When the weather is chilly and you want a cozy night in, there’s just something special about lighting the fireplace and listening to the wood crackle. As magical as a fireplace is, because you’re dealing with ash and soot it can get dirty often.

Carbon build up – or soot – is unsightly and can be quite difficult to remove from some surfaces. There are two areas that can collect soot.  One is inside the firebox. If you have light-colored firebrick lining the inside of your firebox, the dark soot creates quite a contrast. Many homeowners opt to paint the whole interior of the fireplace with a black mineral paint so that the soot isn’t apparent.

Often soot collects on the surface just above the firebox. To deal with soot in either area, take these steps:

  • Protect the floors​ by putting down a waterproof drop cloth so you don’t transfer soot stains from the fireplace to the floor.
  • When addressing the inside of the firebox, clean and vacuum the hearth and around the fireplace to get rid of excess dust and ash. Scrape off any thick buildup of black residue with a putty knife or scraper.

Start with simple cleaning products, like these:

  • Water
  • Household detergent (non-sudsing is best)
  • A scrubber that’s safe for bricks

Protective equipment is available to protect your skin and eyes, especially when using stronger products. You may choose to wear old clothes because soot is very messy to work with. For more stubborn soot stains, look into products such as:

  • Soot-Erasers
  • Krud Kutter
  • Trisodium Phosphate, also known as TSP

Very often the bulk of the soot can be removed, but a ghost remains. If you’ve completed thorough cleaning and aren’t satisfied with the results, The Color Craftsmen can help. We have successfully repainted stone, brick, and grout back to their original colors.  Get rid of your eyesore and instead enjoy your fireplace again.