Once or twice a year it’s a good idea to clean the glass on your fireplace, stove or insert. But there are right and wrong ways to do this. Take a few minutes to read the following “do’s” and ”don’ts” and it could save you hundreds of dollars.
DO: Consider the type of glass you have: tempered vs. ceramic glass
The glass in your fireplace is not like the glass in the windows of your home. Fireplaces will have tempered glass or ceramic glass. Both take high temperatures. However, ceramic glass is much more resistant to higher temperatures and quick thermal changes. Ceramic glass is stronger than a tempered glass of the same thickness.
Ceramic glass can handle temperatures of 1000°F. It’s regularly found on wood burning stoves, inserts and fireplaces. Gas models with larger burners and higher heat outputs will be equipped with ceramic glass. Other gas fireplaces come with tempered glass. Bi-fold doors on wood burning fireplaces are usually tempered glass.
It doesn’t matter what kind of glass you’re cleaning. Both types will get dirty and either type of glass will break if you’re not careful. Tempered glass is less expensive than ceramic. The ceramic glass on a stove or fireplace can easily cost $200-$300 to replace, so easy does it!
DON’T: Just use any regular cleaner.
The first thing you’ll want to do is to determine if cleaning the inside of the glass is a project you want to tackle. If the answer is “no”, Fireplace & Bar-B-Q Center can clean the glass during a service call. However, if this is something that you’re okay with doing yourself, either call us or plan a trip to our showroom and we’ll show you what you need. We keep glass cleaner in stock. One is designed for gas appliances and the other is designed for wood burning appliances. Do not use a regular window cleaner or spray. It’s not particularly expensive, so spend the money for the correct product. It will make this job considerably easier. It doesn’t take much, so a bottle will likely last several years!
DO: Read the Owner’s Manuel to Remove the Glass.
The glass on your gas fireplace can be removed. Each model is a little different, so dig out your owner’s manual for the correct procedure on how to detach it. If you can’t find your owner’s manual, give Fireplace & Bar-B-Q Center a call and we will walk you through it. Typically, there are some sort of clips or spring-loaded clamps that allow it to be quickly removed. Be careful not to bump the logs once the glass is off. [Side bar: never rearrange or reorganize the logs on your gas fireplace. There are very specific positions the logs must be in when the fireplace is operating.]
The glass door on your wood burning stove, insert or fireplace can just be swung wide open for cleaning purposes.
DON’T: IMPROVISE. SIMPLY FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS!
You’ll want to put the glass from your gas fireplace on an old towel on the floor. The glass and its frame are large, so be careful while you’re cleaning it. Next, just follow the directions on the cleaner. Most glass cleaners for gas fireplaces come as a semi-paste, almost similar to a car wax. Read and follow the directions. But basically, it’s just rub it on and polish it off with a clean, soft rag.
For wood-burning appliances, put down rags or newspapers under the door. Most wood burning glass cleaners come in a spray bottle. Spray it on and wipe it off. Often the cleaner will run down the glass and drip onto the floor. Be sure to protect the floor by covering it.
One thing that you never want to do is to take a razor blade to ceramic glass. There is a microscopic coating of polycrystalline structures on ceramic glass. A razor blade can actually get under this coating and remove it or cause it to peel or chip. Again, ceramic glass is expensive to replace, so use the cleaner as the directions advise and leave the single edged razor blade in the tool box.
And finally, why bother?
You might ask yourself that question. Why bother with cleaning the glass at all? It’s just going to get dirty again, right? Yes, that’s true. However, keeping the glass clean is a good maintenance habit and will go a long way to helping you enjoy the beauty of the fire.
In a gas fireplace, stove or insert the inside of the glass will get dirty over time. Soot and small particles from combustion will begin to accumulate on the glass. Odds are, you won’t even notice it, until you remove the glass and clean it! It’s like the inside of your car’s windshield. You don’t really notice how dirty it is until you wipe off that fine film. And then, presto! You appreciate how clean glass improves your vision while driving.
In a wood appliance, the coal bed and flame patterns of the fire are constantly changing. It can be so relaxing and enjoyable to see a slow, controlled burn and a clean, clear view of the fire.
Fireplace& Bar-B-Q Center hopes that these tips on cleaning your fireplace glass will help you and your family enjoy your fireplace even more this winter. We look forward to helping you with all of your fireplace needs!