How to clean a fireplace

Fireplace CleaningHaving a fireplace in the living room is great as it keeps you warm during the cold months and adds a more stylish feeling to the room all year long. However there is a negative side of having a fireplace and the negative side is the cleaning of the fireplace. If the cleaning is not done properly it can quickly become a dreadful task which will make you regret having a fireplace. On the other hand if you follow your fireplace cleaning tutorial the task will be an easy one.
Never clean a fireplace shortly after the last fire had dies. Instead wait to the next morning to commence the cleaning.
Before you commence the cleaning put on some old clothes and rubber gloves to protect your body and hands. Also cover the floor around the fireplace with several layers of old newspaper.
Fireplace CleaningHold your hand over the ashes to judge the residual warmth. If the ashes are still warm poke through the ashes with the poker or fireplace shovel to reduce the warmth.
Next pick up carefully the fireplace grate and take it to your backyard so that you can clean it later. With the shovel slowly shovel the ashes into a metal bucket or laver. Never use plastic basins as the ashes will melt them and the cleaning of the fireplace will quickly become a total disaster.
Open the flue and grab a flashlight and inspect the chimney all the way to the flue. Keep the flue open during the entire cleaning. The chimney will most likely be soiled so start scarping with your chimney brush until all creosote and soot is removed.
Now get on your knees and start cleaning the fireplace with a wire or heavy nylon brush. Start brushing as high as you can reach and work your way down. If the fireplace is too dirty create a cleaning solution by mixing six tablespoons of trisodium phosphate and one cup of chlorine bleach in a gallon of water and apply the mixture in the fireplace before you commence brushing.
End the cleaning by rinsing the chimney and fireplace with clean water and by cleaning the fireplace grate.
When the grate is clean and dry place it your fireplace and voila, you have cleaned your fireplace and you can once more enjoy it.
It is advisable that you clean your fireplace at least twice a year, once before winter and once after winter.