Gas fireplaces have been around since the 19th century with the earliest commercial model marketed and sold in the mid-1850s.
Before, fireplaces were powered by wood. Later in 1912, electric fireplaces started being used as set props but not all of them created fires of their own.
All fireplace options are still used to this day. If you are trying to decide on a fireplace type and want to understand the maintenance required beforehand, this is the guide for you.
Keep reading to learn about fireplace cleaning tips and why it’s important to clean your unit before winter.
Cleaning a Gas Fireplace
Gas fireplaces provide warmth without the ash and smoke of a wood fireplace. It’s an energy-efficient way to heat a room, but it can get grimy over time.
Burning gas causes the doors of a fireplace to turn white or foggy. These are the steps to take to clean a gas fireplace:
- Turn the gas valve off
- Let the burners completely cool
- Vacuum out dust and debris from around the fireplace
- Dust off gas logs and grates
- Clean fireplace doors
- Clean the andirons and tools with dish soap and water
If your fireplace doors are glass, you can use a simple glass cleaner and paper towels.
If you have a white film on the glass, use a glass fireplace-specific cleaner instead. These cleaners are better for cleaning tough stains and are manufactured for fireplaces.
Soot builds up over time and can cause the logs and ports to stop working properly in a gas fireplace. If this happens, you’ll need to seek professional help from a repairman.
If you want to deep clean your fireplace, follow the same steps plus use a stiff-bristled brush dipped in a cleaning solution. Clean from the top down and keep repeating the scrubbing as long as necessary to get a good clean.
Once everything is dry, you can return all of the fireplace components back to the fireplace.
Cleaning an Electric Fireplace
Some homeowners fail to clean their electric fireplaces because they think they don’t need cleaning. This couldn’t be further from the truth!
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on opening a mounted electric fireplace to get started. From there, follow this checklist:
- Turn off the fireplace
- Remove or open the glass doors
- Dust the hearth, stones, logs, or andirons with a clean cloth
- Vacuum vents
- Use a damp cloth or duster to wipe down the inside of the fireplace walls
- Clean glass doors that cover the fireplace
If you have metal andirons and want to make them shine more, use a metal polish.
Cleaning a Wood-Burning Fireplace
A lot of older homes have traditional fireplaces that burn wood. Wood provides the roaring, crackling fire that screams coziness in the winter!
To prepare for winter with this fireplace, make sure it’s clean the first time you use it. The more you use your fireplace, the more soot, creosote, and ash build up.
The only thing inside a wood-burning fireplace is a metal grate. There’s a possibility that it will have a damper and glass or built-in screen doors as well.
You’ll want to clean this type of fireplace more often using these steps:
- Extinguish any fire
- Spread embers with a fireplace shovel and cover them with ash or baking soda
After doing this, wait 24 hours and start making a deep cleaning solution. combine dish soap, a gallon of warm water, and 1/4 cup of heavy-duty cleaner in a big bucket.
Once 24 hours have passed, remove the burnt wood, andirons, and fireplace grate. Then, do the following:
- Sweep up ash with a dustpan and broom
- Vacuum additional residue
- Scrub the fireplace with a stiff brush and the cleaning solution you made
- Clean bricks with a pumice stone dipped in dish soap
- Clean glass doors with a cleaner and paper towels
Lastly, clean the tools and andirons you took out earlier and polish them if you wish. Make sure your fireplace walls and floors are thoroughly dry before using the fireplace again.
Fireplace Cleaning Before Winter
Fireplace cleaning before winter is recommended by the National Fire Protection Association. This timeframe has a lot to do with fireplace safety as well.
Before cleaning your fireplace, it’s important to have it inspected. You should be getting a fireplace inspection at least once every year before the weather gets colder.
No matter the type of fireplace you have, inspections are a necessary part of maintenance and cleaning. In addition to the buildup of soot, birds and other animals can build nests in fireplaces and cause a safety hazard as well.
You should also have a plumber inspect a gas fireplace line once a year so that you know it is working correctly before using it.
Even if you follow these fireplace cleaning tips, lighting a fireplace comes with different safety hazards. Invest in a carbon monoxide detector and make sure it works while using a fireplace.
The Only Fireplace Cleaning Guide You’ll Need
This winter, prepare for the cold weather by following this fireplace cleaning guide. If you plan to use your fireplace multiple times throughout the cold months, you’ll want to keep it clean for safety and for the best results.
Whether you have a gas, electric, or wood-burning fireplace in your residential or commercial property, cleaning is essential!
If you’re using this guide to decide if getting a fireplace is too much work, it’s fairly simple to maintain. Ready for fireplace installation? Contact us today to get started.