Have you ever cleaned your stone fireplace surround? I bet the answer is no. I mean, how are you supposed to clean craggy rocks? We’re been in our house for more than 13 years and I know we’ve never cleaned our fireplace surround. My guess is that no else in the 70 or so years previous to our ownership did either.
What spurred me into action on this completely unfun project was some photos I took in the living room. One thing stood out: There was a big soot streak in the middle of the fireplace surround.
So I did a little searching on the Internet for how to clean fireplaces. As far as I could tell, there are two options, pay a professional to come do something that sounds super messy, or go at it yourself with a variety if different cleaning methods. Turns out that what I did worked pretty well, but I’ll warn you now that this is a job that’s going to require your best Cinderella (pre-ball) impersonation. There’s some serious elbow grease involved.
|A before picture that shows how much soot had built up over the firebox.|
|Scrub and then scrub some more.|
3. The next bit required safety glasses. Unfortunately the only safety glasses I could find were ones with bifocals so I was feeling a bit woozy. Anyway, then I took a really stiff bristle brush and went to town on all that paste. I mean I scrubbed, and hard. A lot of the paste fell off onto the hearth, which was fine since that was plenty dirty too.
|Take a close look at the mess I have going there. It’s ugly.|
|I had to change out the water at least five times before it wasn’t this color anymore.|
5. This all created a huge mess, so if you do this, be prepared. It gets a lot worse before it gets better. Then I had to rinse all this stuff off. The garden hose or a pressure washer would have done a fine job, but since I don’t have a drain in my living room, I had to use a bucket and rags (I tried a sponge but the stone just ripped it apart). So I rinsed, and rinsed, and rinsed, changing out the water every time it got dirty, until the water in the bucket wasn’t dirty when I rung out the rag.
|Ah … that’s better.|
Then I just towel dried off what I could and left it to dry.
Isn’t it so much better? Now I just need someone to come clean the years of dust off the 15 or so feet above the mantel.
So fess up, have you ever cleaned your fireplace surround?