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Spring Cleaning for Your Chimney Systems

There’s just something about springtime that gets you in the mood for change. Once the weather is nice, you want to spend more time outdoors, taking walks, grilling, or even just hanging out on the front porch. Sometimes the spring cleaning fever hits, as well; closets get emptied, attics get cleaned, garage get swept. It just feels good to get everything in order so that you can enjoy the long, lazy days of summer. One place you definitely don’t want to neglect is your chimney system. Although nothing can replace your annual sweeping and inspection from a qualified professional, there are some things that you can do to prepare your chimney for summer.

Cleaning You Can Do Yourself

In order to prepare for spring cleaning your fireplace, you must first assemble the tools. It’s a messy job, and you don’t want to quit in the middle of doing it. Some essential items you’ll need are the following: a fireplace broom, a fireplace shovel, a metal can, a stiff-bristled brush, and some plastic covering to put down in front of the fireplace. If you have a hand-held vacuum, this can come in handy as well.

First, clear out the ashes. Ashes can be fly-away, so a good trick is to sprinkle some used coffee grounds over the ashes to hold them down. Next, shovel the ashes in the metal can, then take them out of the house to dispose – use the broom or the vacuum to pick up remaining ashes. Then, remove the andirons and grate to take them outside with the stiff-bristled brush and scrub them down. You can even reach up into the chimney with the brush to scrub out any soot and grime – make sure to put some newspapers down to collect the falling debris!

Next, you’ll want to clean the bricks in the fireplace. This can be accomplished by either brushing them down or use the brush attachment of your vacuum cleaner. If there are tough spots that need extra cleaning, use a mixture of water and cream of tartar. Dab mixture on the spots, let it set a few minutes, and wash off with warm water. You can repeat those steps as many times as necessary.

Finally, clean the glass doors on your fireplace to cap off this job and leave the room looking fresh and clean. Because the grime on the doors is tougher than ordinary dirt, one trick is to use ashes to clean it. Get some old newspapers damp, dip them in ashes, and use this to scrub the glass. It may take a little elbow grease, but the end result is most definitely worth it!

Cleaning by Professionals

Of course, none of this should replace your annual chimney spring cleaning and inspection, performed by professionals. Give the professionals at Chim Cheroo Chimney Systems a call soon to get your sweeping out of the way early, and you can spend the rest of your summer days enjoying all the fun, warm weather activities!

By Don Rhine on April 5th, 2018 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Comments Off on Spring Cleaning for Your Chimney Systems

Creative Uses of Wood Ashes

Winter has passed and now it’s time to start thinking about summer days. But first you need to take care of some spring cleaning. One of those things is cleaning out your fireplace in prep for your annual chimney inspection and cleaning. When you clean out those ashes, there are several things that you can do with those ashes. In fact, once you read these good ideas, you’ll want to start saving up your ashes throughout the winter!

Indoor Uses

Since you’re doing that spring cleaning, why not go ahead and use those ashes to help out. First off, while you’re cleaning your fireplace, use those ashes to clean your glass fireplace doors. If you dip a damp sponge into your ashes and then rub them onto the glass doors, you can scrub the soot right away. And when you’re done cleaning those doors, go ahead and polish your silver. A paste of water and soot makes a great silver cleaner.

Ashes also make a great odor absorber. Put some ashes in a small bowl and place that bowl in a smelly room or in your refrigerator and it’ll soon be smelling fresh. Just keep replacing the ashes every few days to keep those odors away.

Did you know that you can also make soap with ashes? Lye is a key ingredient in soap, and when you soak ashes in water you get lye. Mix this with animal fat and boil it. It’ll harden as it cools. You have soap!

Outdoor Uses

After you’ve got the inside of your house all clean and sparkling, you can move outdoors. You can start by beefing up your garden! Everyone knows that using compost is a great way to make your garden grow. You can add wood ash to your compost pile to make it even better – but remember, it needs to be added in moderation. Sprinkle on a layer of ashes for about every six inches of compost.

You can also use ashes to make a tea that can be used to help correct potassium deficiencies in some plants that tend to be deficient, like tomatoes, apples, sugar beets, and raspberries. Just put five pounds of ash in an old pillowcase and tie it shut. Put the bag into a 50-gallon garbage bin of water and let it steep a couple days. Once it’s brewed, you can use it to water your plants – use about a cup around your plants weekly. And if it’s your tomatoes that you’re worried about, you can put a ¼ cup of ashes right in the hole when you’re planting them. One more thing – if you sprinkle ashes around the perimeter of your garden, it can help keep slugs and snails away.

You can also use ashes to make your lawn look great – sprinkle some on the lawn and then give it a good watering to make it nice and green.

Call Chim Cheroo

There are many great ways to use those old wood ashes from your fireplace. And while you’re doing that spring cleaning, make sure that you call Chim Cheroo Chimney Service and schedule your annual inspection and chimney sweeping.

By Don Rhine on April 6th, 2017 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Comments Off on Creative Uses of Wood Ashes