Cleaning smoke stains or dirt from your fireplace face or hearth area may not be impossible after all! First, try these home remedies:
1. For minor soot or smoke stains try an art gum eraser- firmly pressing it onto the brick and lifting off the stain, then kneading it repeatedly as the eraser gets dirty.
2. You may also try using a solution of mild dishwashing detergent in hot water, scrubbing gently with a soft-bristled nylon brush.
Be careful not to use abrasive cleaners or metallic brushes as you may permanently damage the surface of the brick and/or drive the stains deeper into the pores of the brick.
Protect surrounding surfaces, such as carpet and other flooring, from the dirty runoff when rinsing.
Still not happy with the results?
You may need a stronger cleaning solution or a commercial brick cleaner. While wearing rubber gloves, try a solution of one-half cup of TSP (trisodium phosphate) in a gallon of hot water with the soft brush, as described above.
You may also try a commercial cleaner, such as Sure Klean Fireplace Cleaner, available at most masonry supply companies. TSP is often available where paint is sold.
Again, be sure to read all precaution labels for safety concerns, and to avoid damaging surrounding materials.
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