Keeping your fireplace clean and maintained doesn't require a lot of equipment, and sealing your bricks against damage is easier than you think. Some people insist that you shouldn't seal brick because the sealer locks in water and doesn't allow brick to breathe. This can cause damage to your brick through the collection of condensation. However, silane/siloxane-based brick sealers do not have this problem because they are breathable. They are also environmentally friendly and clear, so they won't change the colour of your brick.
Tackle soot stains using your preferred oven cleaner. These products are made to remove burns, soot and scorches. Spray on the oven cleaner, let it sit for five minutes and remove it with a towel.
Create a thin paste out of 28.4 g (1 oz) of table salt, 29.6 ml (1 oz) of washing up liquid and enough water to get the desired consistency.
Rub it into the brick with a towel and let it sit for 10 minutes. Scrub the brick with a stiff-bristled scrub brush and water to remove the cleaning residue. Allow it to dry before applying the sealer.
Mix your brick sealer in a pump-up spray according to the manufacturer's directions. Spray the sealer as per the manufacturer's instructions, but choose a time that will give you at least 24 hours before rain or below-freezing temperatures.
One gallon of sealer will generally cover up to 14 square metres (150 square feet). Brick sealer can also be applied with a paintbrush or roller.