If you have an enclosed fireplace in your home, you probably know the challenges of keeping it clean and shiny, especially in seasons of heavy use. The grey or black film that covers the fireplace glass door can take away from its beauty. The good news for you is, it is possible to learn how to clean fireplace glass and keep that unsightly black residue off your beautiful fireplace at all times. You just need the right tools and technique to quickly restore your fireplace glass door to its original beauty without breaking anything. In this article, we’ll highlight the different methods to keep fireplace glass doors clean and well maintained.
Get the glass door ready
First things first, you’ll have to remove the glass door from your fireplace. Removing the glass door gives you the peace of mind that you can handle the cleaning in a separate site, so none of the soot gets to your beautiful furniture or carpet. Cleaning the soot can really get messy, so make sure to lay a rag or cloth underneath before placing the glass door just to keep the area clean. We recommend taking this cleaning job to the garage or outside. Regardless of where you choose to do the cleaning, find a way to contain the mess.
Different ways to clean your fireplace glass
The soot and ash on your fireplace glass door can be a sticky and stubborn mess. You can use several methods; each is simple and effective, so you don’t spend so much time maintaining your fireplace.
Vinegar is a great option
The cheapest cleaner to get the job done is probably what you have on hand – vinegar. With just vinegar, water, and a cloth, you can get started with cleaning your fireplace glass. Vinegar is such a critical ingredient in most cleaning products because it cuts through soot residue, grime, and grease very easily. It’s ideal for dirty glass doors because it doesn’t damage it.
You can use vinegar by itself or after mixing with some water. To make your cleaning solution even more effective, consider adding two cups of water to one-quarter cup of vinegar and a tablespoon of cornstarch or ammonia. Allow the solution to settle for about 30 seconds before you spray it on the surface you need to clean. Corn-starch or ammonia helps to cut through thick layers of soot, making the solution even more powerful. You can also add rubbing alcohol to this solution if you have thicker layers of soot that won’t come off.
Vinegar is considered to be a safe and effective cleaning agent. However, you should be careful because it can cause irritation if it gets to the eyes or skin. Avoid mixing vinegar with strong chemicals or cleaning products like bleach. This can produce toxic reactions that can cause serious problems.
Have you tried razor blade?
Another method of cleaning gas fireplace glass doors involves three simple things you probably have at home: a razor blade, cloth, and water. This is a suitable option if your fireplace glass door has very thick layers of grime that you need to remove. Using your razor blade, peel off the black residue on the glass door. Do this gently so that you don’t scratch the glass itself.
You can start by removing the topmost layers of soot as you work your way to eliminate all the residue using another method. This will avoid damaging the glass and discoloration.
Keep in mind that razor blades, especially when used in such projects, can be dangerous. These are sharp objects, so it’s best to use them when wearing gloves. If you’d like to try out this method, make sure you use work or garden gloves that are usually thicker than the usual household gloves used in cleaning.
Commercial cleaners cannot be overlooked
The other option is to use a commercial cleaner that’s specifically designed for this kind of job. With this method, you’ll need a commercial cleaner, water, and a cloth/sponge. You may go for an oven cleaner that works effectively in removing grease and soot on surfaces. The best commercial cleaners contain plant-based ingredients. Avoid cleaners with harsh ingredients like Chlorine or bleach and fragrances. Natural ingredients like vinegar can help break down dirt and grime, leaving glass surfaces sparkling clean.
Once you find your ideal commercial cleaner, ensure that the glass door is cool before spraying on it. Spray the cleaner and allow it to sit for a few seconds before rubbing it with a damp cloth or sponge. We recommend using a microfibre cloth together with your preferred commercial cleaner. These cloths are designed to remove dirt and grime from surfaces by capturing them instead of moving them around like most cotton cloths used for cleaning.
Another alternative is to use a specifically designed fireplace cleaning product. There are so many alternatives in the market that you can use to keep your fireplace glass clean. They come with special ingredients that eliminate all the white residue that tends to form on the glass. You can use the cleaner with either a paper towel or cloth. Just rub it on the sprayed area vigorously until the white residue comes off, then wipe again with a new, clean cloth.
When using commercial cleaners, ensure you follow the directions provided by the manufacturer on the packaging. Avoid using different cleaners together, as this may create a chemical reaction.
Bonus tip: Ash and newspapers
To clean your fireplace using this method, you’ll need three things you probably have near you: water, ash, and newspaper (the non-coloured type, to be precise). Once you have these, follow the easy steps below:
- Put the water in a bowl and have some in a spray bottle.
- Set aside some ash.
- Fold and crumple your newspaper, then make it a bit moist by dipping it in the water then in the ash.
- Use the newspaper to rub gently on the inside of your fireplace glass using circular motions. You’ll notice the soot loosen up and the newspaper getting black and dirty.
- Repeat the process with a clean newspaper as you go along until you’re done.
- To finish up, take your spray bottle and spray some water on the glass, then use a paper towel to wipe it off.
- You can dry the glass door with a clean paper towel until there’s no black residue.
Don’t forget about the maintenance
Whichever methods you choose to keep fireplace glass doors clean, ensure you keep a regular maintenance routine if you want your fireplace to serve you for longer. For a gas fireplace, the glass doors will only require cleaning about twice a year. On the other hand, wood and pellet stoves are more demanding when it comes to regular cleanings depending on how frequently you use your fireplace. Keep in mind that it’s not just the glass door that requires regular cleaning. The stove, firebox and chimney also need to be kept clean.
A poorly maintained fireplace will not operate as efficiently as it should. Proper maintenance extends the life of your fireplace and all its internal components. Elements such as chimneys are known to deteriorate with time as issues develop with different parts such as the flue liner, chimney cap and vents. You need to hire a technician to perform routine maintenance of your chimney and offer necessary repairs before it’s too late. If you don’t like the idea of frequent cleaning, you may want to consider upgrading to an electric fireplace. These are safe, easy to use and almost maintenance-free units that keep your home warm and looking beautiful.