Since the advent of fire glass homeowners and interior decorators have been able to transform the fireplaces in our homes.
Before fire glass, our fireplaces were naturally the focal point of our room when alight, but when the fire was out they tended to be a little on the dull side.
Now with fire glass, the opportunities are endless, limited only by our imaginations. The huge range of colors available allows us to complement existing decor styles or using the fireplace to set the decor theme throughout the room.
Nowadays the fireplace will be the center of focus whether or not it’s alight, and it is so easy to transform a dull looking fireplace with just the addition of some fire glass.
Good quality fire glass is basically maintenance free. It is manufactured from Tempered Glass and does not produce any fumes, ash, soot nor should it discolor or crack. Quality fire glass will have with a Lifetime Warranty.
However, every so often you may notice that your fire glass has lost a little of its ‘shine’, or may seem to lack a little of its original luster, after all, life in gas fireplaces or fire pits can be pretty tough!
Why Does Fire Glass Get Dirty?
There are two main causes of your Fire Glass getting dirty:
Outdoor fire pits and fireplaces are exposed to more potential pollutants and debris carried by the breeze and rain. These can potentially land on our fire features.
Outdoor fire features will definitely require cleaning on a more regular basis than those indoors. Indoor fireplaces will collect dust deposits on the fire glass from the air and will eventually need a clean, but not as often as outdoor units.
Type of Gas
The second issue is the type of gas you use. Natural Gas is a clean gas and produces very little in the way of deposits on the surrounding area.
Propane, on the other hand, is a ‘dirty’ gas well known for producing soot deposits. If your propane fireplace produces a lot of soot check to see if there is an Air Mixer Valve installed in the system. If there is, make sure it is the correct size for your burners rating.
Having the correct mixture of Propane and Air will help reduce the amount of soot being produced, and help to prevent your fire pit media turning black .
We would recommend using a Certified Gas Technician to install an Air Mixer Valve because you need to ensure the system is drawing enough air into the mixer valve so that the propane burns at its cleanest.
Cleaning Your Fireplace Glass.
The good news is that cleaning fire glass is easy and even baked on soot stains are not difficult to remove. But let’s start with a couple of definite no’s no’s:
- Do not use any commercial glass cleaning products. These contain chemicals that if not completely removed may produce toxic fumes when you next light your fireplace or fire pit.
- Do not use washing up liquid or dish soaps of any kind as they may also leave a residue that causes fumes. The sticky residue also holds more dirt particles on the fire pit glass.
Warning – some fire glass is tumbled and this removes some of the sharp edges from the glass but also dulls the finish, which is why some manufacturers do not tumble their glass. So please be aware that you will be handling potentially sharp objects. Use protective gloves if required.
American Fireglass, the leading producer of fire glass in the US recommends using a 50/50 mixture of water and vinegar ( ordinary household vinegar ) as the best agent to clean your glass. Despite a lot of experiments, we have never found anything better.
What Do You Need?
We suggest using the following tools to make the job as simple as possible:
- Plastic Bucket
- One Gallon water and One Gallon Vinegar
- A metal strainer ( not to be used for cooking again after this process )
- A scoop or trowel
- Large bin bag or a tarpaulin
Gently scoop out some of the glass and pour into the bucket of a 50/50 mixture of water and vinegar.
Gently stir the solution in a circular motion with the scoop and ensure the glass gets a good soaking for a minute or two.
Remove the glass and place in the strainer and then rinse thoroughly under a garden hose or tap.
Allow to air dry by spreading it out over a tarp or a plastic bin bag. You can wipe the glass carefully with a paper towel to remove excess water, to speed up the drying process but you must allow the glass to dry completely before putting it back into your fireplace. Remember not to compact the fire glass, just pour it gently back into the fire tray when completely dry.
For outdoor fire pits to keep your glass cleaner for longer you should use a fire pit cover or lid which will also extend the life of the fire pit burner and tray.
Good quality fire glass will last you a lifetime and with just a little bit of attention every now and again it will look just as bright and lustrous as the day you got it.