How to clean fireplace glass — three pro methods for tackling soot and grime

These expert methods reveal how to clean fireplace glass like a pro

Two pairs of cozy socked feet in front of a roaring fireplace with clean glass
(Image credit: Future)

We all love a warm, crackling fireplace — but knowing how to clean fireplace glass is the key to enjoying its full, sparkling splendor without a layer of soot and grime in the way.

From using a classic glass cleaning spray, to using the ash from the fire itself (yes, you heard that right!) — there are several ways to clean fireplace glass, as detailed by our cleaning pros, who've shared their industry insight into getting things sparkling.

So if keeping that fireplace glass gleaming feels like a grind, fear not — our three, expert-approved methods for how to clean a fireplace will transform your flame game in a flash.

How to clean fireplace glass like a pro

Much like learning how to clean windows, cleaning fireplace glass becomes straightforward once you know the best products, tips and things to avoid. Our three approaches are all simple, cheap and effective. 

Where our experts have suggested products, our expert shoppers have curated highly-rated products from trusted retailers.

Method 1: Vinegar

Beautiful living room interior with tall vaulted ceiling, loft area, hardwood floors and fireplace in new luxury home

(Image credit: hikesterson / Getty)

Each method in our guide requires you to first remove your fireplace glass before cleaning. Put down a large towel nearby that you can set the glass on top of, then remove the glass carefully. 

You might have to remove screws or unclip, depending on your fireplace design but make sure the fireplace has cooled down completely before beginning to avoid the risk of burns.

In our first method, vinegar’s acidity makes it a formidable foe against fireplace grime. Scrubbing a simple solution of diluted vinegar can have your fireplace shining in no time.

Cleaning expert Kelly Salas, co-founder of Sierra Vista Maintenance, explains, “Vinegar (such as the multi purpose Heinz vinegar, available on Amazon) works a dream when it comes to fireplace glass. Mixing water and white wine vinegar in equal parts makes a really effective solution and avoids the use of harsh chemicals that can leave residues or damage the glass."

Use a dry paper towel or a soft cloth to remove any loose soot from the glass. 

Kelly adds, "Spray the vinegar solution onto the glass and let it sit for a few minutes before wiping it off with a soft cloth.”

An added bonus of using vinegar is it very effectively neutralizes odors, so you can say goodbye to smoky smells. Though vinegar is great for cleaning windows and glass, it can damage porous surfaces like stone or brick, so spray your glass with care to avoid damaging other materials nearby.

Kelly Salas profile photo
Kelly Salas

Kelly Salas is co-founder of family-run Sierra Vista Maintenance, which provides property cleaning and upkeep services, specializing in roof and gutter cleaning, as well as pressure and window washing.

Method 2: Ash

Outdoor fireplace on tiles with two chairs and a plant

(Image credit: Amazon)

Believe it or not, one of the best ways to clean fireplace glass is with the very substance formed from the fire itself — ash! This method may sound counterintuitive, but trust us, it works wonders.

Amy Poulton, home improvement expert at DIY website Hometalk, says, “It may sound bizarre at first, but a combination of ash, water and newspaper can work wonders. Ensure the fireplace is completely cool, then use some of the cold ash, mix with water, and rub it onto the glass with newspaper.”

Ash acts as a mild abrasive, effectively removing stubborn soot without scratching the glass surface. Dampening the ash is important because it prevents it becoming airborne and creating a mess. 

For extra precaution, you may wish to wear a protective face mask, particularly if you suffer from a respiratory condition. The N95 disposable respirator with Cool Flow Valve from Home Depot is highly rated by hundreds of shoppers who often mention its comfort and durability in their on-site reviews.

Amy adds, “For a finishing touch, wipe away any residue with a damp, clean cloth and buff the glass with a dry, microfiber cloth (try this window cleaning microfiber cloth set from Target) til it zings!”

Profile photo of Hometalk editor Amy Poulton
Amy Poulton

Home improvement expert Amy Poulton is editor at Hometalk, the world’s largest home DIY community, providing tips, ideas and inspiration on cleaning to more than 21 million members. 

Method 3: Glass Cleaner

Neutral living room with white shelves, TV on the wall above the fireplace and upholstered cream sofas and coffee table

(Image credit: Future)

Our third method to clean fireplace glass might seem the simplest — use a glass cleaner. However, knowing the right products to use will supercharge your knowledge of how to clean fireplace glass.

Many standard window sprays contain ammonia, which can burn when heated. It’s therefore important to choose an ammonia-free cleaner specifically suited to fireplace glass. Try the Meeco Conditioning Glass Cleaner from Walmart or the ammonia-free Sprayway Glass Cleaner from Target

Once you have selected your glass cleaner, spray the glass, ensuring full coverage, then leave it to penetrate the grime for several minutes (recommended times can vary — see the bottle for guidance). 

Wipe the glass clean with a lint-free cloth (such as the four-pack E-Cloth glass and polishing cloths from Amazon). You should have a clean, streak-free finish — but a final polish never does any harm. There are many but we recommend a simple dry, microfiber cloth to achieve that extra sparkle.

To keep your cloths in good shape, ensure you know how to wash microfiber items without ruining them.

So there we are — three simple, cost-effective ways to ensure your fireplace lights up the room just the way it should. 

Next, check out these small living room fireplace ideas to make the most of your cozy centerpiece, or tackle cleaning your jute rug next.

Andy van Terheyden
Freelance Writer

I'm a senior writer with an English degree and NCJ qualification, plus years of experience writing news, lifestyle and consumer articles for the national and international press. I'm also a copywriter, working on a breadth of consumer and corporate projects, and a private education consultant. I live in the quiet of the countryside and spend my weekends mooching around homeware shops, completing DIY tasks to breathe life into my small, newly-built home.