A fireplace is a luxury but if you regularly use it then you have to clean the fireplace insert doors and screens. As a fireplace burns wood the fumes, soot and other particles will find their way up the chimney but also on the insert doors and screen. These deposits can become dangerous over time as these materials form a hardened coating known as creosote which is flammable. The following article will show you how to properly clean the insert doors and screens of your fireplace.
Step 1 - Cleaning the Fireplace Glass
Before you clean the glass on the fireplace screen you should always check your warranty. If the warranty is still good, do not use any materials that the manufacturer does not recommend or else you will void the warranty. You can also have the company clean it as part of the warranty agreement.
Before you begin cleaning make sure that the glass is cool to the touch, then remove the screen from the fireplace area if you cannot reach the glass. Use the specialized formulated fireplace glass cleaner on a rag to clean the glass. With the cleaner on a soft rag apply it to the glass in a circular movement. Make sure the cleaner is all over the glass. Wait for the cleaner to dry then wipe it off with a paper towel. Repeat this cleaning process if there is any soot still remaining. Mix 1 part water with 1 part white vinegar and place in a spray bottle. Spray the glass with the mixture and wipe off with a paper towel. This mixture will take off residue left behind by cleaner or soot.
Step 2 - Cleaning the Fireplace Screen
The screen is a dirtier job than the glass so a sheet is a good idea so you do not damage carpets or floors. Use a spray bottle that is 2/3 full of warm water. Add to the bottle 3 tbsp. vinegar and 1 tbsp. salt. Screw the lid on the bottle and shake it vigorously until the salt is dissolved. Spray the screen with the solution and allow it set and work for 10 minutes. Scrub the screen using the soft-bristled brush then wipe off the screen using a damp rag. If there is brass on the screen then wipe that section again with a second damp rag to remove residue. Use a towel to dry the screen.
Step 3 - Creosote Removal
Gloves and a dust mask are important when removing creosote due to its toxic nature. Remove wood and any large chunks of debris from the insert and put them in a trash bag. Sweep away the soot and dispose of it then vacuum the fireplace with the round hose attachment. Pay special attention to the corners. Mix together a cup of bleach and a gallon of water. Scrub away the creosote with a stiff bristled brush and bleach mixture. Remove the bleach with a damp rag.