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What Products Should I Use To Clean My Fireplace?

Maintaining your fireplace takes more than just an annual sweeping and inspection by a certified chimney sweep. There are a number of ways homeowners can clean and maintain their fireplaces in the time between sweepings.

One of the most common questions we receive from our customers is “What products should I use to clean my fireplace?” With hundreds of cleaners on the market, it can be difficult to determine which fireplace products to use. The following guide can help homeowners find the best – and avoid the worst – products for your fireplace.

Chimney Sweeping Logs

Chimney sweeping logs are often advertised as a less-expensive, DIY alternative to a chimney sweeping. Unfortunately, these products are often ineffective and can create safety issues within your fireplace system. Because of this, we discourage our customers from using them, even between regularly scheduled sweepings.

When chimney sweeping logs work by giving off a chemical smoke that loosens soot, ash, and creosote in the flue. While some of this buildup falls into the firebox, falling creosote often becomes trapped on the smoke shelf or within the angles of the flue. This can create blockages in the flue or increase the risk of chimney fire.

“I usually tell people using one of those logs instead of having your chimney cleaned manually is like chewing Dentyne instead of brushing your teeth,” said Allan Bopp of Bald Eagle Enterprises. “It may help a little, but it’s a poor substitute for the real thing.”

Cleaning Fireplace Masonry

The masonry surrounding the fireplace can become stained from years of exposure to smoke and soot. Especially common in older homes, masonry staining can turn a beautiful fireplace into a dirty eyesore.

We recommend ChimneySaver Paint “N” Peel Fireplace Cleaner. This easy to use, safe, and an effective product that can remove years of buildup from bricks, stone, slate, tile, concrete, marble, and more.

Paint “N” Peel cures for 24-48 hours after application onto the stained masonry. Since it is non-toxic and chemical free, you and your family do not have to leave the home during use. Removal is easy, clean, and leaves behind a fireplace that looks years younger.

Fireplace Cleaning Products

When choosing a cleaner for the glass or metal of your fireplace, it is extremely important to choose a non-flammable cleaner specifically designed for fireplaces. Generic cleaners can give off chemicals – or even catch fire – when used on fireplace components. Likewise, use non-abrasive scrubbers, rags, or cloths to avoid scratching the glass or metal.

Fireplace cleaners can be purchased at many hearth stores or other hardware stores. For homeowners who prefer a greener, DIY approach to cleaning their fireplace leftover ashes can be used to remove stains from fireplace glass. Dampen a piece of newspaper or paper towel, coat the dampened area with ash, and gently scrub the glass in a circular motion. Repeat as necessary until glass is clean, and remove any ash residue with water and a clean cloth when finished.

Using the right products can help extend the life of your fireplace system. For more information on fireplace cleaners, contact the experts at Clean Sweeps of Michigan today.

Closing Out Your Fireplace For The Season

Punxsutawney Phil may have seen his shadow and predicted six more weeks of winter. However, spring will be here before we know it! As warmer temperatures arrive, many homeowners will stop using their fireplaces until the following fall.

Simply closing the glass doors and putting the wood and fireplace tools away isn’t enough. Take the time to close out your fireplace and chimney for the season. These four easy steps will ensure your fireplace is ready to use again in the fall.

Clean the fireplace.

This might seem obvious, but cleaning the fireplace is the best way to close out your fireplace for the season. Remove any remaining ashes or soot from the fireplace. Now may be the time to bust out the Shop Vac. This is to get into the nooks, crannies, and corners of your unit. In addition, take the time to clean your fireplace tools, pokers, log racks, ash containers, and more.

In addition to cleaning out the fireplace, spring is a great season to have your chimney swept. After a long winter of use, most chimneys are in need of a good sweeping; having your chimney swept in the spring can remove deposits of ash, soot, and flammable creosote from inside the flue, leaving your chimney ready for use again in the fall.

Inspect the chimney.

With a combination of freezing temperatures and exposure to snow and ice, winter is the toughest season on your chimney season. Because of this, most masonry damage occurs during the winter months; having your chimney inspected in the spring can ensure that your chimney’s bricks and mortar are free from cracks, chips, holes, or other signs of water damage.

In addition to checking your masonry for signs of damage, a chimney inspection will evaluate the other accessible interior and exterior portions of your fireplace and chimney system. This can also be used as a useful tool in diagnosing any ongoing performance problems such as drafts, leaks, odors, and more.

Close the damper.

When your wood burning fireplace is not in use, the damper should be closed. Closing the damper tightly ensures that no conditioned air from your home is being lost up the chimney. Also, that no outside air is coming in and affecting your home’s temperature. Using a damper in combination with glass doors can help create an even tighter seal between your home and outside air.

Turn off the pilot light.

If you have a gas fireplace, it has a pilot light. The pilot light is a small flame that remains lit at all times when the unit is connected. This allows the fire to ignite when the fireplace is turned on. While it is small, the pilot light continues to use energy the entire time it is lit. If you do not plan on using your fireplace for several months, you may save energy by turning off the unit. In addition, turning off the pilot light completely.

Spring is just around the corner; call Clean Sweeps of Michigan today and schedule your appointment to help close down your fireplace for the season!

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