It may seem like a chore and a half, especially if you’ve neglected cleaning your wood-burning fireplace for a while, and although at first it may seem a little overwhelming, there are expert tips available on how best to clean your fireplace.
Importantly, choosing a high efficiency, low-emission output slow combustion fireplace helps cut down the amount of particulate from the fire. This helps you get the most out of your firewood and is better for the environment.
But if you follow these tips to keep your wood-burning fireplace clean, you can enjoy the pleasures the fireplace was meant to give you.
When? Best time to clean your glass door is when it starts to blacken.
There is no right or wrong frequency of how often you should clean the glass on your slow combustion fireplace. Many brands feature a primary airwash system which helps keep the glass clean during the burn cycle. The amount and type of firewood you are burning can affect how often you need to clean the glass, as well how much usage your fireplace gets. You can buy special sponges or cleaning products for slow combustion wood burning fireplaces to help keep your glass clean.
When? Again, this will depend on the frequency of use for your fireplace.
To avoid a build-up of creosote, you need to have your flue or chimney swept to help keep it clean. It’s also important to burn the right material to help cut down on potential creosote build-up – you should only ever burn split, dry or seasoned wood with a low moisture content.
When? Best time to clean the exterior is directly after winter, anytime there are spills or if the exterior is looking a little shabby.
Only when the exterior is cold, use warm water and soap to clean the surface. Once you are satisfied that the area is clean, wait for it to dry before applying a fireplace paste or protector, rubbing it in with a paper towel. Remove any residue and then start a fire, which will act as a catalyst to activate or harden the paste or polish. During this process, please ensure that the windows are open so that your wood-burning fireplace has enough air circulation.
When? Best time to clean the interior is when the ash builds up to an unsightly height.
With a metal scoop, remove all the ash and place it in a metal bucket or old tin. Never use a plastic container to carry the ash. Keep it out of harm’s way to prevent an unwanted fire. Ash may still have enough flammable properties to cause a fire. Dispose of the ash in the garden after a day or two. However, to be on the safe side, never surrender your ash on a windy day because any live embers among the ash pile can initiate a fire.
Though these tasks might seem slightly arduous, they can be the difference between a full-working, efficient fireplace, and one that is actually going to cost you in the long run!