Stone, bricks, marble and wood are among the most popular surfaces for fireplace surrounds. Here’s how to clean them.
You can clean wood fireplace surrounds by using a dry sponge or an eraser sponge designed to remove soot. Whatever you do, don’t try to wipe soot off with a wet cloth or sponge. Soot is very oily, and water and oil just don’t mix. Instead, use a dry sponge or the eraser to remove as much soot as you can. If you have a few smears that won’t come off, dip a corner of the sponge in rubbing alcohol to remove the remaining soot.
Stone and brick fireplace surrounds can be very porous and have lots of nooks and crannies that can hold soot and residue. By using a painter’s tool called TSP (trisodium phosphate) you can mix up a paste with water, then sponge it over the stone or brick to help remove the soot. This powerful cleaner removes dirt, grease and even soot. Once the TSP is spread over the stone or brick, use a wet sponge to rinse it off.Safety tip: When using TSP, wear rubber gloves, safety goggles and long sleeves. If skin contact occurs, wash thoroughly with soap and water.
A quick way to remove soot from iron trim around a fireplace is to spray a cloth with WD-40 and rub it into the metal. It will remove the soot and leave the metal finish looking brand new.
Safety tip: Do not use WD-40 while the fireplace is in use or still hot because the chemical is flammable.
Though they provide elegance, marble fireplace surrounds need to be handled differently than any other surround surface. Marble is very absorbent, so start by dusting the entire surface with a dry microfiber cloth to see how much soot has embedded itself into the surround.
After wiping the marble surround with a dry microfiber cloth, dip the cloth in warm distilled water. Wipe the damp cloth on an inconspicuous area of the marble surround to ensure the distilled water doesn’t have any minerals that can damage the marble.
If the soot does not come off with the distilled water, try using a cleaner specifically designed for cleaning marble.
To remove soot from a glass fireplace surround, use distilled white vinegar and an eraser sponge, like the one put out by Mr. Clean. Dip the sponge into the vinegar and rub it in circles over the glass. Repeat the process until all of the soot is removed.