Speed-Clean Your Fireplace Checklist
Take your fireplace from filthy to flawless in just 15 minutes. Here’s what you’ll need: a kneeling pad, a shovel and brush set, a scrub brush, glass cleaner, an apron, a large plastic tarp, rubber gloves, a lidded trash can, used coffee grounds, a spray bottle filled with water, dishwashing liquid, a soft cloth, and paper towels.
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Wait at least 24 hours after you’ve burned your last fire so the ashes cool thoroughly.
Put on an apron and lay a plastic tarp in front of the fireplace.
Situate yourself on a kneeling pad. Wearing rubber gloves, remove logs, tinder, and the grate; set aside on the tarp. Keep burnable logs; toss badly charred logs into the trash.
Minutes 3 to 5:
Sprinkle a handful of used coffee grounds on the ashes to minimize flyaways. Sweep each interior wall top to bottom with the fireplace brush. Shovel the ashes into a pan, then dump the debris into the trash.
Sweep each screen top to bottom with the fireplace brush.
Minutes 7 to 10:
Tackle the exterior. For brick: Spray water onto sooty areas followed by hearth cleaner. (For bricks more than 50 years old, use only water—no hearth cleaner.) Clean with a scrub brush, spritz with water, then use a soft cloth to dry. For iron: Spray with hearth cleaner, rinse with water, and use paper towels to dry. For marble and stone: Spray residue with water, clean with dishwashing liquid and a cloth, rinse, and dry.
Minutes 11 to 12:
If the fireplace has glass doors, apply hearth cleaner to the back and front of each door, then wipe down one panel at a time, removing the cleaner before it dries.
Minutes 13 to 14:
To polish tools and grates, place them on the tarp, spray with hearth cleaner, and wipe clean with paper towels.
Replace the grate and logs. Carefully ball up and toss the tarp. Take the trash can outside. Now draw the screens, close the doors, and kick back. But don’t make a fire just yet. You should enjoy that sparkling-new fireplace for at least a few days, right?