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Rennie Heuer
10-30-2006, 5:24 PM
I sure hope someone can help with this!

I have a woodburning fireplace in my home that has been converted to gas. It seems as though before the conversions the previous owners burned a lot of pine because the back of the interior is a black as can be. The yellow fire brick in the firebox is completly covered.

Now when I have the gas fire going it is nearly invisible because the firebox is so dark. :mad: I need help. What's the best way to clean off all that soot so I can enjoy my fireplace?

Thanks in advance!

Al Willits
10-30-2006, 5:41 PM
Can only tell you about cleaning boilers and furnaces of soot and it isn't good.
Soot will destroy almost any vacuum cleaner, it'll still run, but it seems the soot is impossible to get off the vacuum with out finding something that will cut it.
And everytime you use the vacuum after that, you'll get smudges of soot.

Floor stripper will cut it, but its a bit agressive for most home use, we used to clean 90% furnace chambers with it untill someone figured we were dumping some pretty strong chemical down the drain.

Can you get this thing outside?

Maybe pull the burner and gas line out of it and take it to a car wash, not sure what you'll need to cut the soot with, gotta be something other than stripper..

Or, pay to have it done?

It can be done, but it sure is messy.

Maybe some one else has a better way I hope.

Al

Bob Childress
10-30-2006, 6:07 PM
A chimney sweep can more or less "grind" it off, but it is a messy job and one I wouldn't tackle myself. The sweeps have the equipment to catch the soot as it comes off the surface.

Rennie Heuer
10-30-2006, 6:08 PM
Can you get this thing outside?

Maybe pull the burner and gas line out of it and take it to a car wash, not sure what you'll need to cut the soot with, gotta be something other than stripper..

Al
Thanks Al, but it's the brick interior of the firebox that has the soot on it - kinda hard to lug that baby outside!

Jim Rabon
10-30-2006, 6:09 PM
Would it be possible to burn it off with something like a blowtorch?

Rennie Heuer
10-30-2006, 6:10 PM
Would it be possible to burn it off with something like a blowtorch?
Might work - what are the chances of hurting the fire brick with concentrated heat?

Joe Pelonio
10-30-2006, 6:16 PM
I would remove the gas burner and logs first, but try TSP, maybe 1/2 cup in a gallon of hot water and a stiff scrub brush, with gloves on. I doubt that there's an easier, less messy way. Use a big (sacrificial) sponge like used for washing cars to get the runoff.

Jerry Olexa
10-30-2006, 8:08 PM
Possibly muriatic acid ??

George Morris
10-30-2006, 8:51 PM
The bricks should come out one at a time cleaned and back in same place!

Rob Russell
10-30-2006, 10:36 PM
It's too bad it's gas now. There are "chemical chimney cleaners" that you burn, but I think they're for woodburning fireplaces/stoves. They make the creosote fluff up and it can then be knocked off.

You might try some turpentine on a patch or lacquer thinner on a small patch - they might dissolve the stuff off. Sooner or later you're going to have to find a way to get the creosote out of the brick pores - that'll be a job.

Rennie Heuer
10-31-2006, 9:00 AM
The bricks should come out one at a time cleaned and back in same place!
Well, after I chip out all the mortar, yes.:o

This is a real, honest-to-goodness, fireplace. Lots of cement, a few tons of cinder block and brick, takes up an area 6' wide and 4' deep.

I'll try some of the suggestions on small areas and see what happens.

Al Willits
10-31-2006, 2:24 PM
I used to get the soot off the wood stove door glass by getting a pretty good fire going and it'd burn it off, maybe take a small area to test, and use a tourch on it, one of the little bottle gas versions might work.

I'd wear a mask and ventilate well, almost bet one of the by products will be CO and soot dust.

Al

Scott Donley
10-31-2006, 3:04 PM
Sand blast it :( Sure would be a mess, but, would look like new :D

Robert Mickley
10-31-2006, 6:10 PM
don't sandblast it, use crushed walnut shells, won't hurt the bricks that way!!!

Oven cleaner maybe? get it warmed up first though works better, at least on the oven it does

Dennis Peacock
10-31-2006, 6:45 PM
Maaaaaaaannnnn....have you got a job ahead of you. I hope you find the solution you are after. That my friend is a JOB and a half.!!!!