How to remove soot from a brick fireplace

Written by constance barker
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How to remove soot from a brick fireplace
Remove soot from a brick fireplace face with mild dish soap. (Living Room image by Dawn from

As wood burns, smoke releases through the chimney, but soot can seep onto a brick fireplace face and stick there because of its tiny crooks and crevices, creating black marks on the stone. Cleaning soot regularly ensures a cleaner looking fireplace.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Liquid soap
  • Salt
  • Sponge
  • Stiff-bristle brush
  • Spray bottle
  • All-purpose cleaner
  • Bucket
  • Cloth
  • Trisodium phosphate

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  1. 1

    Mix 29.6ml. of liquid soap with 28.4gr. table salt. Place drops of water into the mixture until it forms a thick cream.

  2. 2

    Spread the salt mixture over the soot on the brick with a sponge. Allow the mixture to remain on the brick for 10 minutes.

  3. 3

    Scrub the brick with a wet, stiff bristle brush, removing the soot stains.

  1. 1

    Spray water onto the soot on the brick fireplace with a spray bottle.

  2. 2

    Mix 1/4 cup all purpose cleaner into a gallon of water.

  3. 3

    Dip a stiff bristle brush into the cleaning mixture and scrub the soot stains.

  4. 4

    Wet a clean cloth and wipe over the brick, removing the soot and soapy residue from the brick.

  1. 1

    Fill a gallon bucket with hot water. Pour 1/2 cup of trisodium phosphate into the water and stir to dissolve.

  2. 2

    Wet a stiff bristle brush with the cleaning mixture. Apply the mixture to the soot on the brick, scrubbing the area clean.

  3. 3

    Rinse the soot and cleaning mixture from the brick with a sponge and warm water. This is an acid solution and can be harmful to skin and other objects.

Tips and warnings

  • Wear a painter's mask, eye protection and rubber gloves when working with trisodium phosphate, as it can burn the skin.
  • Avoid using harsh chemicals on brick as it could damage the surface.

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