The Aluminum Foil Hack That'll Make Cleaning Your Fireplace A Breeze

Is there anything aluminum foil can't do? This handy foil paper is an ideal way to scrub grime off of your barbecue grill and even be used with baking soda and boiling water to remove the tarnish and clean your silverware. But the helpful hacks don't stop there. For those who have a wood-burning fireplace, you are probably all too familiar with the messy cleanup of ashes that needs to be done. Luckily, you can use this inexpensive aluminum foil trick to make the chore a breeze. Simply lay down a thick layer of aluminum foil at the base of the firebox. After a time, the ash will settle on the foil. Once the ashes have been allowed to cool down and you're ready to clean out your fireplace, all you have to do is pop on some gloves, lift the foil by the edges, and transfer the debris to your waste bin. No fuss, no mess.

Although it's ideal to have 1 inch of wood ash at the bottom of your fireplace in order to ensure a well-maintained burn, any more than that could cause problems for your fire grate. Ash has alkaline elements, which can be a disaster on your fireplace's brickwork or metal components. So that's why for regular cleaning, you can take all of that ashy mess out in one fell swoop with the aid of a makeshift catch tray made of aluminum foil. 

How to clean your cast iron fireplace tools using aluminum foil

Aluminum foil can be a useful and convenient way to rid your fireplace of messy ash remnants, but it can also be used to keep your fireplace tools looking their best. When it comes to maintaining your fireplace at home, many folks utilize a good set of tools, including a poker, broom, shovel, tongs, and andirons. The long-handled tools allow you to safely move around logs and tinder while ablaze so that you don't injure yourself and assist you in properly cleaning your fireplace after the flames have gone out. Generally, these items can be made from brass, stainless steel, or even cast iron. After being used for a time, you may notice that they can show signs of tarnish or even have unsightly ash residue stuck to their veneer. Because these tools are on full display just outside your home's fireplace, you don't want them to be an unnecessary eyesore. So to keep them clean, you can use aluminum foil in a few ways to have your fireplace tools looking in top condition.

To get the grit and grime off cast iron tools, you can simply crumple a wad of aluminum foil into a ball and lightly scrub off any ash or burnt-on debris. This method acts much in the same vein as steel wool, as the abrasive material can easily scrub off the gunk with minimal effort.

Using aluminum foil to clean your brass and stainless steel fireplace tools

For fireplace tools made from brass or stainless steel, you may notice significant tarnish if you actively use them throughout the colder seasons. To clean these tools, you can still use aluminum foil; however, the cleaning method will be significantly different. You cannot apply the same cleaning process of scrubbing with aluminum foil as you would on cast iron tools because this will scratch the surface of brass or stainless steel. Instead, what you will do is place the tools in a special bath which will help to remove the tarnish.

First, find a container that is long enough to hold your fireplace tools. Then line the bottom and sides with aluminum foil. Place your tools in the container, then fill it with enough hot water so that the items are completely submerged. Then add 1 cup of sodium bicarbonate or baking soda and let the mixture sit for a while. The fizzy reaction will help to remove the tarnish and have your tools looking nearly new. Afterward, rinse the tools off with water, then again with a little soap and water. Finally, add a coat of polish to protect the tools before you use them again. This cleaning method can help keep the shine on your set of fireplace tools and rid them of the harmful alkaline effects of ash.