Now that winter has arrived (and we’re apparently in line for 120 days of snow over the coming weeks), you’d better make sure that your Edwardian fireplaces are in good working order so you can all stay as snug as bugs in rugs. It’s also important that you know how to keep it clean as this will ensure it continues working as it should.
Firstly, make sure that you wear gloves, goggles or a face mask to help protect yourself against dust and irritants. Fireplaces are not clean so do all you can to protect yourself while cleaning. And, of course, you should always make sure that your fire is unlit and completely cold before you start to clean it.
Cover the area around the fireplace with sheets of plastic to protect your floor, carpet and furniture, then take out the grate or any andirons you have and give them a good scrub down with a brush outside to get rid of any soot.
Using a dustpan and brush, remove the ashes from the hearth. If you’re worried about dust and soot flying everywhere around the room, you can always sprinkle some damp used coffee grounds over the area to help keep them in place.
Wipe down your mantelpiece and the surround of the fireplace using a soft cloth. If you have a metal fireplace, don’t use water as this can make it rust. If you do have any rusty patches, just go over the affected area with some wire wool, then use a grate polish to blacken up what you’ve just scrubbed over.
Don’t be tempted to clean your flue and your chimney yourself unless you know what you’re doing. A professional is the best person for this particular job.