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How To Deal With A Fireplace Glass That Turned Black

How To Deal With A Fireplace Glass That Turned Black

A fireplace is both attractive and functional in terms of keeping your home warm. You may notice your fireplace’s glass door turning black over time. Don’t be concerned. Here’s the solution.

If your fireplace glass has turned black, you can try one or more of these cleaning methods, depending on the severity.

  • Using a damp paper towel, clean the surface.
  • Make a paste of white ash.
  • Combine the lye and caustic soda.
  • Use oven cleaner to clean the oven.

Continue reading to learn more about how to use these techniques safely. We’ll also talk about what causes blackened fireplace glass and how to avoid it.

Why Is My Fireplace Going Dark?

How To Deal With A Fireplace Glass That Turned Black

Before we proceed, let us first determine the source of the problem. A common issue with wood-burning, gas, and propane fireplaces is blackened or cloudy glass. Soot refers to the black particles that adhere to glass. Here are some of the reasons why your fireplace is going dark:

  • Inadequate ventilation
  • Unused or obstructed air vents
  • Burner clogged due to excessive use
  • Burning logs that have been displaced
  • Excessive smoke caused by logs’ high moisture content
  • Old age has harmed the fireplace.

What Is the Best Way to Clean Fireplace Glass

How To Deal With A Fireplace Glass That Turned Black

Most homeowners who own a fireplace have encountered this common issue at least once. We compiled a list of tried-and-true methods for cleaning your blackened fireplace glass.

Safety Recommendations

Above all, take the following precautions to ensure your safety while cleaning:

  • For two days, turn off the fireplace.
  • Wear appropriate personal protective equipment.
  • Sharp objects should not be used to scrape the glass. These will result in scratches.
  • Clean the fireplace glass and the surrounding area thoroughly.
  • After cleaning, check the glass door for cracks or broken seals.
  • Aside from the household cleaners, seek professional assistance.
  • Restore your home’s air quality with air scrubbing and thermal fogging.

Cleaning Methods

In this section, we will demonstrate how to use each of these techniques.

Using A Damp Paper Towel
Most of the time, a damp paper towel will easily remove the dirt from the glass, especially if you do this on a regular basis. Then, with a dry one, rub it again. It is best to buy absorbent paper towels that are usually made from virgin fibers.

Make a Paste of White Ash
Even though white ash is a waste product, it can be reused. You can make a cleaning paste for free by combining a scoop of ash and water.

Using a piece of newspaper, apply the paste to the glass. Scrub it in a circular motion after that. If the crumpled or folded newspaper is already black, get another piece and repeat the process until the surface can be smoothly wiped with a microfiber cloth.

This clever trick works because the calcium carbonate found in white ash is also found in cleaning powders. Keep in mind that direct eye or skin contact with this paste will result in irritation.

Combine The Lye And The Caustic Soda
The scientific name for red devil lye or caustic soda is sodium hydroxide. Aside from the soap-making and drain-cleaning functions, caustic soda is another option for restoring the crystal clear glass of your fireplace. This formula works as a liquid commercial soap, removing stubborn stains.

Simply blend it until it forms a paste. Smudge a button-size amount of paste onto a cloth to clean the grimy surface.

Oven Cleaner Spritz
Spray a fume-free oven cleaner on hard-to-remove grease to help you eliminate the black build-up in the glass within 30 seconds.

Can Vinegar Be Used To Clean The Fireplace Glass?

While vinegar is readily available in your kitchen pantry, it is the most affordable cleaning solution for the fireplace glass. It is strong enough to dissolve the grime quickly because it is made of acetic acid.

Follow a simple recipe to make a vinegar solution. Other ingredients are also readily available in your home.

Glass Cleaner (Homemade)
There are numerous recipes for making an effective homemade fireplace cleaner. In a spray bottle, combine a cup of vinegar, three cups of water, and one tablespoon of baking soda.

Moisten the dirty glass with the solution. Allow it to sit for a few minutes. After that, wipe the glass clean until no residue remains.

What Happens If You Use Windex On The Glass Of A Gas Fireplace?

Windex has a wide variety of glass cleaners available in your local market or online. Some of these contain traces of ammonia due to ammonia’s inherent ability to brighten surfaces. Ammonia is a corrosive substance that can shatter when exposed to high temperatures.

As a result, you must avoid using any ammonia-based glass cleaner in your fireplace. If there is a residue on the glass, the glass surface may be damaged when using the fireplace.
For your fireplace glass, you can use an ammonia-free glass cleaner. When used with a lint-free cloth, it leaves a streak-free shine on various glass surfaces such as window panes and mirrors.

How Do You Keep Soot Away From Fireplace Glass?

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cleaning methods. Thus, according to fireplace experts, there are several options for preventing soot buildup on your glass. We made a to-do list so you don’t forget anything.

  • Make sure the burning logs you use have a moisture content of 20% or less.
  • Before using the fireplace, double-check the log placement.
  • While in use, keep the vent open.
  • Sweep the chimney and flue liner on a regular basis.
  • At least once a year, have a professional cleaning and inspection performed.
  • Improve the ventilation in the room.
  • To get started, follow the steps outlined in the manual guide.
  • The wood should be burned away from the glass door.
  • Increase the number of logs to generate more heat.

Is Soot From A Fireplace Harmful?

How To Deal With A Fireplace Glass That Turned Black

Soot is one of the toxic chemicals released by burning wood. If it is not cleaned, it contributes to air pollution, which kills thousands of people in America each year. According to one study, it causes symptoms and illnesses such as difficulty breathing, asthma, bronchitis, heart disease, and cancer.

Aside from that, soot exposure will cause immediate problems. These include foul odors and stains. The accumulated soot will impair the operation of your fireplace and eventually cause structural damage.

Creosote vs. Soot

Soot and creosote, like ashes, are byproducts of poor combustion in a wood or gas fireplace. Thus, however perplexing these particles are, they indicate an underlying issue.

Creosote is a crusty or gooey residue found inside the chimney and flue liner. Similarly, creosote is a fire hazard that must be removed before thickening. It is much more difficult to remove than soot.

Manufacturers created the most recent types of fireplaces to address this common issue.

Manufacturers created the most recent types of fireplaces to address this common issue. So, if you want to be completely free of the dangers of soot and creosote, convert your traditional fireplace to an electric one. An electric fireplace is low-cost, ventless, and takes up little space.


Although you cannot completely avoid soot accumulation in wood or gas burners, it is your responsibility as a homeowner to clean the blackened glass on a regular basis. Performing the aforementioned techniques will not necessitate a large budget or a high level of skill. Instead, they necessitate consistency and must be included in your fireplace maintenance.

Remember that the cleaner the glass door, the more modern your fireplace will appear. In exchange, you will enjoy a more comfortable atmosphere as you light up your fireplace and spend quality time with your family during the cold season.

How To Deal With A Fireplace Glass That Turned Black

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Written by HVAC Contributor

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