As winter rolls in, it’s a time to reflect on one of the best things about winter, a warm, crackling fire. If you are lucky enough to have a fireplace in your home, you want to start using it as soon as you seen the leaves start to turn.
It’s a good idea to start the season with a clean fireplace. Make sure that all the debris and ash has been removed, even using a dust buster to get it completely free of ash.
Then, remove the fireplace screens, or andirons, and take them outside to clean them with a wire brush – this is a dirty job, so make sure you aren’t wearing your favorite white t-shirt! Once that’s clean, use your wire brush to clean and soot and tar from the damper as well as lower part of the chimney, before moving on to the main firebox.
You can clean out the main firebox using a simple mixture of vinegar, water and cleaning powder, and getting at the grime with a hard-bristle brush. Inside the firebox itself you do NOT want to use that wire brush. Once its been scrubbed to your satisfaction, rinse it out with warm water, and you’re ready for your first fire of the season!