by Amy Gordon
(last updated February 1, 2021)
Fireplaces are often a center piece to your living room. Even the simplest fireplace can add elegance to a home. If one is just used for decoration, then there is no problem having to clean it with more than the same dusting you do on any other surface in your home. If you use the fireplace, however, soot will usually build up on both the inside and the outside of the fireplace, changing this decorative piece into an eyesore.
If you have brick or stone in your fireplace that has soot stuck on it, you can clean it up with minimal effort. All you have to do is use salt, that great cleaner we have mentioned in other articles. Simply toss a few tablespoons of salt into a roaring fire and watch as the soot stains on your brick or stone fireplace go up in smoke. This works because the salt helps loosen the soot as it burns. The soot will soon move up the chimney with all the rest of the smoke.
When your fireplace door needs help, try this easy trick. Get out a bowl where you can mix about one-eighth of a cup of white vinegar, one tablespoon of ammonia, and one quart of warm water. Put this mixture either into a spray bottle (make sure to label the bottle if you plan to store it for any period of time) or just apply it to a clean cloth. Spray or wipe the mixture onto the soot on the fireplace door. Scrub the soot off. Finish off by rinsing the door with water. Make sure to dry the area with a clean cloth to avoid streaks.
If you want to avoid cleaning up after a fire in your fireplace, you can try this neat tip. Just lay a piece of aluminum foil under the fireplace grate before you build the fire. After the fire burns out and the embers cool, carefully grab the foil and fold it so the ashes cannot escape. Soot may still remain, but with the tips mentioned above, you should be able to remove that easily.
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