I need to clean my fireplace brick. It has years of soot built up.

Any suggestions to clean my fireplace brick?
  2 answers
  • Just 4 You Organizing Just 4 You Organizing on Oct 13, 2013
    Muratic acid works wonders on cleaning brick..however it is very very potent..need special rubber gloves and eye protection and mix with water according to instructions. a little goes a long way
  • Jill, I assume your speaking of the front of the fireplace above the opening that has soot on it? Cleaning can be quite a mess. I would not suggest the acid route, although it may work. Its quite nasty and really should only be done for areas that cannot be cleaned by other safer methods. A good ole cleaning using TSP and or hot sudsy water will help. The issue is however, regardless of that method you choose. The liquid will begin to drip off of the brick and then start staining what ever it falls upon. I suggest that you use duct tape and plastic sheeting to seal off the hearth and surrounding areas before you even touch any brick with water or acids. Then using towels that you will want to discard once done. place them all around the plastic to soak up any liquid that drips down when scrubbing. Using a stiff brush and the soap mix wet the surface well and have at it. Be sure to rinse often using fresh clear water in a spray bottle. Using a wet dry vacuum will pick up the liquid as its flushing the dirty soot away. You will not get it all off, this is a fact. You can lighten the surface and remove most even with the acid, but it will not be all removed. This is why you often see the brick painted. People have simply given up trying to remove the soot. It is time consuming and difficult to do. Another method is to use a soda blaster. This device much like a sand blaster, uses baking soda. That when it strikes the surface breaks apart and cleans the surface. There are small soda blasters that can be purchased the average home owner can use. But there are companies that can do this for you. The results will make the brick and fireplace look like new again. Even a bigger issue is the reason why its sooting up. This is often a sign of poor draft. This is often the result of a poorly designed fire place. The opening in the front is to large, the chimney flue is to large in relation to the height of the fireplace chimney. The house is too tight not allowing enough air to enter into the home and going up the chimney when the fire is hot. Or any one of those in combination with others. I would strongly suggest before you go through the process of doing the cleaning, have a professional chimney sweep come in and evaluate the reason for the soot. Their expertise should be able to determine exactly why this soot is happening and what you can do to prevent it once its all cleaned up again.
Your comment...