Have a fireplace at homeBesides being beautiful and elegant, it can be very useful in winter. Now, if we don’t give it the maintenance it needs, it can also become a dangerous element. For this reason, it must be taken into account the best tips and tricks for cleaning the fireplace to avoid problems.
The best tips and tricks for cleaning your fireplace
If we ask someone who has it at home when the last time the fireplace was cleaned, they may not even remember it. In reality, the best tips and tricks for cleaning the fireplace They are intended for chimneys that only accumulate soot.
And if the chimney has accumulated creosote, the most advisable thing is call a specialist so that the deep cleaning.
The question everyone will have at this point is whether it is really necessary to clean the chimney. The answer is yes, as long as you are going to use it, of course. In fact, before seeing the best tips and tricks for cleaning the fireplace It is convenient to know the reasons to keep the fireplace clean
Reasons to keep the fireplace clean
Safety is the greatest of reasons to keep the fireplace clean, but not the only one:
- Safety and prevention – Soot and creosote are highly flammable. Having traces of both in the chimney can start a fire in just over 60 seconds. Hence the importance of keeping the fireplace clean
- Accumulation of gas – Debris deposited by the wind at the exit of the chimney (branches, leaves, garbage, etc.) prevent it from escaping normal gas. If this happens, the danger is twofold: both from carbon monoxide which can build up and from the fire it can generate.
- Bad smells – When the flue is dirty and clogged, the accumulated dirt rots, generating bad odors that end up permeating the whole room and its furniture.
How often should I clean the fireplace
¿How often should I clean the fireplace? The big question that many fireplace users ask themselves. The answer varies depending on how it is used:
- Wet wood: If we use it to burn wet logs (pine, softwood, etc.), it is advisable to call in a specialist every 50 uses, because wet wood generates unburnt residues which remain stuck in the flue and eventually turn into creosote.
- Dry wood: If what we use in the fireplace is dry wood (oak, birch …), we can clean the fireplace every 75 uses. These woods burn cleaner and leave less residue in the flue.
However, to dispel your doubts, feel free to call a chimney sweep that you regularly inspect the chimney. Not only will it tell you if it needs cleaning, but it will also check for any deterioration, ventilation problems or recommendations for use.
If, on the other hand, you prefer to be the one who takes care of the maintenance of your fireplace, they will be useful to you. the best tips and tricks for cleaning the fireplace to leave it spotless and suitable for Santa Claus to descend without staining. In fact, when I go downstairs, it wouldn’t be a bad thing to find a Christmas tree made from recycled material
To do this, plan to at least do an annual deep cleaning, always before starting to put it in autumn or winter. Once you start using it you need to do routine weekly maintenance, to have it always ready.
Tips and tricks for cleaning the fireplace
Tips and tricks for cleaning the fireplace, as you will see, they are of all kinds. And there are many elements that influence having a clean chimney that is suitable for use:
- Wood type: If you use dry wood, as we have seen, the cleanings will be more spaced than with wet wood and with a lot of resin. It goes without saying that never use painted or varnished wood in the fireplace, it is a huge danger.
- Smoke outlet: The type of pipe with smoke outlet also influences the frequency of cleaning. If it is galvanized steel, you will need to clean more frequently.
- Special vacuum cleaner: A lot of people don’t know it, but there are special vacuum cleaners for chimneys and they are the fastest and easiest option to clean it. These are metal vacuum cleaners, larger than the usual ones, and whose reservoir can accumulate up to 20 liters of dirt. So on many occasions you will be able to do the cleaning on the fly and not have to empty every time. In addition, the bags are flame retardant in case the dirt sucked in is still hot.
- HEPA filter: If you are going to suck up the soot, you should use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter, as it is very effective in cleaning it. Of course, you need to do this when the ashes are already cold, and most importantly, be very careful when emptying, so as not to stain everything with ash.
- Wire brush: It is a classic in chimney cleaning and it is still one of the most used tools in these tasks. Yes, with this brush you have to scrape the soot from the walls. You will need an extension cord for the higher areas, even going all the way to the roof to clean the exit.
- The vinegar: If for some reason ash stains part of the house, vinegar will be your best ally. Simply mix half the water and half the vinegar in a sprayer and pour it over the stained areas. You will see that with a sponge or a cloth, everything is clean as if nothing had happened.
- Chimney sweep log: One of the great allies of chimney cleaning is the chimney sweep. These are logs made with special chemicals that give off soot or even creosote, and all we have to do is let them burn. Once it is consumed, vacuum up and you will see its surprising effectiveness.
- Brick: It seems obvious but not everyone applies it. If you start from the top, soot will fall into the ignition area and dirt will collect there. If you do it the other way around, when cleaning the uppermost area, it will stain the lower one that you have already cleaned.
- Protect nearby furniture: Soot and ash generate a lot of dust, so cover anything near the fireplace as it can end up covered in ash.