Cleaning Brick And Stone Fireplaces
A fireplace can often be one of the dirtiest areas of a house or home. It can also be one of the most difficult and arduos cleaning tasks a homeowner will ever face. It can be quite difficult because of the amount of ash in a fireplace, the smoke, and high tempoerature. This article will seek to provide some tips for cleaning out stone and brick fireplaces and will outline some pitfall to avoid when beginning the cleaning project.
Typically, stone fireplaces can be cleaned using a trisodium phosphate (often called TSP) mixture. Trisodium phosphate is a powerful chemical and should only be used in a mixture that is diluted with water. Typically, less than a quarter cup of trisodium phosphate should be used with more than a gallon of water. You can cleaning using this mixture with a spong and a brush. When you are using it, please be sure not to get it on you hands or in your eyes or mouth. you can protect youself by using rubber gloves.
There are several ways to clean a brick fireplace. In all ways, it can be helpful to be careful and to use rubber gloves. The first way to clean a brick fireplace is to use a mixture similiar to the mixture listed above for stone fireplaces.
Another way that can be used to clean a brick fireplace is to use one ounce of soap and one ounce of table salt. Combine this with a little water so that it makes a paste. This paste can be used to scrub and clean the fireplace area with a sponge or brush. This mixture is not as strong as the one listed above.
In some cases, the brick in the fireplace may be too old to withstand a vigorous cleaning. In this case you should use caution before progressing on cleaning the fireplace. If you try to test the cleaning method out on a brick and it falls apart or waers away, you may need to consider other options. It may be time to replace with brick or to have a professional come in and clean the fireplace.
An annual fireplace inspection is a good idea anyway. However, a professional will have several more methods at his disposal for cleaning a dirty fireplace. The professional may be able to give you tips on ways to repair the fireplace or may be able to identify dangerous chemicals like creosote.