During the Melbourne winter, your fireplace was probably working non-stop. Now, as we move into warmer weather your fireplace is looking dirty. Ash, soot, creosote, and other debris collect in and around your fireplace, making it an eye sore and a hazard. Regular fireplace maintenance and cleaning can keep your home tidy and your loved ones safe. 

How often should you clean a wood fireplace?

Typically, if you use your wood fire regularly, you should plan to clean it once a week or once a fortnight. For occasional use, monthly cleaning should suffice. 

How to clean a wood-burning fireplace

First, before you start cleaning your wood fireplace, wait 24 hours after your last fire to ensure it is completely cool. Once cool, prepare to clean your fireplace by wearing old clothing, gloves, a mask and safety goggles and cover or move all the furniture out of the room.

1/ Remove the metal grate and andirons (if you have them)

Take your metal grate or andirons outside and clean them with a wire brush and water. Leave them to dry in the sun. 

2/ Remove the debris and ash

Using a fireplace shovel, scoop any ash or debris into a fire-safe bucket. Soak your ash in water for a few days before following your local Council’s instructions to dispose of it. 

3/ Use a wet-dry vacuum to clean the base and walls of your fireplace

Remove the remaining dust on the fireplace walls and base with a wet-dry vacuum or shop vac. Make sure to dispose of the fireplace ash you collect in your fire-safe bucket. 

4/ Fireplace cleaning solution

Put on rubber gloves and mix a cleaning solution using bleach, water, and trisodium phosphate (TSP). Then use the rest to wipe the firebox walls with a clean wet sponge. Once they are cleaned, wipe them again with water. 

5/ Clean your fireplace surrounds 

Using the cleaning solution you set aside, wipe down the fireplace surrounds with a clean wet sponge. Dry the area with a cloth and bin the cloth afterwards. 

Wood burning fireplace maintenance

In addition to regular cleaning, your wood fireplace should be inspected annually. Contact the licensed gas fitters at Almac Plumbing for fireplace maintenance if you are in Melbourne.