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Restoring a Brick Fireplace

Q: Restoring a Brick Fireplace We have a very attractive brick fireplace. However, the outer hearth is dull from years of dust and soot build-up. Ordinary household cleaners leave the brick surface dull looking. Is there a solution (other than sand blasting) to  ? I have heard rumors of an acid wash treatment, but no details. Thank you. -- Wayne G Orr Reply 

Answer Ref: 0109 We suggested that he could buy acid for such a purpose from a builders merchant (at least here in the UK we can). Acid dissolves the mortar so the fireplace could require re-pointing. Please remember to take precautions to protect adjacent surfaces (including your skin!) -- Beatty & Co Comment
Caution, Acid is extremely dangerous and should only be used by professionals.

Answer Ref: 0109 . Sponge on muriatic acid, rinse with clean water. don't forget rubber gloves.-- Lew French Comment

Caution, Acid is extremely dangerous and should only be used by professionals.

Answer Ref: 0109 . Wayne you said "Apart from Sandblasting", as a professional sandblaster I would recommend that course of action only from a specialist who is really expert in the field. In my experience plain water with a little ammonia can work wonders. Exterior bricks can deteriorate rapidly if the outer surface is removed. -- Alan Shulman Comment

Q: Cleaning Fireplace. Need to clean the inside of a fireplace which has a lot of creosote and soot. what is the best way to clean inside brick. I want to have clean so I can put in gas logs inside it. -- Reply 

A: Try Rutland Brick and Stone Cleaner. I can buy it locally but I have seen it advertised on Amazon. -- Ruthie Percival

A: Vinegar and water works as well as the expensive products. If you have creosote build-up alcohol works but you can get stuff that works from specialty stores. A stiff brush works wonders.

Q: Cleaning my fireplace I just bought a new house and the fireplace is one of those inserts with the fake brick thingies inside the fireplace. It's got soot, creosote, etc., all over, and I want to clean it, I mean clean it so that it looks brand new. What should I use? I'm going to put candles in the fireplace instead of logs. Thanks! Carol Armstrong Reply  (Ref:0116)

Answer Ref: 0116  There have been previous postings on this subject. It is possible to use acid (vinegar is supposed to work). Search the site for "acid" to find out more. Note that hydrochloric or similar concentrated acids are very dangerous . -- DE 



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