Norman asked: How do I clean a gas fireplace? I have a gas fireplace, and I want to know how to clean it and set it up again to make it more efficient.
For an attractive, efficient, and most importantly safe gas fireplace, follow these simple maintenance steps. Before you get started, make sure all of the parts are completely cool and that the gas valve is turned to the off position.
You Will Need:
- Vacuum cleaner with attachments
- Soft, clean paint brush
- Wood stove glass cleaner
- Soft cloth
Steps to Clean the Fireplace:
- Double check to ensure the gas valve is in the off position and that all components of the gas fireplace are cool.
- Check the burner and control area. If you see dust or debris, use the vacuum cleaner hose attachment to suction the dirt away. You can use the vacuum to take care of any spider webs found in the fireplace as well.
- If you have lava rocks that need to be vacuumed but are small enough to be sucked up into the vacuum hose, cover the hose with a piece of cheesecloth and secure it with a rubber band or put an upholstery brush onto the hose over the cheesecloth. Brush off the cheesecloth as it becomes covered with pet hair if needed.
- If you have gas logs, take them outside, then use a paintbrush to brush any dirt, dust, or spider webs from them. These logs are often fragile, so use caution; soft bristle paintbrushes will be gentle on the most delicate of logs. Check carefully for visible corrosion or damage. If you notice any, call a professional for repair or replacement before you use the fireplace again.
- Spray wood stove glass cleaner onto the dry cloth so you can clean the glass. Do not spray the glass directly, as overspray may land on the surrounding metal or decorative parts and corrode them. Do not use standard window glass cleaner; stove glass is a special material. Clean the outside of the glass first, then the inside. The outside is likely to be cleaner, and you don’t want to bring any soot or buildup from the inside out.
- Finally, use the clean, damp cloth to wipe the outside of the fireplace. Do not expose marble, brass, gold or other decorative plates and materials to abrasive or corrosive cleaners. With a good cleaning schedule, these parts will wipe clean with water.
- If there is a build-up of soot or dust that does not wipe off with plain water, mix a small amount of soap in a bowl of water to make suds, then clean off the sooty areas with the soapy water and a soft cloth. Do not use a dsh liquid that contains ammonia; castile soap or another hand soap or dish liqud would be best. Wipe the area with plain water afterward to rinse.
- Dry the washed surfaces to prevent any streaking.
Additional Tips and Advice
- Always make sure the fireplace and all of its components are cool before you attempt to clean them.
- As you clean, look for any signs of blockage, condensation, rust or other damage. Loose or broken logs or other problems need to be checked by a certified technician before the fireplace can be used again.
- Clean internal parts at least once a year, and more often if they look dirty. Wipe the exterior down at least once a month whether the fireplace is being used or not. This will prevent a nasty build up of dust that can be difficult to remove and that can even ignite.
- To relight your fireplace after cleaning, follow all manufacturer’s directions carefully.
- If any parts need to be removed for further cleaning, check the owner’s manual to determine which parts are safe to remove yourself and which should be done by a professional. Follow all guidelines in the manual for annual maintenance. This will ensure your gas fireplace provides the highest level of heat for many years to come.
- The Complete Household Handbook by Good Housekeeping
- Home Comforts: The Art & Science of Keeping House by Cheryl Mendelson