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How to Remove Fireplace Soot from Surrounding Brick Wall

by Felicia A. Williams

If you have a functioning fireplace you understand that sometimes an overzealous blaze may, on very rare occasions, cause smoke to billow out of its confines (not opening the flue prior to starting a fire is another reason this may occur). As a result, you're stuck with an unattractive film of soot on the wall above the fireplace.

Fireplace Soot

A sooty wall surrounding the fireplace is unattractive, but the soot can be cleaned with a sponge and a little elbow grease. The challenge arises if your fireplace is nestled snugly within a brick enclosure. The sooty film forms on the brick wall above and is less easy to clean. Don't despair; removing the fireplace soot is not a difficult job, but if you're not careful it can get a bit messy.

Here's a surefire way to remove fireplace soot from your brick wall.

You'll need the following items:
  • A drop cloth, towels or plastic to protect the floor (which ever you have around the house)
  • Rubber gloves to protect your hands
  • Scrub Brush (a long-handled one if the soot traveled far up the wall)
  • Foaming spray bathroom cleaner
  • 2 Sponges
  • Bucket
  • Water

Removing the Soot from the Wall

  1. To protect your floor, place the drop cloth, towel or plastic underneath your work area.
  1. Fill the bucket with warm water. The water temperature has nothing to do with cleaning the wall, and everything to do about keeping your hands comfortable.
  1. Figure out where you'd like to begin. It is recommended to work from the top down. No sense in scrubbing the bottom part of the wall clean only to have sooty water drip down when you start working above your cleaned area.
  1. Wet the sponge and liberally apply water to the area of brick.
  1. Spray the bathroom cleaner over the wet area. Let it foam for about 30 seconds to a minute.
  1. Now take the scrub brush and scrub the soot from the brick. It won't take too much pressure as the foaming cleaner works well on the soot. You'll notice the foam will take on the color of the soot. Not a very attractive picture.
  1. Dip the sponge into the clean water and use it to wash the foam away. Once you wash the foam away you'll see a noticeable difference in the brick. For very sooty brick walls (those of you who make it a habit of forgetting to open the flue), repeat the process.

A time-saving tip is to use two sponges and two buckets of water. It's easier to use one for rinse water and the other to collect the dirty soot runoff.

Removing fireplace soot is not an expensive project. You don't have to buy the most expensive foam cleaner on the market, the generic store brand works just as well when it comes to removing fireplace soot.

It really works. Read the comments on this post

About the Author: Felicia Williams is a wife, mother and grandmother who likes to write about a host of topics.


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Last Modified: 13 December 2019

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