How to Clean Fireplace Glass

Whether you use products in your home or brand cleaners, cleaning your fireplace glass is an easy way to give your space a subliminal upgrade while preventing unhealthy particles from building up.

Watching a roaring fire through dirty fireplace glass is kind of like watching a fireworks display on a cloudy night – womp, womp. The best way to bring cozy back is to clean that fireplace glass asap. Glass Ceramic Cookware

How to Clean Fireplace Glass

However, each type of glass contains slightly different materials, so cleaning each type of glass is going to be slightly different.

The glass doors on your fireplace are likely either ceramic glass or tempered glass. These types of glass can take both the heat and more than a few dollars out of your pocket. So instead of replacing them, give these cleaning methods a try.

A lot of people don’t realize it, but that white haze on your gas fireplace glass isn’t a charming faux holiday scene for window shoppers. It’s a buildup of combustion by-products. And you can clean that gunk right off.

Make sure to let your fireplace glass cool down completely before cleaning it. Sounds like a no-brainer but, hey, most coffee still comes with a “warning: hot” label. Once it’s cool to the touch, you’re good to go.

Cleaning your fireplace glass might be messy AF, so remove the glass if you can. This gives you much better angles for cleaning and lowers the chance you’ll create a messy scene on your floor. Most gas fireplaces have glass that can be taken out relatively easily.

There are a lot of options for cleaning products made specially for fireplace glass. The simplest option for gas fireplace glass is a conditioning glass cleaner. Not really wax, but it looks a bit like car wax. The specific instructions may change from brand to brand, but generally, you’ll want to:

Once the glass is fully dried, reinstall it, turn your gas back on and… voila! A crystal clear view of the cozy fire.

Again, each cleaner will have its own specific instructions. Make sure to take a minute to read them.

P.S. Avoid any abrasive cleaners or scrubbing pads. Those will leave your fireplace glass looking worse than when you started.

Cleaning the glass on a wood burning fireplace door is a slightly different deal. For starters, the grime on wood burning fireplace glass is probably a lot… grimier. Caked on soot and ash might require a little more elbow grease.

Also, you probably can’t remove the glass doors. All good. Just lay down some towels or a drop cloth. Why? The cleaning options for wood burning fireplace glass tend to be more on the runny side. As you clean it, the glass will start to look like someone sobbing while wearing non-waterproof mascara, so protect your floor from this runny river of gross!

Here are a few options for tackling that ashy buildup on wood burning fireplace glass.

One of the best ways to clean ash is to use ash. Yep, that pile of ash that’s sitting in the fireplace is a shockingly good cleaner.

Ash is an ingredient in lye, the cleaning stuff your high school shop teacher taught you all about. When you mix ash with a little water, it creates a very mild abrasive that’s as effective as it is cheap.

So grab a wet cloth or newspaper (if you somehow haven’t digitized all your news sources) then:

Don’t forget, burning wood creates particles that are harmful to your health, including the ash you’re using as a cleaner. Your best bet is to wear an N95 mask while cleaning so that you can filter out those nasty little particles.

Another cheap option for cleaning soot from fireplace glass is vinegar. White distilled vinegar is best. You can use it on its own or mix it with some warm water. There isn’t any set recipe for this concoction, but one cup of vinegar to three cups of water should work.

The easiest way to apply the vinegar solution is to use a clean (preferably new) spray bottle. Make sure to keep the vinegar away from your eyes and skin. Ouch. And never mix vinegar with other household chemicals. They do NOT play nicely together.

If you decide on the vinegar solution, here’s what to do to clean the glass:

Add one of the following to this solution for an even stronger cleaner:

For getting at those super tough, caked on stains, do NOT use a razor. These blades can scrape off some of the protective coating of certain types of fireplace glass.

Instead, create a paste by adding your vinegar solution to some of that ash. Apply the paste liberally and let it sit for a bit before scrubbing clean with a microfiber.

P.S. This vinegar solution you created like a chem teacher is also great for cleaning other places in your home, like your toilet, sink or shower. It can augment or even replace most store bought cleaners.

For those of you who aren’t into the DIY cleaner mixology, there is always the pre-mixed commercial stuff.

There are specific fireplace cleaners as well as oven cleaners that are effective at removing soot from other surfaces like your grill. When cleaning glass for a wood burning fireplace, make sure to opt for a cleaner that specializes in ash and soot.

Once you’ve picked your product:

Don’t skip any brand-specific instructions on the cleaner packaging. Also, it’s probably a good idea to wear dish gloves or rubber work gloves while handling these commercial cleaners. Some of them can be harsh on your skin.

The O.G. version of Windex contains ammonia which is a no no for tempered glass. It can mark up the surface like an Etch-a-Sketch. Windex offers ammonia-free products, but nothing specifically for cleaning fireplace glass.

Cleaning your fireplace glass is first and foremost an aesthetic perk. A charming fire glowing behind crystal clear glass is more vibrant than those 8 hour yule logs on YouTube.

But there are some health concerns at play here, too. The particles that are released into your home from wood burning fireplaces – the ones that eventually settle down as ash – are carcinogenic. The EPA points out that inhaling these pollutants can cause a bunch of health risks such as:

If you have an old wood burning stove, it might be time to ditch it in favor of a gas stove or an EPA certified pellet stove which burns renewable pellets. You could try making your own DIY faux fireplace.

As far as how often to clean fireplace glass, you really only need to do it once or twice a year. The more often you do, though, the more buildup you’re preventing. That means less work time dedicated to your spring cleaning list.

To keep fireplace grime from building up on your glass:

Whether you have a gas fireplace, a wood burning fireplace, a fireplace insert or a pellet stove, cleaning your fireplace glass is an important part in keeping your cozy home a healthy one, too.

For your gas fireplace, remove the glass (if you can) and lay it on a large towel. Then use a conditioning glass cleaner with a microfiber cloth to clean off that haze.

To tackle the ash and soot on wood burning fireplace glass, you can opt for a vinegar solution or the old school ash-and-water mix. In both cases, always protect not only your floor while cleaning, but your eyes, skin and lungs, too.

If you don’t want to play chem teacher, you can pick from a wide range of glass cleaning products that are designed specifically for fireplace glass. Read those labels, though. Some of them are designed for the residue from a gas fireplace, while other products are for a wood burner’s ash and soot.

Like cleaning your glasses or your car windshield, you might not realize how dirty it is until you see the results with crackling clarity.

Last medically reviewed on June 30, 2022

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