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Cleaning Brick Fireplaces
If the fireplace is to be used for family entertainment
such as popcorn popping, or marshmallow toasting, etc., it would be wise to have brick or
stone fireplace front surface sealed so as to resist absorption of grease or oils, and
Formulas For Cleaning Fireplace Surfaces: (Wear
rubber gloves to protect hands.) 1. Mix one ounce of soap and one ounce of table salt with
enough water to make a cream. Rub mixture into brick surface with cloth; allow to dry at
least ten minutes and remove with stiff brush; or
2. Make a thick mixture of soap or detergent,
pumice, a little ammonia and hot water. Paint the mixture on the surface and let dry. Rub
off with a wet scrub brush. You are using alkali and a mild abrasive to remove the greasy
3. Shave a bar of naptha soap into a container
and add 3 quarts of water. Bring mixture to a full boil until the soap melts. Cool. Add 1
cup ammonia and one pound of pumice. Mix thoroughly. Brush in onto all sooty surfaces and
let stand one hour or more. Rub off with a stiff- bristle brush. Rinse "gook"
away with warm water, then finish off with a medium to strong detergent and rinse again
with warm water; or
4. Dissolve 8 tablespoons (1/2 cup) Trisodium
Phosphate or spic&span (TSP) in 1 gallon of hot water. With stiff scrub brush, scrub
brick surface. Rinse with plenty of warm water. Repeat if soot or greasy stain is not
removed. More TSP may be added if necessary, up to 1 cup per gallon. This is a very strong
solution; avoid getting on skin, carpet, or fabrics.
Note: Some weathered old brick (50 years or
older) may be soft and damaged by vigorous cleaning. Test a corner, and if this is so,
just dust or sweep it.
This information is for educational purposes and
is reprinted from the MSU Extension. This information is public property upon publication
and has been printed with credit to MSU Extension.