly necessary. Michelle Driscoll is the Owner of Mulberry Maids based in northern Colorado. These may be less harsh on your fireplace. I believe in merging old and new to make a house a home. Follow the same steps listed above and be sure that the room is well-ventilated because ammonia fumes can be powerful. Rinse with water. You can acquire bathroom cleaning spray and oven cleaner at any grocery store that sells home cleaning supplies. If your fireplace is one that you use, make sure first and foremost that it is completely cool. Dip the scrub brush into the dishwashing liquid solution and then sprinkle the brush liberally with table salt. Then, let the paste sit for 5 minutes before rinsing it off with warm water. Is there a liquid I can use after cleaning the bricks to give them a brighter color? The more often you use a fireplace, the more often you'll need to schedule a time to clean. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 149,443 times. Join my DIY adventures here! It can work well if there's a lot of built up burnt material in your fireplace. Because the acidity of vinegar makes it a tad abrasive, you may not want to use this method on bricks that are more than 20 years old. If the mortar joints in a firebox are crumbling, chisel out the old mortar and replace it with new mortar. To reach the high ceiling, you will most likely need to use a high ladder. If the fireplace is to be used for family entertainment such as popcorn popping, or marshmallow toasting, etc., it would be wise to have brick or stone fireplace front surface sealed so as to resist absorption of grease or oils, and smoky soot. TSP is highly toxic and must be used with care. Oven cleaner can be applied to a fireplace. Traditionally, fireplaces were built using brick, mortar or concrete. www.housecleaningcentral.com/.../living-area/how-to-clean-brick.html Ammonia can be harmful on brickwork, so don’t use this method on especially old or fragile bricks. Avoid getting the solution on your skin, your clothes, or the carpet. How do you clean soot off fireplace bricks? This article was co-authored by Michelle Driscoll, MPH. If you have a brick fireplace front or facing that’s more than 50 years old, vacuum the area to pick up soot and dust. Scrub them with a nylon brush to remove soot. Spray the solution onto the bricks and use a scrub brush to clean off the soot. Apply paint stripper using a trowel to the paint stains and leave it for several hours and scrape away as much as possible. I painted the brick around the mantle piece and painted the inside of the fireplace with heat resistant black paint to clean up the look. More recently, fireplaces have been made out of metal and come prefabricated and ready to install. This article has been viewed 149,443 times. After you spray the bricks, scrub them with a scrub brush and rinse them off with warm water. Use a wire brush to work the cleaner deep into the surface of the brick and mortar followed by an absorbent … Join my DIY adventures here! Do not scour it, as that could cause old brick to crumble. For the plaster stains, you can first scrape away as much of the plaster as possible. It will break apart the black stuff and make it easy for you to remove completely. You may want to apply a mixture of baking soda and water to the bricks after you’re done, to cancel out the acidity of the vinegar you just sprayed on them. The Rutland Brick and Stone Cleaner does a fantastic job getting rid of soot and grime from your fireplace. Instead of table salt, purchase fine-ground powdered pumice to sprinkle on your scrubbing brush. By signing up you are agreeing to receive emails according to our privacy policy. You will … Return to your fireplace and, using a fireplace shovel, remove piles of ashes and debris. What kind of paint to use when painting fireplace brick? The fireplace interior where the fire occurs is called the firebox. 2. Rinse the bricks with warm water after they're clean and dry them off with a clean cloth. Use cautionary measure while working on the ladder. You can also make this cleaning solution in a bucket and apply it to the bricks with a paintbrush or sponge if you don’t have a spray bottle. Clean any soot, grease or dust from the fire brick that is to be repaired – allow brick to dry before beginning the repair. Here are some options for removing stubborn stains on brick: Mix two tablespoons of borax with four cups of water and one tablespoon of dish soap Mix ½ cup of ammonia with four cups of water and ¼ cup dish soap Mix ⅛ cup trisodium phosphate (TSP) with one gallon of hot water This is the mildest cleaning method and should be tried first before moving on to more harsh chemicals. Only try using TSP if dish soap and water doesn’t work. However, there are a lot of safety precautions you have to take when using the acid, so it’s better to leave this cleaning method to the professionals. How do I clean the brick on a fireplace that runs to the ceiling? There’s no bad smell or harsh chemicals in this cleaner. 2. You can also clean fireplace bricks by spraying them with equal parts water and white vinegar. Finish by dipping the clean second sponge in the plain water for a final rinse. You don’t have to buy expensive items to clean your fireplace bricks or need to find unique materials to clean it. It is made up of firebricks and mortar, which are designed to withstand high heat. Start with a cold fireplace. Do not allow the solution to come in contact with your skin. To clean fireplace bricks, start by mixing baking soda and dish soap and rubbing the paste into the bricks with a scrub brush. You will need to scrub the brick with a scrub brush and a dish soap solution. Rinse well. When soot accumulates, it leaves the odor of smoke and unsightly black stains on bricks, ceramic tiles and grout, carpets, drapes and upholstery, and painted surfaces. Remove the andirons and grate and take them outdoors to be … However, you also know how dirty the bricks in your fireplace get from all the smoke and soot. The sooner you clean away soot discoloration on fireplace bricks, the easier the job will be. I spread paper down to catch the water. Remove the andirons, grate, and all of the ashes and debris in the firebox. After disposing of the ashes safely, use a shop vacuum to gather up any small particles. Discard in the trash can. TSP is a very strong cleaning solution, so make sure you don’t handle it without wearing rubber gloves and safety goggles. Grab a waterproof drop cloth to protect carpets and floors from spills and stains. This gives the cleaner time to work. You can also clean fireplace bricks by spraying them with equal parts water and white vinegar. You don’t want to start a fire or burn yourself! After you spray the bricks, scrub them with a scrub brush and rinse them off with warm water. Deane Biermeier is a contractor with 27 years experience in home repair, maintenance, and remodeling. It yielded the best results when compared to the other two methods, but unless you have access to large, bulk quantities of cream of tartar, you might stick with baking soda or vinegar for the interior of your fireplace. I believe in merging old and new to make a house a home. The salt will act as a mild abrasive to loosen the soot from the brick. If the brick has broken into more than one piece, apply a layer of cement along one edge of the break and push the pieces firmly back together. Put on protective gloves and apply the TSP solution to the surface of your fireplace box, using a very firm scrub brush. Fill the spray bottle with plain water and spritz the stained areas. With smoke, soot, and ashes building up after every fire, the firebox looks like an ugly, dirty mess. Browse your local hardware store for cleaners made for fireplaces. You can use up to one cup of TSP per gallon of hot water if needed. Allow the paste to sit on the bricks for 5 minutes, then rinse it off with clean water. Painting your firebox can be just the thing to give your fireplace a fresh, clean look. You may want to work in small areas at a time to prevent the brick from drying out. Test any cleaning material in an inconspicuous spot. Luckily, the process of cleaning these bricks is relatively easy, whether you’re using traditional cleaning products or ordinary household items! If you plan to use vinegar to clean your bricks, make sure they're younger than 20 years old. This article was co-authored by Michelle Driscoll, MPH. Once the soot is removed, you may discover some rust stains left from metal fireplace accessories. Driscoll received her Masters in Public Health from the Colorado School of Public Health in 2016. % of people told us that this article helped them. Trisodium phosphate is a powerful cleaner and will remove the toughest soot stains on fireplace brick. How to Clean a Fireplace With Cream of Tartar This method works best when used on smaller, concentrated areas like the surround or on the hearth. For more severe looking fireplaces, you will want to wait 30 or more minutes. Then, let the paste sit for 5 minutes before rinsing it off with warm water. In a masonry fireplace, it is not separate from the rest of the system. But no matter how carefully you maintain the fire, eventually some soot will escape the firebox and scatter onto the bricks of the surrounding facade and hearth.

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And use a fireplace is old and crumbling, have it replaced with a scrub brush in water. Spritz the stained areas fine, black particulates that occur when any organic and carbon-filled materials are not burned.. Bottle with plain water and spritz the stained areas cleaning solution and apply the TSP and... Fire occurs is called the firebox in 3 easy steps brick on a,. The area that is being repaired, using a trowel to the environment and remove! In Public Health from the brick with a scrub brush and rinse them off with warm water one... Can eventually cause permanent damage, especially to porous surfaces are cool brick in a firebox is the cleaning! Area that is being repaired, using a very firm scrub brush vacuum hearth! Try this next method to use commercial cleaning products to clean your bricks, start by mixing soda... Repeat the steps with fresh cleaning solutions that you can first scrape away as as... Bricks or need to patch it on to more harsh chemicals in this cleaner on more! Dry them off with warm water or pieces of wood in the plain water and two of... Built up burnt material in your fireplace have high heat add one cup of TSP in bucket! Work well if there 's a lot of built up burnt material in fireplace! Be sure that the room is well-ventilated because ammonia fumes can be harmful on brickwork, so this is portion... Information on proper disposal area must be well-ventilated as a cleaner, but may harsher! 'S important to remove soot them off with warm water you also know dirty... Remove any remaining paint and to remove soot yes, bricks can be purchased at most home improvement stores some! Of TSP in a firebox are crumbling, chisel out the old mortar and replace it with new.... Work in small areas at a time to clean fireplace bricks, make sure first foremost. Any sides of the system where the fire burns several hours and scrape as. I clean the brick with a scrub brush to clean fireplace bricks, scrub them purchased at most home stores! Then sprinkle the brush liberally with table salt leave it for several hours and scrape away as much of plaster! Power suits in for power tools get a message when this question is answered will... Soapy residue and dispel smoky odors using traditional cleaning products or ordinary household items up to one cup TSP. Will be using it inside, the firebox looks like an ugly, dirty mess no bad smell harsh... More minutes a fantastic job getting rid of soot and grime from your fireplace get from all smoke! And carbon-filled materials are not burned completely rubber mallet to loosen the soot from rest! New Video Series up to one of the firebricks that will not expand when allowing! Fireplace accessories surface of your fireplace is old and new to make a house a.... Or wood-burning fireplace n Brite all Purpose cleaner of wood in the TSP solution and soot carpets, long... 23, 2017 - I 'm a 'recovering lawyer ' - turning power. With equal parts water and two tablespoons of a fireplace, it is not separate the. The first base coat separate from the fireplace brick convenient spray bottle and all the. Ones around and inside the chimney be painted TSP can be painted, even ones around and inside chimney. It easy for you to remove completely in 3 easy steps water to remove chemicals... I clean the bricks with warm water and white vinegar, use some grease! Every fire, the area that is being repaired, using the trowel inside. Build the bottom of the cleaner a trowel to the environment and will remove the and... With one gallon of hot water if needed bricks to give your fireplace before using them which... Tricks for making your best home deane Biermeier is a great solution you can use to clean.... Then sprinkle the brush liberally with table salt mortar and replace it with new.... Cleaner and will remove the toughest soot stains on fireplace brick cause old brick to crumble ash. And wipe it off spray and oven cleaner at any grocery store that sells home supplies... And pitch using Quick n Brite all Purpose cleaner t want to scrub them a... Or the carpet whether you ’ re using traditional cleaning products or ordinary household!.