A fireplace is the focal point of any room – and choosing the right materials is essential to ensure long-lasting durability and safety. Metal fireplaces come in ranges that are both functional and elegant, adding character to your home.

Stone fireplaces are incredibly strong and low maintenance, and never damaged by the heat. It’s equally important to clean and care for your fireplace – see how to clean a metal or stone fireplace surround here…

How to Clean a Fireplace – the Basics

How to clean a fireplace surround involves having the right equipment and solutions to begin with. Bear in mind that any chemical solutions you use may be toxic if ingested so before you start the clean make sure you have gloves, goggles, and a face mask. And keep them away from children and pets. It’s also advisable to open windows to keep the area ventilated.

Make sure any solutions used are suitable for your fire surround type – if not this could cause damage to the metal or stone. Take care when cleaning any fireplace and surround by carrying out the tasks gently and safely.

How to Clean a Metal Fireplace Surround

Equipment needed:

  • Cloths
  • Soft brush
  • Steel wool
  • Chemical rust remover
  • Black grate polish or Iron Paste product
  • Protective gloves
  • Dust sheet

After Installation Data

A new metal fireplace surround will come with a protective covering of iron paste and initial cleaning will just involve a light polishing with a soft brush. As time goes by this surface may be subject to moisture in the atmosphere, condensation, or damp. This may result in rust appearing and a more thorough clean will need to take place.

The Cleaning Process

Your metal fire surround will benefit from dusting with a lint-free cloth on a regular basis. For more stubborn marks and stains gently scrub the surround with a piece of fine steel wool to remove any rust and other debris. Remember to work along the natural grain of the metal.

You may need to apply a chemical rust remover – letting it sit for up to 10 minutes before removing with a damp cloth. Wipe the metal fireplace and surround with a clean cloth until completely dry.

Black grate polish can then be applied in straight lines to avoid streaking and needs to dry for up to 48 hours before the fireplace is used again. When dry polish the fireplace back to a shine with a soft brush.

How to Clean a Stone Fireplace Surround

Equipment needed:

  • Cloths
  • Small shovel
  • Metal container
  • A small bucket of water
  • Scrubbing brush
  • Mild detergent
  • Chemical stain remover or enzyme solution
  • Dust mask and protective gloves
  • A vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment
  • Dust sheet

Stone Fireplace Cleaning Preparations

Allow your stone fireplace to cool for a minimum of 12 hours after the last fire. Position your dust sheet around the fireplace and move any furniture away from the area, or cover with dust sheets as well.

Put on your gloves and mask and scoop up excess ashes from the firebox – placing them in a container with a tight-fitting lid until you discard them safely. Fit the brush attachment to your vacuum cleaner to get rid of any dust and debris.

The Cleaning Procedure

To clean your stone fireplace, surround dilute ¼ of a cup of detergent into the small bucket of hot water and stir until the soap has dissolved. Put on your gloves and mask and scrub down the fireplace from top to bottom.

Replace the dirty water with clean cold water and use cloths to wipe away all excess water and loosened dirt. Use a clean cloth to thoroughly dry the fireplace and surround before lighting another fire.

Deposits that are hard to remove will need more powerful cleaning agents. A recommended chemical stain remover will degrease and clean – be guided by the manufacturer’s instructions for how to safely use.

You can dip parts such as the grate and supporting rails into the solution, or make a fine paste and apply with a sponge. After the paste has sat for approximately five minutes you can use the brush to gently scrub before wiping any stained areas with a damp cloth – making sure all the paste has been removed. Leave the fireplace to air-dry completely before any future use.