Cleaning the face of a fireplace is a project that demands patience, says Dial-A-Maid Cleaning Service in Evanston, Il. 60201. The dirt and stain have usually accumulated over the course of years, and most of us want to wipe it away in five or ten minutes. Unlikely, Fireplace stone and brick may be hard, but they're also porous. this means plenty of tiny holes for soil to accumulate in.
First, mix up a warm solution of high-alkaline cleaner, any degreaser will do, and add one ounce of chlorine bleach per gallon of water. Make sure the floor around the fireplace is well covered with dropcloths before you start. Wet the surface of the fireplace well with the solution, but don't put on so much that it runs. Dirty water running down the face may cause hard- to- get- out streaks. Then scrub the solution in with a brush, you should see the suds getting dark and dirty as the buildup comes off. Rinse well. If the surface is shadowy after cleaning, a light cleaning with a phosphoric acid cleaner may be enough to brighten it up the rest of the way. Don't use any acid stronger than phosphoric it will attack and damage the brick or stone.
If the results still aren't satisfying, make a poultice of heavy duty cleaner, and bleach and apply it to the areas needing attention. This should draw out any remaining residue. If necessary, repeat these steps until you get the result you want.The color of the brick or stone determines how aggressive your use of bleach can be, says Dial-A-Maid Cleaning Service in Evanston, Il. 60201. Heavy bleaching will whiten a dark surface and cause it to look out of place. You can use a stronger solution on white or light surfaces.