A fireplace is a refined and functional piece of furniture, but at the same time, especially when it gets dirty in stone, dust, ash and soot collect and over time there is a risk of discoloring the coating. So, how to clean stone fireplace and returns its glorified look? To avoid this it is necessary to clean it regularly and adequately with specific products.
Things to consider before cleaning your fireplace
Stone fireplaces should be cleaned when deposits appear. This type of chimney can be difficult to clean because of the porosity and irregular shape of the stones. However, with a little time and effort, you can do a regular cleaning without the help of a professional. You should prepare the chimney first, do an initial cleaning and then a deep cleaning if necessary.
There is various ways you can do to clean your stone fireplace. However, there are some tips you should do when cleaning your fireplace:
Clean the chimney regularly
At least once a month, the outside of the fireplace should be cleaned. The inside of the fireplace should be cleaned whenever ¼ or more soot deposits appear. For some, this might mean cleaning once a year. With frequent use, the fireplace may need to be cleaned several times a year.
Cover the stove with a tarp
Be sure to cover the area around the fireplace with a tarp. You should do this to protect the stove and floor from the chemicals used in cleaning. You can buy a tarp or use cheap dollar store shower curtains. Seal the tarp with tape.
Lay out towels around the area
Place towels or blankets in the area around the tarp. This will catch any drips or runoff of the cleaning solution. Only use towels or blankets that are likely to stain.
Perform an initial cleaning
Use a broom and dustpan to sweep up as much ash and dust as possible. Sweep around the fire pit and dust the chimney with a smaller brush. Then spray the chimney with water. This makes it more vulnerable to cleaning solutions.
Put on protection
Always wear eye protection and rubber gloves when handling chemicals. You can opt out if you use a milder solution, but you should definitely do it if you use bleach, strong detergents, or trisodium phosphate. You should also open a window to let in fresh air while cleaning.
How to clean stone fireplace
If you want to clean the fireplace yourself, you should follow these steps:
Use an all-purpose cleaner
Wash down the chimney with an all-purpose cleaner. Spray on the cleaner and use a sponge to scrub away the buildup.
Switch to mild soap
After the first scrub, switch to a mild soap. Mix the mild soap with water. Keep scrubbing the stone.
Use more all-purpose cleaner
Switch back to the all-purpose cleaner after scrubbing with the mild soap. Scrub for a while, then switch back to the mild soap if needed. Keep switching back and forth until you are happy with the result. Let the stone dry for a few minutes.
Mix the trisodium phosphate with water
Use ½ or 1 cup trisodium phosphate (TSP). Add the TSP to a gallon of warm water. This is a very strong chemical so make sure you wear all your protection when handing over the TSP.
Use a scrub brush
Dip a scrubbing brush into the mixture. Start scrubbing the chimney. You may need to do some thorough scrubbing to remove any buildup. Be careful to get into those hard-to-reach places and nooks and crannies.
Make a paste for difficult areas
If the hard spots don’t come off, you can make a paste out of some water and TSP. Apply the paste directly to the area. Scrub until the spot begins to lift. Flush with water. Dip a clean sponge in water. Flush every part of the chimney where you used the TSP. Allow time to dry.
Use vinegar and baking soda
You can also use natural products that are easily available at home and that serve to remove the most hostile incrustations with excellent results. Among these, a truly excellent mix is that which can be made with vinegar and baking soda.
The former is an excellent degreaser as well as a disinfectant, while the latter exerts a light and effective abrasive action. To use the products properly, you need to apply them with a sponge and rub vigorously, especially in areas that appear dirtier.
To maximize the result after squeezing the sponge, dry sodium bicarbonate is poured on its surface and further abrasive action is carried out until dirt residues are completely removed. In the end, it is enough to rinse and dry with a soft cloth. To avoid the resulting cloudiness, you can also use floor wax or straw oil.
What else you should pay attention to when cleaning
If the dirt is stubborn and has penetrated deeper into the stone, you may have to repeat the cleaning with intensive cleaner. It is essential to avoid steam cleaners or cleaning devices that have a strong mechanical effect on the surfaces, as they usually increase the problems or cause more damage than they remove dirt.
After cleaning, you should definitely apply an impregnation or seal to the affected surfaces to protect them from new dirt from soot or other deposits. If you use impregnating agents or other seals, make sure that they are suitable for the higher temperatures that can occur in a chimney.
Sandstone surfaces that have already been treated are much easier to clean. Soot in particular can no longer settle so easily after the surfaces have been pretreated. It’s a little easier for you here. Various basic cleaners are generally used for cleaning.
With these, even relatively deep-seated dirt can be loosened and removed. But don’t forget to test the effect of the chemical agents on a hidden spot before you apply them all over the surface. It is essential to avoid acidic cleaning agents, which can only be cleaned with acid-free cleaning agents without damaging them.