DIY, Fireplace Cleaning, Fireplace Safety

How To Clean Soot Off Brick Fireplaces

A brick fireplace is a fantastic addition to any home. They often look cozy and rustic, providing the room with a great deal of warmth you can get comfortable with while watching your favorite television show. However, while they are stylish, they can lose their shine when there is a build-up of soot and grime. 

Not only does soot not look great, but it can also be harmful to your health. When you see that it is starting to cling to the bricks on your fireplace, you know it’s time to clean. But there are quite a few things you may want to know before you get started. 


Getting your fireplace ready to clean


A brick fireplace shouldn’t be cleaned if it has just had a fire burning. This is because your bricks will heat up, making it harder and more uncomfortable to clean. Instead, you should let your fireplace cool down for at least 12 hours before you even start getting it ready to clean. 

Once your brick fireplace is cool, you need to remove any loose ashes and soot inside and around the area. It will make the deep cleaning and scrubbing process much easier. From there, you’ll need to place some protection on your floors around the fireplace and put on gloves and goggles. You’re then ready to go. 


What products are best to use?


  • Baking soda

That’s right. Baking soda isn’t just used for making cakes and other baked goods. It is actually a great cleaning solution when mixed with water and is better than some standard soaps. This is because it is a mild alkali that helps any dirt and grime dissolve in water as you scrub the bricks. 

  • Vinegar

Similar to baking soda, vinegar isn’t just used for cooking. Instead, it can help remove all that unwanted soot from your fireplace bricks. The only difference is that vinegar is highly acidic, which can dissolve various kinds of dirt, including some species of bacteria. You can find vinegar as an ingredient in some popular brands of cleaners as well. 

  • Trisodium phosphate (TSP)

While TSP may not be as easy to get your hands on as the last two cleaners, it is definitely worth it when you do. This chemical compound is mixed with water and is known to cut right through soot, grease, and other types of dirt. It is extremely strong and should be used with caution and the right protection. 

  • Brick Anew Fireplace Cleaner

Brick Anew’s Brick and Stone Fireplace Cleaner may not be something you can bake and cook with, but it certainly cleans just like you want it to. This professional solution will penetrate even the toughest of soot and residues. It doesn’t contain any harmful ingredients and will make cleaning an easy task. 


Guide to using Brick Anew cleaner


Ready to clean your fireplace and remove all the soot and grime? Let’s use the Brick Anew cleaner as an example of what you have to do:

  1. Spray some of the Brick Anew cleaner on your soot-covered bricks evenly. 
  2. Wearing gloves, rub the solution into your bricks using your hands, spreading it all over.
  3. Allow the solution to sit for around 10 minutes so it really soaks into the bricks. 
  4. Use an abrasive brush and scrub the solution off the bricks in a circular motion.
  5. Grab a sponge and some warm water and remove the excess cleaning solution from the bricks. 

Once done, all the soot should be removed from your bricks and look good as new. However, if there are extra deep layers of dirt and grime, it may take more than one cleaning session to remove it completely. 


Brick Stone Fireplace Cleaner


Tools for cleaning soot off brick


When you clean soot off your brick fireplace, no matter what cleaning solution you use, there are some tools you’ll need to have ready to use:

  • Broom and dustpan: To sweep up any excess dust and ash before getting started.
  • Vacuum: To get rid of dust and ash from harder-to-reach areas.
  • Spray bottle: Something to place your cleaning solution into so you can evenly spread over the brick. Brick Anew’s solution already comes in a spray bottle.
  • Bucket: To fill up with warm water for the final steps.
  • Sponges: To wipe the warm water over the bricks.
  • Scrub brush: To scrub the cleaning solution into the bricks to remove the soot.


Spot clean any blemishes


Even when you’ve followed our steps on removing soot from a brick fireplace, there may still be some difficult-to-remove spots that won’t seem to budge. However, there is no need to worry because there are some extra steps you can take to ensure any remaining bits of soot or stains are removed from your brick. 

All you have to do is create a mixture of baking soda and water, which will turn into a paste. Place it on all the stubborn soot spots and leave it there for around 10 minutes. You should then use a small toothbrush to scrub it off and rinse it with a warm sponge. 


Tips to keep it clean in the long run


Of course, you can’t completely avoid soot forming on your brick fireplace, but there are a few things you can do to prevent it from building up quickly:


Add a fireplace door


A door is a fantastic addition to any brick fireplace, which isn’t just because they look good. They actually play a great role in ensuring that shooting flames and embers don’t make their way out of the fire pit. While it may not protect the inner bricks of your fireplace, it protects those that sit outside. 

If you don’t have a fireplace door already, you should definitely get one. Brick Anew has a wide range for you to browse and shop from. You can also have them custom-built to ensure they fit your fireplace. They come in different brands, shapes, and sizes and will protect your fireplace from soot for years. 


Using the proper paint will go a long way


If you have painted bricks or have been thinking about painting the bricks surrounding your fireplace, you may be happy to know it can also protect the area from soot. The paint acts as a barrier between the brick and soot, and it makes it much easier to remove any dirt and grime when you start cleaning. 

However, you need to ensure the paint is of high quality and has been applied properly. If you’re unsure where to get paint or the right tools, you can browse Brick Anew’s selection of fireplace paint. There are even sets that provide you with everything you need to ensure the job is done right. 


Final thoughts


Soot is something that isn’t easily avoidable when you have a brick fireplace, however, it is something that can be maintained. If you let the soot and grime build up over time, it will be harder to remove in the long run and can also be dangerous for your health. 

Cleaning your brick fireplace and removing soot can be quick and easy with the right tools and cleaning solution. Just follow this guide and use Brick Anew’s products, and you’ll be set for each cleaning session.

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