Wood burning fireplaces bring us comfort and warmth and that peaceful feeling that comes from staring thoughtfully into the flames, but they also bring hazards and hassles right into your living room. Here are some traditional remedies for keeping your fireplace burning happily, without introducing the smells and ashes into the rest of the house.
To avoid chimney fires – small fires up in the chimney caused by debris catching a flame – put dried potato peels into the kindling of the first few fires of the season. The starch from the potatoes coats and seals any soot residue left in the stack from the previous year, reducing the risk of unexpected chimney fires.
If you have a wood burning stove, you’ll know that the glass on the doors, as well as any surrounding marble or tile, frequently gets stained with soot. Clean these surfaces back to shining with vinegar and water, or lemon juice.
Sometimes the fire jumps and spits, and ashes or sparks jump out… leaving noticeably marks on the carpet. Scorched carpet will disappear if rubbed with a raw onion, and rubbing on a mixture of vinegar and boiling water can rejuvenate the colour of the carpet.
If your living room holds a damp, sooty smell the day following a cozy fire, try tossing a handful of dried herbs on the fire as it’s burning down. Lavender, sage, or dried citrus peel work extremely well.
So hopefully, with these tips in mind, your fireplace and the cozy room surrounding it, will be happy and healthy for the whole winter long, keeping you warm and snuggly alongside it.