Your Stone fireplace requires intense cleaning due to the buildup of soot, dirt, and creosote. It is important to clean occasionally to preserve the beauty and function of your stone fireplace.
It is recommended that you clean your fireplace thoroughly just before you light it at the beginning of each season such as at the beginning of winter.
There are three main methods of cleaning your stone fireplace:
– With Trisodium Phosphate (TSP)
– With Vinegar
– With Muriatic Acid.
You will get to know all these 3 methods.
Cleaning Materials and Tools
Here is a list of items you will need:
1- Protective gear (rubber gloves, nose mask, safety glasses)
2- Plastic tarp
3- Warm plain water
4- Plastic buckets
5- Mixing stick
6- Vacuum or broom
7- Cleaning towels or clean rags
8- Trisodium phosphate (TSP)
9- Muriatic acid
12- Mild soap
13- Stiff bristle brushes
Preparatory tips before you clean your stone fireplace
1- Wear long-sleeved clothes, pants, and protective gear.
2- Cover your furniture and area around the fireplace with a plastic tarp to prevent accidental damage. Place old rags around the edges and area closest to the fireplace to catch any TSP mix droplets from the scrubbing that you are going to perform.
3- Test your TSP mix the day before, on a small area, to see its effectiveness. After that, Adjust the ratio of TSP to water and bleach according to the strength of the effect of the TSP mix on this small area.
4- Make sure your fireplace is completely cold. When it is, scoop all ashes out of the firebox and use a vacuum to clean out residual dust and ashes.
5- Make sure to clean surrounding areas after you’re done cleaning the stone fireplace to get rid of any stray droplets of TSP.
6- Make sure to take a bath, wash the clothing items and protective gear after cleaning your fireplace. Remember to ventilate the room and air out your house to clear out fumes from the chemicals and allow your fireplace to properly dry.
Methods to Cleaning Your Stone Fireplace
There are three main methods of cleaning your stone fireplace, you can use Trisodium Phosphate(TSP), vinegar, or muriatic acid to remove the soot, dirt, creosote, and any other unwanted buildup in your stone fireplace.
A. Cleaning Your Stone Fireplace With Trisodium Phosphate – 8 Steps
Step 1: Combine half a cup of Trisodium Phosphate (TSP) with three parts of hot water and mix in a plastic bucket using the mixing stick. Add two ounces of bleach for every gallon of your TSP mix. Be careful with the bleach because it may make the stone fade.
Step 2: Remove the fireplace grate and andirons (if you have these in your fireplace). Now dip the stiff bristle brush in the TSP mix and gently scrub the grate and andirons to remove the buildup of soot and creosote.
Dip an old towel in warm plain water and clean the grate and andirons again to remove the TSP mix and then wipe dry with a dry towel.
Keep the plastic tarp handy until the fireplace is clean.
Step 3: Scrub the interior walls and floor of the fireplace, starting from top to down and with a dry stiff-bristled brush to properly loosen the soot and dirt from the stones.
Then use the vacuum to suck out the dirt and soot from the floor of the fireplace or use your broom to sweep it out onto the plastic tarp on the surrounding floor.
Step 4: Dip a stiff-bristled brush in the TSP mix and then thoroughly scrub the interior walls and the floor of the stone fireplace to remove any residual soot, dirt, and buildup of creosote.
Note: Be careful not to let the TSP liquid come in contact with your skin and face.
Step 5: This step is for cleaning tough stains that have resisted scrubbing with the TSP mix. Cleaning these stains will require you to make a thick paste of water and TSP.
Apply the paste to the stained areas and let it sit for a few minutes to get the maximum effect, then scrub hard before cleaning the area with water dipped in warm water.
Step 6: Use a clean sponge and mild soap to scrub the stone fireplace again before using a clean towel that is damp with plain water to clean the scrubbed areas, this will clean off any residue from the TSP mix.
Use a dry towel to clean the interior walls and floor again before returning the cleaned grate and andirons to the fireplace.
Step 7: Dip the sponge into the TSP mix and use it to clean the exterior of the fireplace. Ensure the solution is properly applied to the stone and grout of the fireplace. Allow the mix to settle on the exterior for five minutes before cleaning with a towel dipped in warm water.
Step 8: You can remove the plastic tarp from the exterior of the fireplace, make sure to clean the area with a broom and warm water to remove any stray droplets of the TSP mix.
Remember to ventilate the room, air out the house, and allow your stone fireplace to dry properly before lighting it again.
B. Cleaning Your Stone Fireplace With Vinegar – 7 Steps
Vinegar contains gentle acids which are very useful in cleaning rock fireplaces without breaking the bank and with less energy. Here are short and simple steps.
Step 1: Cover the furniture and area around the fireplace to protect it from damage.
Step 2: Add a cup of vinegar to a gallon of water and mix thoroughly in a bucket.
Step 3: Pour the vinegar mixture into a spray bottle and spray the inner and outer parts of the fireplace. Let it sit for a few minutes before scrubbing.
Step 4: Dampen the stiff-bristled brush with the mixed liquid and scrub the inner parts of the fireplace from top to bottom to ensure the soot is cleaned out.
Step 5: Dip a cleaning towel in the vinegar mix and wash the outer parts of the stone fireplace from top to bottom.
Step 6: Dip a clean towel in plain water and wipe down the inner and outer areas of the fireplace to remove any trace of the vinegar.
Step 7: Ventilate the room, air out the house, and allow your stone fireplace to dry properly before removing the plastic tarp and making any fires. Also, make sure to wash your clothes, and protective gear and take a thorough bath for your health and safety.
C. Cleaning Your Stone Fireplace With Muriatic Acid – 6 Steps
Muriatic acid is a heavy-duty acid that is used to clean natural stone and other masonry items. It is not recommended for use if you do not have masonry experience, due to the strength of the chemical. It is also recommended particularly for red brick fireplaces.
Step 1: Wear protective gear and cover the nearby area with a plastic tarp.
Step 2: Use a vacuum to remove dirt and ashes before spraying plain water on the stone.
Step 3: Mix one part of muriatic acid with ten parts of warm water.
Step 4: Dip the stiff-bristled brush in the solution and scrub the stone thoroughly.
Step 5: Use a sponge and fresh warm water to wash the interior and exterior of the stone fireplace to remove any lingering acid. Make sure you wash the surrounding areas of the fireplace too, to remove any stray droplets.
Step 6: Ventilate the room, air out the house, and allow your stone fireplace to dry thoroughly before removing the plastic tarp and making any fires. Now, wash your clothes, and protective gear and take a thorough shower for your personal health and safety.
Fireplace glass can be cleaned using vinegar or fireplace ashes or an oven cleaner or baking soda, or a glass cleaner.
In conclusion, the application of any of the three methods outlined to clean your stone fireplace is guaranteed to be very effective, as long as you take proper precautions and follow the methods step by step.