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Tips For Cleaning The Fireplace And Chimney

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Cleaning a fireplace and chimney is a necessity as soot and creosote deposits build up over the course of regular use. Cleaning them is fairly easy, though.

Fireplace & Chimney Cleaning Tips

  • Hire a chimney sweeper annually. A chimney professional is required to ensure fireplace, clearing any obstructions in the chimney and removing creosote and other deposits. Creosote in particular must be removed before it builds up as it is combustible and can lead to chimney fires.
  • Prepare a paper bag fire starter kit. Fill a paper bag can with kindling, crumpled newspapers, and logs. Less mess is produced as it is taken to the fireplace. Light the bag when placed in the fireplace.
  • Sprinkle logs with salt. Salt burned on wood reduces soot, leaving homeowners with a cleaner fireplace. Apply the salt before starting the fire.
  • Have baking soda ready. Baking soda is excellent for extinguishing hot coals and flames. The scent of soot and smoke can be controlled by placing some baking soda in an open metal container in between fires to soak up smells.
  • Spray ashes with water. Doing so prevents ashes from spreading and make them easier to clean up. The amount of ash that is inhaled while cleaning will be reduced as well.
  • Leave an ash layer behind. Leaving a layer of ash beneath the grate will shield the firebox floor from excessive heat.
  • Polish fireplace doors with ashes. Moisten a cloth and dip it in ashes, then scrub the interior of the fireplace doors to remove any soot. Wipe the doors again with a clean damp cloth.
  • Use a ladder. Obtain a ladder with sufficient length to let you reach an accessible part of the roof within reach of the chimney.
  • Know the size of your chimney's liner. The size of a chimney liner determines the chimney brush used to clean it. A brush smaller than the liner will not clean as well as one that matches the liner's size. Conversely, an overly large brush can be lodged in the chimney--if it can enter the smaller shaft at all. Chimney brushes come in a variety of shapes to suit round, rectangular, and square liners.
  • Use creosote remover. Supplement chimney brush cleaning efforts with creosote remover. A variety of creosote cleansing agents is available, which can remove creosote deposits and prevent the risk of fire.

Cleaning a fireplace and chimney is inevitable when they are used regularly. It is not as complicated as some people may think, but it can be a dirty task. The benefits will leave you with a fire during the winter that is clean and safe.

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