How to Clean Stone Fireplace? (AVOID Doing This!)

There are a few things in life that are more relaxing than curling up near a stone fireplace. Stone fireplaces aren’t only beautiful but also functional. Nothing can beat the warmth of a home-lit fire on a cold winter night. 

Unfortunately, using a stone fireplace can cause soot and dirt to accumulate on its walls. If that’s the case with your stone fireplace, you may be wondering, “How to clean a stone fireplace?”


This article sheds light on a few different ways of effectively cleaning your stone fireplace. Stick around!

The 3 Stages of Cleaning Your Stone Fireplace

Cleaning your stone fireplace happens in three stages. 

You should first prepare it for cleaning. Then comes a preliminary cleaning stage with mild soap or any all-purpose cleaner. 

Finally, you deep-clean your stone fireplace for the best results.

Stage 1: Preparing the Stone Fireplace for Cleaning

Before cleaning your stone fireplace, you need to do some preparations first. Follow these steps to prepare your stone fireplace for cleaning:

  1. Let It Cool

You should leave your fireplace to cool down for about 12 hours after the last use before you start cleaning. 

  1. Use Protection

Protect yourself by putting on a dust mask and some gloves. Cover the furniture and the floor in front of your stone fireplace with a tarp, an old shower curtain, or even newspaper. 

This step protects you and the surroundings from ash, dust, and the chemicals used in cleaning.

  1. Remove Ash and Dust

You may use a broom and a dustpan if there isn’t much ash or dust. However, if there’s much dust and ash, scoop it away with a little shovel. 

You should place this ash in a container filled with water and discard it out of the house.

  1. Clean the Fine Lines

Attach a brush to your vacuum cleaner to absorb the remaining fine lines of dust and ash in your stone fireplace. 

This extra step helps speed up the cleaning process.

Stage 2: Initial Routine Cleaning

In this stage, you may use an all-purpose cleaner, mild soap, or dish soap. Follow these steps for an initial routine cleaning:

  1. Apply an all-purpose cleaner or diluted dish soap and scrub with a sponge.
  2. Mix mild soap or more dish soap with water and scrub with a brush to get rid of the stubborn stains.
  3. Use wet cloths to wipe away the soap from the fireplace. 
  4. Dab your fireplace dry and leave it for a while to make sure it’s fully dried out.

Stage 3: Deep Cleaning

This stage is only required for heavy built-up dirt and soot.

  1. Dilute one cup of Trisodium Phosphate (TSP) in a gallon of warm water. 
  2. Insert a scrubbing brush into the solution and scrub the interior of the fireplace. 
  3. Scrub the top of the fireplace.
  4. Remove any dirt that falls from scrubbing the top part. 
  5. Dip a clean sponge in water.
  6. Rinse every part of the fireplace to remove any trace of TSP. 
  7. That’s it. Your stone fireplace should now be clean. 

How to Clean Soot Off Brick?

Soot can be very stubborn. It might need special care and cleaning materials. However, there’s more than one way to clean soot off brick.

 In addition to the deep cleaning method mentioned above, here are two more.

Use Vinegar

  1. Mix one cup of white vinegar with one cup of warm water in a spray bottle.
  2. Spray the bricks with the solution, especially where soot is concentrated.
  3. Scrub the bricks with a mild brush until you completely get rid of the smell of vinegar.
  4. Use a damp piece of cloth to clean the bricks.

Use Baking Soda

  1. Mix baking soda with water with a ratio of 1:1 to create a paste.
  2. Put on rubber gloves.
  3. Spread a thin layer of paste on the brick. 
  4. Leave the paste on the brick for ten minutes to loosen the soot.
  5. Scrub the mixture with a harsh scrubbing brush.
  6. Dip a sponge in warm water and clean off the mixture.

How to Whitewash Stone Fireplace?

To whitewash your stone fireplace you need the following items:

  • White chalk paint. Choose the color tone according to your taste.
  • Water. You need water to mix with the white chalk paint.
  • Soft brush. It’s better to use a soft brush because it can be easily aimed toward the most twisted corners.
  • Staining pads. They’re super absorbent. It’s a good idea to use staining pads to effectively transfer the whitewash mixture.
  • Work towels. These are used to clean any dripping.
  • Protective glasses and working gloves. You should always use protective gear when applying paint.

Whitewashing Your Fireplace in 6 Steps

  1. Clean your fireplace thoroughly.
  2. Mix paint with water at a ratio of 1:1.
  3. Do a test spot. 
  4. Apply the mixture slowly.
  5. Wipe any extra mixture using the staining pads.
  6. If you’re planning to apply a second layer, wait for the first one to cool off completely.

Tips on How to Clean Stone Fireplace

  1. Always use protective gear.
  2. Go easy on the bricks, especially if your fireplace is old.
  3. Open a window in the room for ventilation when using chemical cleaners.
  4. Use Gray Chalk Paint for whitewashing if your fireplace has pink or orange undertones.
  5. Protect the floors while cleaning or whitewashing.
  6. Always start with the milder type of soap before moving to the stronger chemicals.
  7. While whitewashing, divide the fireplace into sections and finish each one at a time. 
  8. When cleaning, it’s best to start from the top down.
  9. When cleaning, start with soaking the fireplace with water to prevent the walls from absorbing any cleaner.
  10. It’s a good idea to apply routine cleaning to your fireplace every once in a while.

While you are at it, you can consider cleaning the chimney as well. It is essential but a lot o people forget to do it.

In Summary

So, how to clean stone fireplaces? There are three stages to cleaning your stone fireplace. You need first to prepare it for cleaning and apply routine cleaning before you hit the deep cleaning chemicals. 

If there’s stubborn soot on the bricks, you can remove it with a vinegar and water solution or a baking soda and water paste.

Moreover, you can whitewash your stone fireplace at home easily using a mixture of white chalk paint and water.

It’s never been easier to grab your paintbrush and bucket to clean and whitewash your old stone fireplace.