Stone Fireplace

How to Clean a Stone Fireplace With Easy Steps

Although dust and filth may go undetected due to the softer patina of stone fireplaces compared to brick, your fireplace should still be cleaned on a regular basis. Microscopic pits on the surface of natural stone such as granite, limestone, or slate gather dust, grime, soot, and creosote—a dark brown condensation of fire byproducts (e.g., smoke or vapor) that can cause chimney fires. The best method to keep your fireplace looking beautiful, efficient, and safe is to remove these accumulations on a regular basis, which is a rather simple and affordable chore. So keep reading to discover how to clean a stone fireplace (as well as deep-clean it if necessary) with household items.

What You Will Need?

  • A hand broom and a dustpan, or a vacuum.
  • TSP (Trisodium Phosphate) high duty cleanser is widely available at hardware stores.
  • Bleach
  • Water that is warm
  • Bucket \sSponge
  • Brush with stiff bristles
  • discarded blankets or towels
  • Tarp made of plastic
  • The duct tape
  • Gloves made of rubber
  • Eye protection is essential.

How to Clean a Stone Fireplace?

1. Remove ashes and dust on a regular basis.

If you use your fireplace frequently, it is critical to remove any burnt garbage. Not only will it improve the appearance of the area, but it may also be harmful to your health since burning wood emits air pollutants such as toxins, according to the American Heart Society, and its residues can linger in your fireplace for weeks if left unattended.

According to The Maids, sweeping away ashes and unburned wood pieces and then dusting slightly damp coffee grounds on them before removing is advised on a weekly basis. This stops the often-light soot from flying around on your carpet and furniture – and saves you from having to use the vacuum! Bob Vila also advised placing ashes in a metal container and then filling it with cold water before covering it with a lid. Nothing that is still combustible ignites this way. Never pick up any burning ash. This is dangerous because, in addition to causing damage to furniture and rugs, you might easily start a fire or burn someone. Never clear soot unless it has been at least half a day (or more) since your previous fire.

2. Use mild cleaning solutions to clean the stone bricks.

According to the Chicago Tribune, natural stone for fireplaces ranges from granite (which is extremely durable) to more permeable varieties such as limestone and sandstone.

However, you can clean both with simple do-it-yourself procedures. Specifically, try washing the stones with warm water and a cloth, then allowing them to dry. If the markings persist, damp down the area with a spray bottle filled with hottish water before softly cleaning it with a brush. Allow to dry and wipe any extra liquid.

For persistent stains, consider adding several teaspoons of dish soap and re-scrubbing the area. You may also use home cleansers. Just be cautious when using products containing bleach, acids (including vinegar), or trisodium phosphate (TSP).

These are fairly harsh and, if not handled carefully, might harm your stone. The DIY Network also advised testing your cleaning solution before using it all over. Create a modest, out-of-the-way sampling location, then clean and let dry. You’re fine to proceed if nothing seems brightened or streaked.

3. Sand out any really tenacious spots on the stones.

Some imperfections will not come out no matter how hard you scrub. According to the Chicago Tribune, if the stone in your fireplace is soft (such as limestone), you can attempt sandblasting the stain away. For the job, you’ll need fine- to medium-grit sandpaper (120- to 80-grit) and a vacuum cleaner to clear up the mess you’ll produce — on the stone and on your floor.

Remember that you are sanding off part of the surface of the fireplace; you cannot replace anything that has been removed. When feasible, try to follow the contour and texture of the stone. Some stones are so smooth that you won’t notice any. To eliminate any traces of sanding, gently sand the surface, wipe it clean with a rag, then vacuum it. How does it appear? Hopefully, the mark has vanished and you may just smooth up the area. If the discoloration persists, bear in mind that ash, sparks, and dust do leave their mark, and even the most meticulous housekeeper may have a fireplace with the odd use scar.

4. Make your mantel shimmer.

SF Gate advises taking extra measures when cleaning the mantle; you don’t want your washing to damage the walls or floor. Use painter’s tape to shield all of these surfaces from cleanser spills. You might also lay a tarp on the floor or cover surrounding furniture. You should also use cleaners similar to those used on the stones, beginning with gentler versions including dish-washing detergent (3 parts water to 1 part dish cleanser). For tougher stains, use 10 parts water to 1 part hydrochloric acid and a few squirts of detergent for good measure. After gently washing, immediately rinse.

Presoaking the mantle before cleaning the rest of the fireplace is a smart idea, especially if you’re using a more acidic way of eliminating debris. Using a sponge, mop the area with water. If you work long enough, the wetness will dry and you may dab it again.

5. Use stronger cleaners to remove more stubborn stains.

You’ve used the dish soap, and it’s time to try something a bit more potent. Do It Yourself advised combining 1 cup of detergent and 3 teaspoons of table salt with 3 quarts of warm water before using the big guns. Apply for 10 minutes while wearing rubber gloves. Then, using a plastic wire scrubber, gently scrape all of the filthy grout and stone (a toothbrush works well for any hard-to-get areas). Remove with a sponge and water, rinsing as needed to ensure just the stone remains.

What?! Is the stain still there? Try some ammonia, preferably anything with 5% to 10% of the chemical. Make a paste with 1 cup of finely powdered pumice and 1 cup of water. After 10 minutes, turn on the fireplace and resume the scrub/rinse procedure. Because ammonia may burn and sting if it comes into contact with you, you should wear long sleeves and goggles. If that doesn’t work, try a more abrasive cleanser, such as trisodium phosphate. To 3 quarts of water, add 1/2 cup TSP. Because this is hazardous, put on all of your protective gear, including a face mask, gloves, and goggles.

6. Remove any creosote deposits

According to Bob Vila, all fireplace eventually obtains some creosote coating — a fire byproduct that appears dark brown or blackish and can cause chimney fires — on its stones.

You should probably address this once a year. Those of you who use the fireplace as a decorative piece and rarely use it have a bit longer time between cleanings. It’s time to remove the creosote from the firebox, the primary area where your logs constantly burn.

According to Priddy Chimney Sweeps, creosote buildup occurs in three phases.

It begins as a little issue with only a thin coating of flaky debris; this is the simplest to clear.

In the second stage, the creosote begins to resemble tar and is more difficult to remove, so you may need to call in expert help. Stage three can spark a fire because it is thicker and begins to obstruct airflow. To remove this residue, a chimney service may be necessary.

According to Hunker, a DIY solution for general cleaning is 1 tablespoon of dish soap to 4 cups of hot water. For the majority of the fireplace, simply wiping the stones down may be sufficient. If you’re working on the chimney, extra instruments, such as a sharp blade, may be required to chip away the heavier layers.

7. Guidelines for cleaning a stone gas fireplace

Stone gas fireplaces may keep you away from the woodpile, but they also need to be cleaned on a regular basis. According to Fireplaces Direct, burners can clog and logs, while built for long-term usage, may require a touch-up or replacement. The glass is frequently hazy as well. To remedy any difficulties, switch off the pilot light and only touch the fireplace when it has cooled fully. According to The Spruce, “look in the handbook to discover how to disassemble all of the fireplace’s components so you can make everything flawless.” It’s also a good idea to take anything you can work on outdoors to prevent making a mess inside.

You should take out the glass and polish it using glass cleaner. The thermocouple, which detects temperature, accumulates soot over time as well. Turn off the power and remove any filth with steel wool or emery cloth sandpaper to resolve this issue. The thermocouple can be damaged by wire brushes and coarse tools. When the buildup has been removed, take a soft towel and wipe off all of your work. Reassemble your fireplace after everything is in order.

8. Have your chimney checked on a regular basis.

You want to make sure your fireplace’s chimney works correctly, which is why the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) recommends a yearly check-up that includes an examination and cleaning. You want to make sure that nothing is clogged or damaged so that overheating or a fire does not occur.

Of course, do-it-yourselfers may clean the chimney by purchasing a sweeping brush and then firmly closing the fireplace with plastic to capture all the soot falling down. Now comes the difficult part: You must climb to the roof and remove the chimney cap. Inspect your chimney liner for rips, and then check to see if anything is obstructing the shaft. Use a respirator, safety goggles, and gloves when cleaning. Make certain that all soot, grime, and creosote are removed. Because not everyone wants to undertake this work, Mr. Fix It DIY recommends hiring a service to do it for you.

 Stone Fireplace

Suggestions & Advice to Clean a Stone Fireplace

  • Never use a combustible substance to clean a stone or brick fireplace. It will be impossible to remove, and the residue left so near to an open flame poses a significant fire risk.
  • Bleach may fade stone, so use it with caution.
  • More water is required if streaking occurs. The cleaner areas are those where the water flowed down from higher locations on the stone.
  • Before commencing any cleaning endeavor, it’s usually a good idea to test any cleaning product in an inconspicuous location. Wait 24 hours, or at least until the test spot has dried, before continuing with the project.
  • Working on a chilly fireplace. Do not attempt to clean a hot or in use fireplace.
  • Scoop out all ash and fire debris before cleaning the face of the fireplace to avoid a worse mess.
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