How to Clean Burnt Bricks

How to Clean Burnt Bricks

Fireplaces function as far more than an architectural detail added to a house to give it ambiance. For many homes, it is an alternative heating method used to keep energy costs down and revered for the direct warmth it provides.

But lighting fires in a brick fireplace inevitably leads to black, soot-covered bricks that look burnt, causing the fireplace to lose its visual appeal. 

Because brick and stone are porous materials, completely removing these stains and the soot residue requires a bit of deep cleaning. Commercially-made cleaners can damage the fireplace surface and when you look at the list of ingredients, you’ll often see that there is a “flammable” tag. We definitely do not want to see you use that on your fireplace. So today, we’re going to teach you how to make your own greener cleaner and clean the soot from your fireplace.

Step #1: Prep your space

Start this project by laying down drop cloths or thick layers of newspaper around and inside the fireplace to protect the floors and furniture while you are cleaning your burnt bricks. Also, take precautions to protect yourself by wearing rubber gloves and safety goggles throughout the whole process. 

Step #2: Make your concoction

In a bucket, mix one gallon of water with ½ cup of all-purpose detergent and 1 liter of cola. Dip a sponge into the mixture and press the saturated sponge onto the stained bricks to evenly distribute the cleaning mixture over all the burnt bricks. Let the mixture sit on the brick for 15 to 20 minutes then scrub the brick with a stiff-bristled cleaning brush. Sponge down the bricks with clean water once you’re done scrubbing all the stained bricks. 

Step #3: Clean the bricks with laundry detergent

Next, mix 1 cup of heavy-duty laundry detergent in a bucket with 1 gallon of water. Then pour ½ lb. of ground pumice into a bowl. 

Dip the scrub brush into the liquid mixture first then scrub the burnt bricks. Next, dip the brush into the ground pumice and scrub the bricks to coat them with pumice. Continue this process of dipping the brush into the liquid cleaner then into the pumice and scrubbing the bricks until the stains disappear. Rinse with clean water.

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    - Jacqueline Koch

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