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How To Clean Fireplace Glass

By Lawrence Macmillan August 15, 2021

Dirty or stained glass on your fireplace can be a complete eyesore when you’re trying to enjoy some well-needed rest in your home. Many people don’t realize that they can clean the inside and outside of the glass of their fireplace, whilst those who do try to put off doing it for as long as possible because it is quite a hefty job.

Sure, the process does require a little bit of time and some elbow grease, but the outcome is surely worth it? We’ll be showing you how to clean your fireplace glass today so you can get it looking as good as new again.

Safety!

Safety!

If you’ve been burning your fireplace, leave it at least 48 hours before you attempt to clean the glass as ash can remain hot for a few days after burning so you’ll want to give them plenty of time to cool down. The glass on the fireplace will also need to be given time to cool down properly otherwise you could risk burning your hands. 

If your fireplace doesn’t have a pull-out door and requires the glass to be fully removed, lay down old rags or newspapers on the floor to protect your living space from getting dirty. 

Method 1

For this method, you can use a microfiber cloth that you don’t mind getting dirty or an old newspaper to remove the grime from the glass. You’ll also need a bowl of water and some paper towels. 

Put on some gloves and scrunch up some newspaper and dampen a small part of it in the bowl of water and then dip it into the ash that’s inside your fireplace. 

Wipe the glass in circular motions to loosen the soot or grime, you should notice that the newspaper has become very dirty. You can repeat this process with new pieces of newspaper until all the soot has lifted from the glass. 

Then you just need to spray some water or dip a scrunched paper towel into another bowl of clean water and wipe at the glass until the paper towels have no black residue on them. Wipe the glass dry with a paper towel and bestow your eyes on your shiny fireplace.

If you want to finish the glass off with extra shine then you can use your regular glass cleaner and a microfiber cloth. 

Method 2

You can follow this method if the newspaper method didn’t quite work at cleaning your glass, or if you feel the stains on the glass are too bad and require something stronger then you could try this method as a first resort. 

You’ll need a fireplace cleaning solution (traditional ones have ammonia in them) and a damp cloth to rub away the dirt. Spray the cleaning solution all over the glass and leave it to soak into the stains for 30-45 minutes before beginning to wipe away the stains. 

Method 3

If you don’t have any commercial cleaner in your home, you could always go down the homemade cleaning solution route to get your glass nice and clean. Mix 1 cup of vinegar with 1 cup of ammonia and 3 parts water into a spray bottle and then spray the solution onto the glass and leave it to soak in for 1 minute. 

Then with paper towels rub the glass in circular motions until most of the grime has come off and the paper towels are coming away relatively clean. You may need to repeat the process 2 or 3 times, especially if you haven’t cleaned the glass in a while.

You can then spray it one final time and then use a microfiber cloth to get a good shine on the glass.

No Razors!

Some people recommend using a razor to scrape away the stubborn soot on your glass, but we strongly do not recommend this method as it can scratch your glass or may even cause the glass to break if it’s more fragile.

Cleaning The Outside Of The Glass

Cleaning the outside of the glass on your fireplace is a much more simple process, you'll use a commercial glass cleaner that you’d use for mirrors or windows around your home. On the other hand, you could also make a solution from ammonia, vinegar, and water as a homemade alternative. 

We’d recommend wearing gloves when cleaning the exterior of the glass to prevent any fingerprints from being left during the process. 

Preventative Measures To Keeping Your Fireplace Glass Clean

A good preventative solution for your glass is to apply a silicone cleaner to it after you’ve finished cleaning it with something else. It will create a barrier between the soot build-up and the glass so you won’t have to clean it as often.

Regularly keeping up with the cleaning of your fireplace will minimize the scrubbing you’ll need to do and also decrease the time needed to clean it. 

Make sure you’re always burning non-treated materials in your fireplace, otherwise this will create more soot which will stick to the glass and need cleaning more frequently. Avoid using damp wood, coal, large amounts of paper, and treated wood. 

Don’t allow any of the materials to touch the glass when you come to ignite the fire as this will cause stains to appear quicker. 

Ensure that the air vents or chimneys for your fireplace are clear so the emissions can be removed from the area. You may need a chimney inspection and cleaned every so often to ensure everything is running smoothly and safely.

Alternatively, if this is a job you hate doing, you could hire a company to come out to your house to do it for you every so often.


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