Is There A Way To Get Smoke Stains Off Fireplace Bricks Or Stone?

Cleaning fireplaces can be a real pain, whether they are made of bricks or stone. One simply has to make peace with the fact that whenever a fireplace is set ablaze; it is going to produce a considerable amount of smoke and soot. However, these factors are inconsequential when we consider the benefits of having a fireplace during the sordid cold months; but the fact also remains that without occasional cleaning to brush off the dirt and grime, the fireplace will not have a long life.


Here are a few cleaning tricks that you could apply to keep your stone or brick fireplace clean:

  • The most common method of cleaning a fireplace is by using soap and abrasives like salt. Mixing the soap with the salt and a little water, a creamy concoction can be created which can be applied to the fireplace. After drying, it can be taken off with a stiff bristled brush which will bring out the dirt too. This method is especially good for brick fireplaces.
  • If your fireplace does not respond to the simple soap and abrasive solution, it probably needs a harsher treatment which can be given through ammonia. Making a thick mixture with dish soap, pumice, ammonia, and hot water; one can apply this on the fireplace and wait for it to dry. This can later be taken off with a wet scrub brush.
  • For fireplaces which have severe complaints of soot, a combination of ammonia and naphtha is used. This is done by shaving the naphtha bar in a large container semi filled with water which is then boiled till the time the soap melts. On cooling, a cup of ammonia and some pumice is added and this whole mixture is then applied to the fireplace. After a considerable resting time, about an hour or so, the whole thing is scrubbed off with a stiff brush. Any remnants can be cleaned with a thorough rinse in warm water.
  • For particularly harsh smoke and soot stains, one could use the ultimate tri sodium phosphate as a cleaning agent; however, it would be wise to carry gloves and eye protection as the material can be quite harmful. On dissolving half a cup of tri sodium phosphate in a gallon of hot water, one will get the resultant solution which can then be used on the fireplace. However, extreme caution needs to be maintained as this is a very strong solution and it makes use of harsh chemicals which may prove to be damaging if handled callously.

Apart from the above techniques for cleaning a brick fireplace, it may sometimes so happen that the soot has set deep enough and is beyond redemption. The better thing to do in such cases is to opt for painting or resurfacing for your fireplace. Both new colors and new tiles have a unique way of bringing in cheer to any room and these options must be explored if necessary.

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