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A cast iron fireplace will add a cozy, old-fashioned touch to the home-but only if the fireplace is in good shape. Here are some guidelines on how to clean cast iron fireplace elements and how to repair a rusty cast iron fireplace in case your fireplace needs heavier work.
You already know this, but it must be said: do not clean up when the fireplace is still hot, let alone clean up when there is a fire in the fireplace. The cleaning of the fireplace is often messy, so it is a good idea to cover the surrounding area with a plastic sheet.
Before cleaning the cast iron fireplace elements, you usually need to remove the ashes from the previous fire. Sprinkle the used coffee grounds on the dust before cleaning to prevent the dust from turning on your face.
How to clean a cast iron fireplace grate
Do not wash the cast iron fireplace elements with water; it will encourage rusting. Instead, try this method without water to clean your fireplace.
Use a dustpan and brush to sweep away the ash
Use a dustpan and brush to sweep out the ash. If there are ashes in the grate, you can knock them down to make it easier to clean up.
Vacuum remaining dust
Once you have removed as much as possible by sweeping, vacuum up any remaining dust and debris.
Wipe with methylated alcohol and a cloth
If dirt is attached to the iron, put a little methylated alcohol on the cloth and use it to wipe the grate. Keep walking until it is clean. In this process, you may have to wear several kinds of cloth.
Use the commercial iron paste to restore blackness
If your fireplace looks a little dark, use commercial iron paste or scrub to restore its blackness. This is usually used, leave it for a few hours, and then polish it with a cloth, but follow the manufacturer's instructions.
How to repair a cast iron fireplace
Maybe your cast iron fireplace is more than simple cleaning, it needs some repair work. You can find a professional, but there are many things you can do at home. Here is a quick guide for restoring the elements of a cast iron fireplace (if the fireplace is removable, you may find it easier to remove it from the wall first).
Protect yourself and the surrounding area
Cover the floor with plastic sheeting. More importantly, you also need to protect yourself. The paint stripper is very rough to the skin and releases toxic gas. Make sure the room is well ventilated. To be safe, put on some old clothes and equipment: gloves, face mask, and goggles.
Strip paint with a commercial paint stripper
If you see an old cast iron fireplace that has not been used this century, it may be covered with layers of peeling paint. Use a commercial paint stripper and follow the instructions on the bottle.
Wipe with white spirit and a soft cloth
After you remove the paint, take a soft cloth and wipe the fireplace with white spirit to remove any residue.
Use steel wool to remove the rust
Clean any rust away with steel wool.
Finish by applying the iron paste
Follow the manufacturer's instructions and finish off with iron paste or grate polish.
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