Removing black stains from fireplace brick?

leafy02February 28, 2013

The fireplace in our family room doesn't draw well, and has black sooty staining on the bricks of the surround from the top of the opening up toward the mantel. It was like this when we bought the house, and I haven't been able to get it off with scrubbing and regular household cleaners.

Anybody have any luck with a situation like this?

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I had some luck using my steamer-with high pressure steam on it, but not a lot of luck. You might contact a professional clean up place-they deal with soot removal and they might have some tips.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2013 at 11:51PM
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I actually saw an hgtv show where the host used scrubbing bubbles and a scrub brush on dirty brick. Never tried it, but it might be worth a shot. Good luck.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 12:20AM
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I saw that same HGTV show with Sabrina Soto cleaning the fireplace. It was amazing! I can't find the show but here's another reference to that episode.

Here is a link that might be useful: cleaning fireplace brick ala get it sold

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 1:02AM
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I cleaned my in-laws' fireplace hearth of years of soot with Charlie's Soap liquid spray. Sprayed it on, let it sit a few minutes and rinsed. It all came off beautifully. I had tried the usual attempts at cleaning and using a steamer with no luck.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 10:21AM
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Old House Journal just had an article on a product that you paint onto the brick, let dry (it becomes a thin membrane, maybe something like rubber cement), then pull off again ... supposedly all the soot comes with it. I'll see if I can find the name of the product.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 11:07AM
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Thanks, all. I did have scrubbing bubbles in the house, so I started with those. So far, it doesn't look great but I really need to wait and see how it looks when it dries....

    Bookmark   March 2, 2013 at 10:15PM
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Elraes Miller

Oven cleaner and water with dishwashing soap to rinse off. It is really easy and does the job. Although messy and wear gloves.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 8:09AM
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I had great success with Quick N Brite.

One of those "As Seen On TV" things that actually worked.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 1:29PM
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Once the bricks were dry after the scrubbing bubbles, it was clear that the bubbles had worked pretty well.

I did another round of the bubbles and this time, I could see the foam turning brown as it broke up the soot, so I think this second episode will work even better than the first. I am so excited about having that soot gone after FOUR years.

I also bought a can of oven cleaner in case additional bubble applications don't remove it all.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 3:16PM
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