A fireplace creates an inviting feeling, and a smoldering fire imparts warmth and coziness. Yet the resulting smell of ash makes a room feel unpleasant and unsettled. Following a thorough cleaning of the whole space, including the fireplace and room, remove ash in the fireplace weekly to stop the issue. If offensive scents continue even with decent cleaning, consult a professional chimney sweeper.
Start at the Resource
Leftover ash in the fireplace permeates a room with its odor, and removing it is the very first step to deodorizing your own space. At least twice following your last passion, take a stiff brush along the interior walls of the fireplace and brush down the sides, dislodging creosote and ash. Sweep out the bottom of the fireplace with the same brush, pushing the ash into a dustpan. Dump this in a vinyl grocery bag or trash bag and take it outside to your bin immediately. Scatter wet coffee grounds above the ash before sweeping to stop it from blowing around, or use a vacuum cleaner. Creosote, a build-up resembling tar, forms as a fire smolders and cools down. This substance is extremely combustible, particularly when build-up exceeds 1/8-inch. Be careful when cleaning, and consult a professional if there is a thick layer of creosote in the fireplace.
Wash Out the Fireplace
Wipe down the interior of the fireplace with diluted ammonia or white distilled vinegar. This removes any remaining offensive odors resulting from lingering ash. Dilute 2 cups of white distilled vinegar in 1 gallon of water. Dip a scrub brush in the bucket and scrub down the sides and underside of the fireplace. Rinse the brush frequently to remove build-up. As an alternative, dilute all-purpose cleaner in place of the vinegar. Scrub down the grate and dislodge ash.
Even if the ash is gone and the fireplace is clean, the smell can linger in the carpeting. Sprinkle baking soda or even an odor-neutralizing carpet powder above carpets and carpeting and let this sit for as long as possible, or at least one hour. Vacuum the product extensively, making several passes over every part, to eliminate scents. A light spritzing of an odor-neutralizing fabric spray freshens the newly clean rug farther, eliminating the odor of ash.
Clean Upholstery and Window Treatments
Just as offensive odors cling to carpeting, in addition they stick to other soft surfaces, including upholstery and window treatments. Sprinkle baking soda or rug powder above seats, sofas and covered ottomans and let this sit for at least one hour before vacuuming with a bristle attachment. An upholstery shampooer full of odor-neutralizing shampoo eliminates hard-to-clean scents. Launder window treatments at home or take dry-clean only products to your professional. Soak blinds in warm water and a couple of drops of dishwashing detergent before wiping them down and rinsing them away. The bathtub is ideal for this.
Wipe Down Hard Surfaces
Remove any lingering odors by wiping down the tough surfaces inside the room. Petroleum soap or heavily diluted dishwashing detergent may be used to clean walls. All-purpose cleaner, oil soap or diluted white distilled vinegar works on many furniture, while a steam mop or diluted vinegar neutralizes odors on hardwood floors and tile. Consistently follow-up cleaning by wiping down the room with a damp rag to remove cleaner residue and drying with a soft, lint-free fabric.