Handy Hubby and I consider ourselves pretty lucky because both of the homes we've purchased have had wood burning fireplaces. Hubby grew up in a cozy country home with a wood stove, while I grew up with a Mom who pined for a fireplace my entire life; we both had it hammered into our heads that a house is homier with a fireplace.
In the townhouse, the fireplace boasted an illegal insert (thanks, home inspector who "specializes in fireplaces") so we were forced to remove it and use it as a masonry fireplace. When it was in use, the glass doors were open. In the lakehouse we once again have a fireplace insert, which operates with the doors closed. The noisiest fans in the world help push the warm air into the room, although even without them it gets so toasty that the furnace shuts off.
It's much more efficient than the townhouse fireplace, but the downside is that the soot bakes onto the glass. Cleaning the glass fireplace doors is a regular chore in the winter, but luckily I've picked up a trick to quickly and painlessly remove that baked on soot from the glass!
When we first moved here, I scrubbed the glass with Windex and a chore boy scrubbing cloth (love those things). I'd have to let the Windex sit for awhile, trying to keep it from dripping everywhere, and then get the best core work out of my life, scrubbing. (Cleaning this fireplace is clearing vexing, remember the shop vac mishap?) One day we were at my father-in-law's place and he started cleaning the glass on his fancy new wood stove (so jealous). He whipped out a can of Bon Ami foam glass cleaner and it cleaned the glass in seconds - NO scrubbing! I immediately bought a can and tried it myself. I just sprayed it on, let it sit a minute, and wiped it off with a paper towel.
Blech. But look, it's like magic!
It was SO much easier to clean the glass fireplace doors this way. I think either my Mom or Mummu used Bon Ami, because I have memories of cleaning glass with it as a kid, so I eschewed it when shopping for glass cleaner as an adult (weird, the things that motivate my consumer habits). Well, I'm back in the Bon Ami Bandwagon, because look at my glass fireplace doors now!
In case anyone has struggled to clean their glass fireplace doors, I wanted to share this as a PSA. I like a clean home, but I want cleaning to be easy, so from time to time I share products that really knock my socks off (like that citru-shine stuff I'm still smitten with).
Here's my tip for how to make chrome and stainless look (and stay looking!) brand new and gleaming.
This is how I clean lampshades without a vacuum (it takes two seconds).
I did a follow up post about how to remove that really grimey, baked on grease from glass and Pyrex - you'll never guess what product under your sink did the trick!
And, if you're updating a space, find out how I turned worn our lacquered brass into bright, brushed gold with one magical ingredient and two easy step!