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Old 01/21/10, 01:22 PM
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Evergreen, CO
Posts: 1,187
How do I clean this? - Soot/smoke stains brick/stone fireplace

Here is a photo:

How do I clean this?

With what cleaning agent (comet, vinegar, oven cleaner)?
With what abrasive (wire brush, sponge, etc)?
If I clean it, will it really come clean? Or is it waisted effort and I should just accept?

We are going to paint the ceiling, but wondering if I can successfully remove the soot/ smoke stains on the bricks?

I have not carefully inspected the stone/brick, it seems solid, but will admit I have not gotten up real close and checked it out yet.

If it makes any difference, the fireplace most likely only burned pine.

I will vacume the "wall" first, but then I am at a lost what else to do. Floor is some sort of wood tile product? Parkay? I have no idea, but wood floor takes out pressure wash solution.

Any advice appreciated, thanks

Last edited by DenverGirlie; 01/21/10 at 06:19 PM.
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Old 01/21/10, 03:31 PM
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 48
Tells me it's a bad link. I know someone else with the same problem so am interested to hear any solutions.
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Old 01/21/10, 05:13 PM
Tricky Grama's Avatar  
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: N. E. TX
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"Page Not Found"

But, I had this problem on a white brick fireplace & I used a stiff brush and solution of tide & a little bleach. Kinda heavy on the tide.

My book is out! Go 'like' it on FB:!/pages/Goo...83553391747680
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Old 01/21/10, 05:49 PM
CocalicoSprings's Avatar  
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 200
trisodium phosphate and fels naptha soap.....wear gloves and eye protection
keep kids and dogs out of the area.
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Old 01/21/10, 06:20 PM
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Evergreen, CO
Posts: 1,187
I updated the link in the orginal post, but here it is again:

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Old 01/21/10, 06:47 PM
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Ohio
Posts: 755
Pumice stone on the bricks. Clean the painted wall with ammonia in water and then sanding before painting. It won't come totally clean, but the new paint will stick.
In the Name of Yeshua,

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Old 01/21/10, 07:00 PM
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Ohio
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Try some Borax. in a bucket of water and a scrub brush.
Zone 6
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Old 01/21/10, 08:55 PM
In Remembrance
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 1,600
I have a quartz fireplace, I use soapy water and a brush. My husband used engine cleaner on it once and it came clean.
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Old 01/21/10, 10:11 PM
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 964
A search on came up with:

Don't know how it works, but its made for what you want.

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Old 01/21/10, 10:57 PM
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: NE Kansas
Posts: 502
I use Rutland Brick and Stone cleaner. I have a 32 oz spray bottle that I found in the basement of the house when I bought the place. Don't know if it is still available but it works. Dissolves smoke stains, creosote, and baked on soot. It is an alkaline product instead of acid. I will aso add that I use it primarily to clean the soot off the glass on my buckstove, and when I spray it, the soot runs off and wipes clean with little effort. I know glass is easier to clean than brick, but I dont have the same problem your having.

Just looked on google and found some on
~~Providence Hill Farm~~

Last edited by mdharris68; 01/22/10 at 09:53 AM.
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Old 01/22/10, 12:12 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Maryland
Posts: 273
Is the floor concrete and the ceiling wood? If that is the case, why not try a pressure washer and immediately vaccuum the water from the floor?
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Old 01/22/10, 12:32 AM
Shrek's Avatar
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Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: North Alabama
Posts: 10,736
I remember watching my father use the ashes , water and a brush to clean the fireplace brick in my childhood home during spring cleaning and then using a garden sprayer of water to pressure wash the sludge into the ash chute at the back of the fire place.

After that we would use the garden hose to wash out the chute outside and use a street broom to scrub the patio with the sludge.

As a preteen I was amazed that ashes bleached the soot and patio dirt stains away. Now I understand that all my father was having us do was give the fireplace and patio a weak caustic soda cleaning each spring.
"I didn't have time to slay the dragon. It's on my To Do list!"
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Old 01/22/10, 08:18 AM
Alice In TX/MO's Avatar
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Join Date: May 2002
Location: Texas Coastal Bend/S. Missouri
Posts: 30,594
Make sure the chimney is drafting correctly before lighting another fire. It shouldn't be putting smoke in the room.
* * *
"No great thing is created suddenly." ~Epictitus
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Old 01/22/10, 08:52 AM
NJ Rich
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Springsteen Area of New Jersey
Posts: 1,239
Without being able to actually look at the fireplace I think the smoke box is undersized. That is the area over the front opening and the flue. Smoke accumulates there and the draft pulls the smoke out.

My brother-in-laws fireplace smoked unless he had a fire at the very back of the fireplace. On a windy night it would smoke anyway. I cut and painted with heat resisitant paint a 4" x 6" piece of steel angle the width of the front opening that we bolted onto the steel lintel supporting the brick over the opening. This required drilling and tapping holes in the lintel and drilling holes in the 4" x 6" angel. We used 1/4 X 20 machine bolts. This closed the opening of the front of the fireplace by 6" in height and increased the size of the smoke box. It totally fixed his problem. A double sided fireplace has its own problems I am not familiar with. You are at risk of a fire or at least health problems

I believe you need a professional to inspect the fireplace and make whatever changes need to be made.

Just my 2 cents. Best to ya, NJ Rich


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Old 01/22/10, 09:06 AM
Cabin Fever's Avatar
Former Mod
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Between Crosslake and Emily Minnesota
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Use 10% muriatic acid. Wear gloves and eye protection.

I think you either have a bird's nest in your chimney or you forgot to open the damper....yikes!
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Old 01/22/10, 09:43 AM
jmtinmi's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Mid Michigan
Posts: 943
The smoke on the ceiling will have to be 'sealed' When I worked for a Contents Restoration Company all painted surfaces needed to be wiped down to 'set' the smoke before another coat of paint is applied.

It would be a good idea to contact a Contents Restoration Company for idea on how to handle the brick too. They might have some special products to use.
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Old 01/23/10, 02:41 AM
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Evergreen, CO
Posts: 1,187
thanks all.

I am getting the chimney's (3) swept on Friday, and am committed to scrubbing the wall for an hour.

We are moving the bulk of our items in next Saturday (weather pending), we will get to the ceiling later.
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