In wood-burning Canadian communities, wood smoke accounts for 25% of airborne particulate matter. That's a considerable amount of airborne pollution. If wood smoke releases that much into the air, think about your fireplace glass. There are few things more wholesome than a warm fire in the winter. There are fewer things more unsightly than a dirty glass fireplace screen. Keep the fires burning and your home tidy with this guide on cleaning a glass fireplace.
GLASS TYPE Glass fireplace doors are made from tempered or ceramic glass. Both are able to withstand the heat of a fire without cracking. This type of glass is very heat resistant, but it does get very dirty. Because of the build-up and the type of glass, normal glass cleaners won't cut through the grime. PREPARATIONS Cleaning a glass fireplace cover is a messy job. Make sure you're prepared before you start so you don't spread ash and soot through your house. Have plenty of towels handy and line them below the doors. When you remove the doors, you're sure to knock loose some dirt and residue. Make sure to read the owner's manual for proper door removal. Improper removal could damage the door and require repair. Once the doors are free, place them on the towels or drop cloths. Carry them to a safe outdoor cleaning location. CLEANING METHODS There's no one right way to clean your glass fireplace. Some prefer the efficiency of a chemical glass fireplace cleaner. Others prefer a more natural method. Ash & Newspaper Ash's abrasive texture makes it a great cleaner. The best part is, you have plenty in your fireplace. Newspaper subscriptions in Canada remain steady, so you'll have an old one to use. If not, make a stop at your local newsstand. To start, wet a piece of newspaper and then dip it in ash. Scrub your fireplace doors with the ashy newspaper in a circular motion. This method takes effort, but you'll notice immediate results. Vinegar & Water Vinegar and water are used to clean all kinds of glass, and a vinegar solution will help break down the grime on your fireplace. Mix a quarter of a cup of white vinegar with two cups of hot water. Add a tablespoon of cornstarch to the solution. The cornstarch gives this solution an abrasive texture to help scrub your glass clean. Once mixed, scrub your doors with a sponge or a cloth. The cornstarch should do the work for you and lift that caked-on residue. Razor Blades This method is for the truly opaque glass fireplace doors that haven't been cleaned in years. Hold the blade at a 45° angle and scrape along the glass surface. Be careful not to scratch the glass by using too much force. Finish the razor job by using vinegar or ash to restore the original shine of the glass. CLEAN YOUR FIREPLACE GLASS Nothing warms a home quite like a fire. Keep your fires burning all winter by cleaning your fireplace glass. If you need glass fireplace door repair in the Toronto area, Suburban Glass & Mirror is here for you. We have over 50 years of glass repair experience. Visit our store or give us a call if you need a commercial or residential repair.