If you have a wood fireplace, spring and summer is the perfect time to clean it out after a long winter of use. Homeowners will need to focus on cleaning out the dust, soot, and creosote that has piled up, which they can do themselves or find a fireplace cleaning business. If you’re up to the task, here’s how you can clean out your fireplace.

  1. Before starting anything, make sure your fireplace is completely cool and any embers have been out for at least 24 hours.
  2. Place a large towel or sheet on the hearth and area around it to keep the debris from getting on your carpet or floor. If you want to be extra careful, cover the furniture close to the fireplace as well. Avoid wearing nice clothes and cover your hair if wanted. Unfortunately, this necessary task can get a bit messy.
  3. Have some trash bags or bins nearby to collect the ash. Grab a long brush on a flexible pole to reach high up into the chimney. Scrub the sides until there seems to be no more falling debris. You want this to be as clean as possible before getting out the cleaning solution. (Think of sweeping the floor before mopping.)
  4. Use a specific fireplace cleaner from the store or mix a bleach/water solution. Use a sturdy scrub brush to get off any stubborn build up like creosote. Go as high up as you can first and then work your way down. Replace the mixture as needed if it gets dirty.
  5. Either dispose, store, or compost the soot/ash. Ash can be used as a fertilizer for your lawn/garden, a mild abrasive cleaner for glass/metal, a way to add nutrients to your compost, and an insect repellant. We wrote another blog all about ways to use ash around the home and garden.
  6. Rinse the fireplace with water and use it to also clean up any areas that might have gotten dirty. Let the fireplace dry for a couple days before using it again, and enjoy knowing you have a clean chimney.

Cleaning out your chimney should be a yearly task to ensure there’s not too much build-up that can cause issues. This helps keep your family safe and take care of your investment. If you’re interested in upgrading your old wood fireplace or changing over to a gas one, stop by our showroom. Brekke Fireplace Shoppe is located in Rochester, MN and has a wide variety of fireplace options.