Cleaning your fireplace out for the summer

Throughout the winter, your fireplace would have worked hard to keep you warm and toasty, but now that the summer is here, it is highly likely that you won’t be relighting yours for a while. Now is your time to repay your gratitude and take good care of it, allowing it to receive a much needed deep clean so that it is ready to burn once again at the end of the year. It is common for homeowners to be unsure of how best to clean your fireplace, or that you can even clean it at all, so we have put together a simple step by step for you to follow and reveal that gleaming, intricate design work that once shone.

Step 1: Cover and protect

Before the cleaning process begins, you may wish to cover the ground and surrounding area with a sheet. You will also want to place your mask on in preparation for some flyaways. As the fire burned throughout the colder season, there would have been a large amount of soot and ash which as likely covered your brickwork in a layer of black and grey dust, an element you probably wouldn’t like staining your furniture with!

Step 2: Check the chimney

If cleaning your fireplace is something which is new to you, you may wish to check your chimney. Occasionally, birds find comfort in the dark, hollow space and build a nest within. If you notice that there are one, or a few birds nesting in yours, you can either remove safely and delicately with the end of a broom, or call for professional assistance.

Step 3: Gather your equipment

For this cleaning task, you will need a handful of household objects:

  • A scrubbing brush (which you don’t mind being stained)
  • A mask (to protect your nose, mouth and eyes if possible)
  • A shovel/scoop
  • A hoover
  • Washing-up liquid
  • Salt
  • Paper towels
  • A bucket

Step 4: Removal

Before you continue any further steps with this cleaning process, ensure that your coals or logs have cooled completely. Ideally, you shouldn’t begin until your fireplace has been out for at least 24 hours. If you have a fire grate, carefully remove this and place it onto your protective sheet.

The cleaning process will start by you removing any large pieces of coal or logs, or any built up debris by use of your scoop and placing it into your bucket. The more careful you are with this process, the less chance you will have of the ash wafting out of the bucket and onto your clothes or furniture. You should then use your hoover or scoop and brush to remove those smaller, dust like parts of ash which will have gathered all over the floor and walls of your firepit.

Step 5: Scrub

Once all debris has been removed, you will have a clear image of how covered the internal walls of your fireplace are. Mix up some warm water with a few drops of washing up liquid and use your scrubbing brush to lightly wipe over the sides. If some parts seem to be stained or need a little extra elbow grease, a tip from us is to mix a small amount of salt into your water and washing up liquid mixture. With a firmer force, scrub the internal walls once again. This should remove any tough stains or build up. With your paper towels, spray some clean, pure water into your fireplace and wipe away. You may need several sheets of paper towels for this.

Step 6: Drying

Once your fireplace has been wiped down and all traces of washing up liquid and ash have been removed, you are safe to dry. For a gleaming finish, we recommend using paper towels to wipe down any remaining water droplets. Leaving your fireplace to air dry will create the left-over stains of water marks. Wipe the towels in the same direction, ideally towards you, and if a small collection of water and soot is collected, you will be able to remove this simply.

Step 7: Redecorate

Now that your fireplace has been emptied and sufficiently cleaned, you are able to redecorate however you wish. Of course, you are able to clean any fire grates which you may have with the same washing up liquid and water mixture, and then can dry and place back as it once was. You could also switch it up for the summer months and create an eye capturing scenery piece within your home by decorating your fireplace in a unique way.

If you have any queries about cleaning your fireplace, or would like to enquire about having a fireplace installed within your home, get in touch with our friendly team at Fiveways Fires and Stoves where we can arrange an appointment with you and discuss your best options. Give us a call on 020 8127 4747 or email us at  info@fivewaysfires.co.uk and we will be happy to help.