If you are tired of soot stains and dirt on your brick fireplace, it’s high time to think about cleaning it. The procedure can be rather difficult if you don’t know how to do it properly. Bricks are porous so they absorb soot and other substances. It is not easy to clear them away with simple wiping.
Therefore, I want to share some useful tricks and tips with you on how to clean fireplace brick surfaces easier.
What You Need
Before taking up this DIY project, think about whether you have all the materials and tools for it at hand.
Thus, check if you have something from this list:
- a vacuum cleaner;
- a wire brush;
- a firm, plastic-bristled scrub brush;
- a waterproof drop cloth;
- dish soap (detergent);
- a masonry sponge;
- a spray bottle;
- white vinegar;
- Scrubbing Bubbles or any other foaming bathroom cleaner;
- TSP (trisodium phosphate);
- protective gloves;
- eye protection (goggles);
- a rinsing bucket;
- baking soda;
- tartar cream;
- an old firm toothbrush.
This list can be continued. However, it does not mean that you should use all of these substances and tools.
The dirt on your brick fireplace may not be so stubborn and you can clear it out with some milder methods before coming over to harsher ones.
How to Clean Fireplace Bricks with Cleaning Solutions
Always start with a milder detergent because you may never know how effective it will be.
To start with, prepare the mildest cleanser of all by mixing a ¼ cup of dish soap with 4 cups of water. This solution is especially helpful for bricks that are over 20 years old. Stronger means may severely damage or even ruin them.
A bathroom cleaner, such as Scrubbing Bubbles, is effective for non-porous surfaces. Though, it is often used by homeowners to clean fireplace bricks. Apply the cleanser and leave it for 15-20 minutes before scrubbing and rinsing.
If soot stains are rather stubborn, use borax, ammonia or TSP mixtures with water. Don’t forget to wear gloves and goggles for protection. Be careful about old or fragile bricks. These solutions are not appropriate for them.
How to Clean Bricks with Vinegar
White vinegar is often the best option. However, it is acidic so be careful while applying it to old bricks.
The solution is made with equal parts of warm water and vinegar. The mild and medium stains will easily disappear. You can make the effect stronger by adding a little dish soap.
Scrub Fireplace Brick
Use a spray bottle with the cleanser to apply it directly on the surface to clean fireplace bricks. Do it from top to bottom so that the dirty solution does not drip down on the brushed and scrubbed surface.
Don’t forget to wet the surface with clear water before starting any cleaning or scrubbing. If you do not do that, the porous nature of bricks will help absorb the cleanser and you won’t get any effect.
Depending on the severity of stains, use a wire or plastic bristle brush moving it circularly. Be careful not to press too strongly or you can damage the surface badly.
Reapply the cleaning solution and scrub again if the stains are too stubborn.
At the end, remember to rinse the scrubbed surface with a sponge and water several times. If the water in the bucket gets dark, change it. You may need to use an old toothbrush or a small scrubbing brush to clean the minor stains that remained. Baking soda or tartar cream can be applied to make the process easier.
Now, you know how to clean fireplace bricks smoothly and effectively. Let’s try now. You may find some of my tips quite useful.