Cleaning the bricks in your fireplace is vital for strengthening your chimney’s integrity. The brick is very porous, so excess soot and ash can cause permanent damage to the structure. Use Chimcare’s quick guide to proper brick cleaning for the best-looking fireplace!

Clear the Fireplace of Debris

Before you begin any cleaning method, you must clear the fireplace of debris to ensure it’s as clean as possible. You don’t want the dust and ash mixing with your cleaning solution, so use a vacuum to suck up any loose soot or ash. Additionally, your fireplace should be cool to the touch before you begin cleaning the bricks.

Saturate the Brick With Water

Bricks are very porous, so any cleaners you apply directly to them could discolor them. Completely saturating the bricks with plain water will keep the cleaning solutions on their surface instead of seeping into them. We recommend placing a drop cloth in front of the hearth before wetting the bricks to help keep your floors dry.

Prepare Your Cleaning Solution and Scrub the Brick

Two of the best cleaning solutions you can try for your brick are dishwashing soap and white distilled vinegar. We recommend starting with dish soap because it’s a milder option than vinegar or other stronger store-bought cleaners. To create your solution, put in a quarter cup of dish soap for every four cups of water. The vinegar mixture should be equal parts vinegar and water.

Place the mixture into a bottle and spray your brickwork in sections. Take a scrub brush and gently scrub the cleaning solution around the bricks to loosen and remove soot. It’s best to work in sections so that the solution doesn’t dry on the bricks.

Rinse and Repeat

The next step in this guide to cleaning your fireplace bricks is to rinse them with plain water again to completely remove the solution. Leaving the solution on the bricks could alter their look, so it’s essential that you don’t miss this last step. Repeat the cleaning process if you find more debris. Remember to perform this cleaning once a year for the best-looking masonry, and contact our chimney repair contractors at Chimcare if you find any damage throughout this process.

You can apply the same cleaning steps both outside and inside your chimney. The more well-kept your fireplace is, the more functionality you’ll receive from it. Remember to clean your brick once a year and do an annual chimney inspection. This way, you can ensure everything is working properly before you build a fire inside the hearth again.