Your fireplace keeps you warm during the chilly winters and is most likely the focal point in your house that everyone loves to gather around. That is why you need to ensure that it is not only working well, but that it is clean inside out.
Even with the utmost care and maintenance, stains will creep up on your fireplace glass door over time, meaning you will need to take out your cleaning products and a little elbow grease.
However, you do not need to call in a professional or spend hours rubbing and scrubbing. With the right products and a little bit of guidance, you can get the job done quickly and effectively.
We have done the hard part for you- here are our guidelines and methods for cleaning fireplace glass doors.
Preparation For Cleaning Fireplace Glass Doors
Firstly, you need to prepare your fireplace doors for cleaning. If you can remove your glass doors from the fireplace, that would be very helpful. This is because even with the utmost precaution taken while cleaning, it is highly likely that some soot or dirt residues from cleaning will spill over the surrounding area of the fireplace.
As such, remove the doors and take them into the back garden or somewhere you would not mind a little dirt spilling over. Regardless of where you clean, ensure that you place an old towel or cloth underneath your glass door.
The steps mentioned below also require some tools and cleaners. Based on which method you wish to use, gather all the needed tools in one place so that you do not need to run up and down to get them.
The Cleaning Process
Many people make the mistake of not cleaning their fireplace doors often enough, which in turn causes dirt, soot and stains to build up, harden and eventually, become difficult to remove. Therefore, you must clean your fireplace at least once a week or more, depending on how often you use it and which season it is.
It is recommended that you use hardwood instead of softwood for burning to facilitate later cleaning. Moreover, the build-up is tougher to deal with if you use wet, poor quality or unseasoned wood.
Regardless of how many times you use your fireplace, clean it regularly to avoid dealing with tougher stains or black residue.
Below we have listed five practical and easy-to-follow methods for cleaning your fireplace glass properly.
5 Methods To Clean Your Fireplace Glass Doors
DIY- Using Wet Newspaper And Ash
If you have a fireplace, soot is both unavoidable and tricky to clean. Thankfully, you do not need to spend a fortune to clean it. One of the simplest and most cost-effective ways to clean the glass is using wet newspaper and ash.
Here is what you will need:
- A paper towel, dry cloth or newspaper
- Ash (you can easily get leftover ash from your fireplace)
Ash is a really effective surface cleaner for scrubbing your fireplace’s soot or giving that shine and sheen to your antique furniture. This is because ash is naturally abrasive but isn’t rough enough to scratch your fireplace glass doors. Instead, it exerts more of a buffering effect, offering a shine to your doors.
Moreover, ash is even used to make an excellent lye-based cleaning mixture. Mixing water and raw ash works to create a softer version of lye that is safe but still strong enough to remove soot residues from your fireplace door.
For this method, wet some newspaper, cloth or a paper towel and clean the glass door in a circular motion. You will need to repeat this a few times to remove the soot residue completely. You should wear a mask to avoid inhaling the ash and it is highly recommended that you use an N95 mask as they are very effective in filtering tiny particles.
After that, use water and dishwashing soap to make the glass clean and crystal clear.
This particular cleaning method is very suitable for wood fireplaces due to the natural availability of more ash and the high amount of black residue it produces.
Use Vinegar For An Effective DIY Solution
Vinegar is another powerful DIY solution for cleaning your fireplace glass doors. It is powerful enough to remove soot residue, but as with most DIY solutions, it will take a few attempts to completely remove the residue from your fireplace doors.
Here is what you will need for a vinegar solution:
- Clean cloth / clean paper towels
- White vinegar (you can also add rubbing alcohol or ammonia with vinegar)
- A spray water bottle
- Rubber gloves
You can use white vinegar and dilute it with water or mix it with some other ingredients to increase its cleaning power.
For example, you can mix one cup of vinegar with three cups of warm water and one tablespoon of ammonia and pour it into a spray bottle for a powerful cleaning solution. Spray the mixture onto your fireplace glass door, let it sit for about 30-40 seconds and then start wiping in circular motions.
For a cleaning solution with a more abrasive texture, you can once again combine one cup of vinegar with one tablespoon of ammonia and three cups of warm water, pour it all into the spray bottle and add rubbing alcohol into the mixture to amp the cleaning power.
However, never mix bleach with vinegar as the solution can produce a toxic chlorine gas. Whenever you are using vinegar as a cleaning solution, always wear gloves as it is highly acidic and can seep into cuts and wounds, if you have any.
Hot Fire Burning Method
A hot fire effectively removes tough stains from your glass door and makes subsequent cleaning easier. Before you start cleaning, try this method and follow it up with a different procedure.
Start 1-2 fires to release the soot. Optionally, you can also use products with creosote that do an amazing job in removing soot from your fireplace glass doors.
After starting a fire, let it cool down before you go forward with cleaning. The entire process can take anywhere from 6-8 hours. This method is beneficial for softening hard build-up. After cooling down, you can follow up with any of the other cleaning methods mentioned in this guide.
This method can be referred to as the 'primer' stage, seeing as you may still need to clean following this.
Bicarbonate of Soda
For another effective DIY solution, you can try bicarbonate of soda/baking soda which is readily available in every grocery shop or supermarket. Bicarbonate soda has powerful bleaching properties and is used for cleaning various appliances in and around the home.
Here is what you need:
- A scrub brush
- Warm water
- Damp paper towel
- Bicarbonate of soda/Baking soda
- Rubber gloves
This cleaning method is particularly effective for removing stubborn stains and tough spots from glass doors.
Firstly, you must ensure that your fireplace has completely cooled down. If you have used it recently, it is recommended that you wait for 24 hours before cleaning. For gas fireplaces, switch it off and allow it to cool off completely.
Baking soda can be irritating, especially if you have cuts and wounds. As such, ensure you wear protective gear like gloves. Afterward, spread some old rags or towels around the cleaning area to avoid creating a mess.
Next, you need to make the solution. Mix water and the bicarbonate soda to create a thick paste. Then apply the paste onto the glass door using the scrubbing brush and start scrubbing in a circular motion. You might need a few attempts before the soot stain is completely gone.
When you are done, wipe it off using wet paper towels. Finally, use a dry microfiber cloth/paper towels to dry off the doors before you close them.
Use A Fireplace Glass Cleaner
If the DIY methods are not your forte, invest in a commercial cleaner. One of the best options is a stove glass cleaner. All you need is to spray the cleaner and wipe the glass doors using paper towels, a microfiber cloth or a clean rag.
When using a fireplace glass cleaner or stove glass cleaner, spray only a bit onto the cold glass and let it sit for a couple minutes before you wipe the glass with a damp paper towel or damp cloth.
A commercial stove glass cleaner is your best bet. It is a sure and effective way of cleaning your doors. Regardless of what type of fireplace glass cleaner you use, always read the instructions carefully and follow the guidelines laid down by the manufacturer.
For additional shine, use a dry cloth to polish the already clean glass after having used the fireplace cleaner.
There are some other cleaners, but due to their ammonia content, they can cause streaking. A cleaner that contains silicone is an excellent option. However, for best results, you should use it after your glass has been cleaned, as the silicone acts as a barrier between the glass door and soot build-up, preventing you from cleaning often.
Never Use a Razor Blade To Clean Your Fireplace Glass Door
Using a razor blade to clean fireplace glass doors is very common, but you should never do this. Why? Well, even though it might work in removing the stains, there is a very high chance that your glass doors will experience scratches.
Additionally, soot can seep in if there are scratches or cracks, making the situation worse. In most doors, ceramic glass is used, which is not as strong as ordinary glass, so you must never use razors for cleaning. We also do not recommend using a wire brush.
Additionally, there is a chance that you might experience cuts while using a razor, so you must stay away from them. There are plenty of safe DIY methods and you can always use our fireplace glass cleaner that can do a fantastic job without compromising on quality or safety.
How Many Times Should I Clean My Fireplace Glass Doors?
This depends on what kind of fireplace you have and how often you use it. If you own an electric fireplace or a bio ethanol fireplace, you need to clean them only when you notice a dirt build-up. However, if you own a wood-burning fireplace/wood stove, you will need to clean the doors at least once every 3-4 weeks, whereas a gas fireplace will require much less cleaning as it does not produce any creosote.
Therefore, you need to adjust your cleaning frequency depending on how often you use your fireplace and which type you have. Wood-burning fireplaces will require the most cleaning. If you notice a stain build-up, clean your fireplace doors as soon as possible. Nonetheless, regular cleaning is recommended whether you have a gas fireplace, a wood burning fireplace or an electric fireplace.
After following the above steps, you will most certainly have sparkling clean glass fireplace doors. They will not only look great but this will help the fireplace run more efficiently.
When you start a fire, ensure that the wood does not touch the doors or the stains will begin to reappear. Furthermore, do not put more firewood than you need so as to keep the fire at a safe distance and to keep your glass door clean.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is It Okay To Use Window Cleaner On Fireplace Glass?
No, it is not recommended. Your fireplace glass doors are different from normal glass doors and require a special cleaner. Window cleaners are meant for cleaning ordinary glass. However, if you have used Mr.Muscle or similar cleaning solutions on your doors, no harm has been done, but they will not be able to clean soot nowhere near as well.
Can I Clean My Glass Doors While They Are Still Hot?
No, you should never do this. Always turn off your fireplace and wait for at least 24 hours before you start the cleaning process to ensure that there are no embers or smouldering ashes.
How Do You Clean A Cloudy Fireplace Glass?
For best results, use a cloth or towel and give your glass a nice wipe down with the stove glass cleaner. Alternatively, you can use the ash and water solution or one of the other DIY methods we mentioned. This will remove all dirt and grime.
How Do I Prevent Soot Buildup?
Try to position the wood as far away as possible from the glass door. This will prevent the soot from building up on the glass door.
Is the Stove Glass Cleaner Multi-purpose?
Yes, if you have bought the Stove Glass Cleaner, you may also use it as an oven cleaner or to clean barbecue grills. It is truly multi-purpose and you will get a lot of use out of it, unlike with regular oven cleaners.