Most everyone loves a crackling fire during the winter months, but nobody likes the look of a dirty and stained fireplace hearth. The section of the fireplace that surrounds the fire, some hearths are made from cement instead of bricks. To keep an unprotected cement hearth from getting discolored and stained with use, coat it with a sealant after cleaning. You can use one of 3 procedures for cleaning, contingent upon the condition of your cement fireplace hearth. Commit to regularly cleaning the fireplace following the burning season ends to keep it looking fine and also to appreciate it for years to come.
Planning for Cleaning
Spread old coffee grounds atop wood ash and soot. The coffee grounds help to keep down the dust as you work.
Lay plastic sheeting, a tarp, dropcloth or newspapers before the fireplace to keep it clean as you work. To protect the walls, then attach plastic sheeting or newspapers to the wall with masking tape around the fireplace.
Open and close the damper a few times to loosen creosote and soot from it. Sweep up the soot and ash to the dust pan and set it in a steel ash can.
Insert 1/4 to 1/2 cup oxygen bleach to your 1-gallon bucket of warm water. Thoroughly dilute the powdered bleach in the warm water by mixing with a long spoon or mixing rod. Put on the rubber gloves.
Dip the brush in the mixture and apply it to the cement hearth. Vigorously scrub the interior of the cement fireplace flooring and walls extensively, working in small sections. Permit the mixture to soak in the cement for approximately 15 minutes.
Fill the second bucket with warm water. Soak the sponge in the clean water and wring it out. Wipe up the cleaning solution with the sponge. Wash the sponge as much as needed to remove the cleaning solution from the cement. Replenish the rinse water when it becomes too cluttered.
Repeat the procedure for hard-to-remove stains or discolored areas of the cement fireplace. Make a paste from oxygen bleach and water and apply it to tough stains. Allow the paste to sit down on the discolored areas until the cement returns to its original color. Wipe off the paste and rinse with clean water.
Tough Jobs — Trisodium Phosphate
Wet the cement before applying the mixture. Fill the spray bottle with water to spritz the walls and ground of this cement fireplace hearth thoroughly.
Combine 1 cup chlorine bleach and 6 tablespoons trisodium phosphate with 1 gallon warm water in a bucket. Swirl the mixture with the long wooden spoon till the trisodium phosphate completely dissolves.
Wash with a hard bristle brush. Dunk the brush at the cleaning solution and scrub the walls and floor of the hearth. Use the second bucket for rinsing. Rinse with clean water. Replenish the rinse water frequently. Let the fireplace atmosphere dry.
Burnt-In Stain Removal — Muriatic Acid
Get the interior of the cement fireplace thoroughly wet. Muriatic acid works to remove burnt-in stains on unsealed cement fireplaces by etching the surface of the cement.
Mix 1 part muriatic acid with 10 parts water in a bucket. Wearing protective gloves, dip a sponge in the mixture and apply it to the wet cement hearth. You can also employ it by adding it to your spray bottle and spritzing the cement with the mixture.
Permit the muriatic acid solution to sit down on the cement for no longer than 10 minutes. As it works, it bubbles up and creates potassium carbonate, a limey, chalky material. After 10 minutes, screw a broom handle in the very top of a wooden bristle brush with a adapter that accepts the grip. Scrub the powdery deposits with the brush when avoiding getting the deposits on your own.
Sweep up the deposits and discard after manufacturer’s directions on the bottle. Wipe down the interior of the cement hearth with a wet sponge. Wash the sponge frequently and change the water as necessary. Make certain you remove all of the muriatic acid from the walls and bottom of the fireplace hearth.