Unless your home is equipped with a modern alternative, your fireplace hearth is a part of your home that can get surprisingly dirty in short order. While you know that you definitely need to clean up the ash and soot that develops in and around the fireplace, you might not be quite as aware of how important it is to keep your fireplace glass clean. Even if you do know, you may not know how to clean fireplace glass doors properly. Tackling this job is easy, though, if you’re willing to follow a brief guide.
To Clean Your Fireplace, Start with Fire
This might come as a bit of surprise to some homeowners, but one of the best things that you can do to start cleaning your fireplace glass doors is actually using your fireplace. What you’re doing here isn’t so much cleaning off your fireplace doors as prepping them for being cleaned, a process that’s going to greatly reduce the amount of physical effort you have to put into cleaning and that’s going to help you with some of the stains that might otherwise be impossible to remove.
Your goal here is to get a very hot fire going and then to close off the fireplace entirely. A well-stoked fire that burns for several hours is going to help loosen up a lot of the detritus that gets stuck to your fireplace doors, which then can come off rather easily once you actually get to the process of cleaning. This little trick is actually one of the reasons why those who use their fireplaces frequently tend to have cleaner glass doors and why cleaning your glass out of season always feels a little bit harder than cleaning the glass during those months when you are actually using the fireplace.
A Basic Clean
Your next step will involve getting rid of that hazy, dirty look that tends to dominate most glass doors after fireplace use. While you might think that getting your glass clean from such a mess would take a lot of time and effort, the truth is that you’re going to use some fairly basic tools and that you’re going to get through this stage with a relatively level of ease that most won’t believe.
Cleaning off the haze from the glass really just requires you to have some kind of cloth or paper towel as well as a bit of water. Wet the towel or cloth, then wipe off the haze. It’s generally a good idea to wear gloves during this part of the process as your hands can get a bit dirty, but otherwise you won’t have to do any special preparation to get things clean. Simply wipe off the haze, wring out your cloth, and keep going until the entire door has been cleaned off.
The good news is that this is pretty much all you are going to have to do during most basic cleanings. If you’re lucky, your glass doors will already end up looking crystal clear and you won’t need to do anything else. If not, there are still other steps you can take to get the clean look that you desire.
Deep Cleaning Your Fireplace Glass Door
If there’s a part of this whole cleaning process that’s controversial, it’s definitely this bit. Some people absolutely swear by cleaning off your fireplace doors by creating paste that’s largely made of white ash. Others point out that you can actually just go to the store and buy a specialty cleaner to do the same job without worrying about making the paste yourself. The two sides are essentially using the same product at the end of the day, but the former group is saving a bit of money by making the product themselves.
If you want to make the paste, it’s fairly simple – you’re going to take white ash and a little bit of water, stir them together, and you’ll have a paste. You’ll simply dip your cloth or paper towel into that paste and use it to scrub away any soot that has managed to get through the last two steps.
The good news is that this is an incredibly effective way to get soot off of your doors. The bad news, though, is that it might not get everything. To get more done, you’ll need to go to the store.
Grab the Glass Cleaner
When all else fails, you’re going to turn to a heavy-duty cleaner to make sure that the job gets done. Traditionally, most fireplace owners are going to grab a wood-stove cleaner to tackle this particular job. It’s incredibly effective in most cases, but the fact that these cleaners contain ammonia means that you’re going to have a greater chance of dealing with streaking when using such a product. As such, there are some alternatives on the market that include silicone-based cleaners that might be preferable for some users.
Regardless of what you use, you’re going to spray it on the glass and let it sit for about half an hour. Once the time limit has expired, you’ll be able to wipe away the cleaner – and any remaining mess – with relative ease. If there are any streaks left, you can get rid of them with a simple mixture of three parts water to one part vinegar, sprayed on the glass and then lightly wiped away with a cloth.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What can I use to clean the glass on my gas fireplace?
There are a variety of different products that are made specifically to clean gas fireplace glass. Since these fireplaces are probably not going to have the same kind of problems with soot as a wood-burning fireplace will have, the methods of cleaning as well as the cleaning products you choose to use are necessarily going to be a bit different.
2. Can you use vinegar to clean fireplace glass?
You can use vinegar as part of your cleaning solution, but it won’t really be useful unless you are trying to clean streaks from the glass later on. An awful lot of the cleaning you are going to do is just going to require a bit of water, while heavy-duty cleaning will require you to use either a white ash paste or a cleaning solution that is specifically engineered to deal with substances like ash and soot.
3. Can you use Windex on fireplace glass?
You absolutely should not use Windex on fireplace glass. Fireplace glass requires special types of cleaning products and Windex can actually end up causing problems that ruin the look of the glass over time. It’s really best to make sure that any product that you use on or around your fireplace is meant to be used specifically on a fireplace.
4. How do you clean the glass door on a wood burning fireplace?
You’ll need to take a few steps to get through this process. Start by building a hot fire and letting it burn. This will loosen up the soot on the door, which can be wiped off with a bit of water and a cloth. If there is any dirt remaining, you can use a fireplace glass cleaner or a white ash paste to loosen up the remaining detritus and then wipe it away with your cloth. If all else fails, buy a wood stove door cleaner, spray it on the glass, and then let it sit for about half an hour before wiping it away.