A properly working wood-burning fireplace is a great luxury to have during the cold winter months, and a great selling point if you’re in the market to buy or sell. But with a wood burning fireplace comes much responsibility. In order to keep your fireplace functioning as a safe wood-burning amenity, proper cleaning and maintenance need to be prioritized. For information on keeping your chimney up to code, and tips for maintaining the safest and cleanest possible fireplace, reference the National Fire Protection Association. But to keep your fireplace looking good as new, regularly cleaning the glass doors is essential.
There are a few basic ways to clean the charcoal and soot off your fireplace glass. But before you begin, remove the glass doors from your fireplace and lay flat on a rag or drop cloth to keep your area clean—cleaning soot and ash can get quite messy! Cleaning your fireplace glass outside or in the garage is also a good option.
One clever, all-natural way to clean your fireplace glass is to use a newspaper or paper towel and ash: Take a damp paper towel or newspaper and dip in leftover ashes. Wipe the glass in a circular motion to loosen caked-on soot. Repeat several times or until the soot is lifted. Finish off with a regular glass cleaner and paper towel to leave a streak free glass as good as new!
Use vinegar solution: Try a homemade soot-cleaning solution made of ammonia and vinegar (1 cup vinegar, 3 cups warm water and 1 tablespoon of ammonia). Spray solution onto the glass and let sit for 30 seconds. With a clean cotton cloth, scrub in a circular motion until soot is loosened. Repeat 2-3 times until glass is clean. Tip: This cleaning concoction can also be used to clean a variety of other places including scrubbing bathtub grime and tile grout.
Use a commercial cleaner and clean rag: If you’d prefer to buy a commercial cleaner specifically for fireplace glass, there are a variety of options. See here for amazon’s list of commercial fireplace cleaning solutions.
Whichever cleaning method you choose, regular cleaning of your fireplace’s glass doors will ensure minimal scrubbing next time. Alternately, if you haven’t cleaned your fireplace glass in a while, you may need to use a spackling knife or razor blade to scrape old layers of soot off.