Three Ways To Clean A Brick Fireplace

Brick fireplaces can become unsightly over time due to general wear and tear. Soot buildup can be extremely hard to clean with just soap and water, but thankfully there are methods that can be used to restore your masonry's unique aesthetic.

Before You Begin

It's a good idea to wear rubber gloves and goggles while cleaning, as some of the chemicals and mixtures used to clean brick can irritate your skin and eyes. Additionally, all the chemicals and materials listed in the following sections can be found at most hardware or grocery stores.

Soap and Salt

Combine a mixture of one part soap to one part of salt, adding water until the combination becomes creamy.

Apply the mixture to the soot covered brick, and let it sit for fifteen minutes. The soap breaks down the soot, and the salt absorbs it, removing it from the brick.

Once you have let the mixture sit, scrub the mixture off of the brick using a stiff bristled brush. The brushing action can help remove more stubborn detritus that is stuck onto the masonry. Brush in a circular motion to ensure that the bristles of the brush can get into every crevice of the brick.


Stronger than the soap and salt mixture, ammonia can be used to remove more stubborn stains.

Mix together equal amounts of dish soap and pumice powder, and then add a small amount of ammonia. Add hot water to dilute the solution so that it is not too strong, as ammonia can cause damage to your masonry.

Use a paintbrush or a similar utensil to apply the solution on the soot covered areas of your fireplace. Let it sit until it has dried into the brick.

Then, use a wet stiff-bristled brush to scrub away the dried solution and soot. Again, scrub in a circular motion to get into every orifice of the brick.

Trisodium Phosphate

Trisodium phosphate is an industrial strength cleaner, and should only be used on the worst soot stains. Take care while using this chemical, as it can cause severe discomfort and damage to furniture and flooring.

Mix an eighth of a cup of trisodium phosphate into a gallon of hot water, and apply it to the stains in question. Use a sponge or soft brush to prevent the solution from splattering.

Let the solution sit for a few minutes, and then rinse with warm water. Repeat as needed until the stains are removed.

For further assistance, contact professionals, such as those from B C Fireplace Service Inc.