fireplace cleanout

Saturday, April 2, 2011

We have a few shows that we watch in series (Glee, True Blood, Raising Hope), but most other tv shows are caught on hulu while fast forwarding to the dancers we really want to see (hah, dwts).  But when I have mindnumbing things to do (washing the windows or dishes), then I flip to my go-to channels...USA and TNT (hoping for Law&Order SVU marathons), TLC, E!, and always, always HGTV.  I love me some home renovation shows, and by pure luck this week on one of my fav shows (Get it Sold, with mah girl Sabrina Soto) she walked through how to properly and efficiently clean a fireplace. 

Then I looked at our fireplace with disdain and embarassment. 

Notice anything embarassing?  Oh yea - just the burnt to a crisp fireplace bricks and logs.

Then I told Brandon to put Bullet in the crate and hold the baby, please.
And then I went to cleaning our ultra sooty, dusty, black fireplace at 7:30p on a Wednesday night. 

(in case you're wondering - my husband loooooves when I start in depth projects when loving wives are supposed to be suggesting cuddling on the couch with popcorn and a movie after a long day of work.  worst wife ever.)

Be forewarned, cleaning a fireplace makes a mess.

1. Step one:  Take out the wood logs  (they are a lot heavier than they this point, Grey went into the playpen and Bud was enlisted as right-hand helping man...even worser wife)

2. Step two:  Use a dust pan & brush to sweep out whatever is in the base of the fireplace.  We had sand, coins (!?!), crazy weird dust balls that looked like fur (!!!), and 1 dog bone (bullet....).  I suggest wearing rubber gloves and not a white shirt with long sleeves (like I did).

3. Step three:  Transfer dust pan particles into a garbage bag carefully.  (this is a period of potential catastrophic mess...proceed with caution).

4. Step four:  Spray foaming shower scrub (thanks, Sabrina!) over the bricks that have soot stains. 

5. Step five:  Scrub with a bristle brush and dip in a bucket of water occasionally


6. Step six:  Repeat steps 4 & 5 if necessary (I did it three times for good measure)

7. Step seven:  Scrub fireplace logs with bristle brush and water.  We did this in the sink (MESS), but if it was warmer out - we obviously would have hosed them outside.  Maybe a bathtub or laundry sink would have been a better choice. (I'm fairly certain he asks himself on a regular basis how he gets roped into my usually irrational, inopportune, crazy undertakings.)

white shirt too...double fail.
8. Step eight:  re-assemble logs when dry

Clean!  Except for underneath the mantle...but we're getting a new one, so no sweat.
 So glad that we finally have that finished!  It has been driving me crazy and I have actually been avoiding taking pictures near our fireplace because it needed cleaned so badly.  I would scrub the brick before (with water & soap), but without cleaning out the pit it would just get sooty again the next time we lit it.  Granted, we haven't had a fire yet - but I'm hoping we are moving forward sot-free for at least a little while.

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