is it a removable screen or is it stationary?
it's the mesh curtain that closes so I don't know
What is on it besides normal use soot and such? My father used to just use water, dish soap and a scrub brush for general cleaning. Removing all the ashes helps to keep things from becoming mud.
You will need to remove the entire screen system and bring it outside where you can scrub it using a stiff brush and soap. Its going to be dirty with soot so be sure to wear gloves so your hands do not get stained from it when cleaning. But a hose, soap and brush is all that is needed.
Thanks for the answers, but I'm still hoping for more ideas. Also do I really need it if I have gas logs, it's really dusty
If your using gas logs and its dusty. Use your vacuum with the brush device to clean it. If y our fireplace is a sealed unit with the screen over the glass front. The screen will simply pull out. Look along the edges you will see where the screen is held in. There usually a little tab that you get a hold of and pull releasing the screen into your hand.
They used to get rusty from washing the brick when building the house. I'm not sure if they can be easily removed.
Why not place a bunch of old towels under them, spray some detergent and try to brush them while holding the back side.
When thouroughly dry, mask off everything and spray some new paint on them. Makes them look great!
Foam oven cleaner or foaming toilet cleaner work well, but with the fumes, you'd want to take the screen out to clean it. Left over chemicals can get on your logs or the inside walls. An eco-friendly option is to spray a solution of half water and half white distilled vinegar on the screen, & scrub.
thanks for all the help
As Amanda said, vinegar will clean just about anything, and it's cheap and non-toxic.
i had the mesh curtain type on two of 5 fireplaces in an 1892 victorian house. i was afraid to even try removal so i never knew either judy, if the curtains came out! Because we used the fireplaces ALOT i had a chimney sweep come every year when the log season ended, and he did all the big cleaning. have you considered that route? in between times, if the screens looked bad, i just wiped them down with (many) wet rags because i worried about what residual cleaning chemicals might do the next time i started a fire. I have to tell you...that old house was truly a masterpiece, but the amount of work required (and expense) of living in it was atrocious! best of luck with the cleaning process, and check back in with how you decide to do it!
I would use bathroom cleaner that goes on blue and turns white after it's on a few minutes. That stuff is powerful and it doesn't take too much of it, either.
I haven't tried the idea yet, but I had read that a drywall sponge can be used to clean window screens. The article said that no water was required. It might be worth a shot. I bought mine at the local hardware store, and it was fairly cheap. Good luck!
TSP ! I can't believe no one has mentioned this cleaner. I use it to clean the exhaust screen over my kitchen stove and there is very little scrubbing and no fumes. You can get it at any hardware store and it's very inexpensive. Chim chim cha roo....