Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Cleaning gas fireplace glass

Hey hey! It’s another cool day here in Indiana! This weather is my jam. It’s about that time of year to turn on the fireplaces – in fact we’ve already had the family room going at night a couple times. Gas fireplaces are wonderful – we’ve had a wood burning one before (in an apartment if you can believe it!) and it was great but the convenience of gas can’t be beat.

So I learned this trick on how to clean the fireplace glass years ago and it comes in SO handy, especially this time of year. I always clean the glass in early fall before we light the fireplaces for the season. I’ve been meaning to show you this for years!

Of course this little tutorial is how you clean the inside of the glass on a gas fireplace – not the outside. I figure that’s pretty self explanatory. :) It’s not hard to do at all and just takes a few steps: how to clean inside glass on gas fireplace

I don’t know how the inside gets so yucky over the summer but every year it needs to be cleaned. The family room fireplace especially needed it after all the construction dust recently: 
cleaning inside gas fireplace

Seriously, it was a mess.

OK, first step is to make sure the pilot light is off! I don’t think it’s a big deal to open it up with it on but since you’ll be cleaning the glass and all, I recommend you just have it off.

To start you’ll tilt down the bottom grate like so:
how to clean inside of gas fireplace glass

This one I can’t remove unless I unscrew it, but it does give me access to the back side so I can clean the grates easier.

Inside and underneath on both sides of the firebox are two clamps. You’ll need to bend down and find them and then you just release the clamp:
how to clean inside of gas fireplace

Do this on both sides. This releases the glass front of the fireplace. It will tilt out from the bottom:
how to clean inside of gas fireplace

And then you can pull up on the whole piece of glass and just pull it off. The whole thing has a cleat at the top that sits under the upper grates:

So if you just pull up on the glass it should come off very easily. Be careful, it’s heavier than you think it will be but totally manageable.

You can also unhook the top grate if you want too:
how to clean inside of gas fireplace

You can do that with or without the glass installed – it makes it easy to clean in the sink or at the hose outside.

You’ll want to lay the glass front side down so you can clean it. I try to use something without a ton of chemicals – I’m sure anything would probably be OK but I just worry about the chemicals with the gas/fire. You know, explosions and stuff. No biggie:
cleaning glasscleaning glass fireplace  

I use my Shaklee cleaner and it works great!

While I’m at it with everything opened up I’ll clean out underneath the fireplace a little and then replace the embers inside. Those are the fluffy stuff at the bottom -- you can see that after time they get kind of brown and yucky: 
replacing embers in gas fireplace

I found this bag of the embers at the hardware store years ago and it’s lasted me a long time. You can also find them here online (affiliate). I don’t replace all of them, just the ones on top:
embers for gas fireplace

It makes a big difference when lit – lots of glow:
replacing embers in fireplace

When you’re done cleaning the glass just hook that top cleat back on to the firebox, then you’ll need to clamp everything back in:
how to clean inside of gas fireplace

You’ll have to push hard to them secured but again, it’s not hard at all.
When you’re done you’ll have a clean, sparkling fireplace!:
cleaning gas fireplace glass

Ours was a mess – the glass, the grates, everything was dirty from all the dust we’ve had around here. It’s nice to have it all finished up and looking good now!:
herringbone marble tile

If you missed how I installed that herringbone tile you can catch up here.

If you have a gas fireplace did you know how to clean this glass? I had no idea till a friend showed us how to do it. It’s SUPER easy to do and it will take you about 10-15 minutes start to finish. I don’t know if these steps will work for every gas fireplace, but I’m betting they are all fairly similar.
I’ll show you a couple other quick tips to get your fireplace looking brand new again next week!

Here's an image to pin if you'd like to try this project later!
How to clean gas fireplace glass


  1. Though we have a woodstove instead of a gas fireplace, the woodstove has a large glass window. We clean ours (very easy to access since it's in the door) before every fire. We just use a cleaner that we picked up at our local woodstove shop. The stove glass is still clear and looks brand now after years of use.

  2. Can you also share how to restart the pilot light? That freaks me out for some reason!

  3. Hi Sarah
    You may want to refer your readers to their owner's manuals because ours says never to use the windex type spray. It says to use the cleaner used on glass cooktops.

    1. Good idea! I don't have our manuals anymore but I've always used a mild cleaner and they've done OK. I wouldn't recommend anything heavily concentrated or an aerosol cleaner though.

    2. The installer that put our fireplace in a couple years ago warned us not to use anything but the cleaner for glass cooktops. I think it had something to do with the glass. Apparently, the glass used for fireplaces is not just regular glass, it has to be able to handle the intense heat of the fire.

  4. I didn't know you could replace the embers. Ours are all nasty looking. I will have to go get a bag!

  5. My husband and I just moved into our first home and we have a gas fireplace. I will have to use your tips to clean it out before our housewarming! Thanks for sharing!


  6. I had no idea!

    I want to Pin this, but none of the pictures are showing up. Just wanted to let you know in case it's something on your end - may just be a fluke and I'll try again in a bit.

    Thanks so much for the helpful info!

    1. Gah. I don't know why it's doing that! If you hover over the photo and click the pin it button that is working. Thanks for the heads up!

  7. Woohoo! Great post! I'm glad you love your Shaklee!

    Bonnie :)

  8. What brand is this fireplace? We will be buying our first ever gas log fireplace soon so this is a very handy trick to learn. Thanks.

  9. That cleaning really made a difference. Sometimes, I do not clean things as I should because of fear - if I take it apart, will I be able to put it back together. Thanks for the directions.

  10. Hi! Love your blog. We also have a gas fireplace and we just took the glass off. Love the look of this and no cleaning :-)

    1. Is that safe? I'm wondering about fumes that previously eent up the chimney.

  11. I just use the micro fibre cloth without any cleaner at all. One damp to clean, one dry to polish and that's it! I've always heard that you shouldn't use cleaners on the glass. Of course, I've never had to deal with construction dust!

  12. Goodness, aren't you the courageous one to not only turn your pilot light off, but then back on! And then while you're "livin' on the edge", you lay the glass panel right directly on your area rug, and spray/wipe away!! The end results do look much better, and I'm sure the construction dust was unbelievable. You are a braver woman than I.

  13. I had no idea you could replace the embers! Mine really needs to be replaced. I think that's a job for my husband. I'll add that to his jobs of taking out the trash, garage cleaning, and bug picking up. ;) I wish we had glass on our fireplace. We just have a fireplace grate and it's definitely no match for three boys running around it.

  14. Great tutorial! I'm moving into a newly constructed home in less than a month and will have my first gas fireplace. This was helpful. I didn't know you could replace the embers! thanks for that tip. I wondered if you could provide a small tutorial on how to do that. It may seem obvious? I'm not sure. Thanks so much! It looks so nice cleaned up. (it truly is amazing it got that dirty INSIDE).

  15. Thank you thank you thank you! My fireplace has been dirty for years and I had no idea how to open it. I used a glass stove top cleaner to clean it today and cleaned all the dust out. It looks like a brand new fireplace! I'm so excited. Thanks for the tutorial.

  16. We have this SAME fireplace and I had NO IDEA that the glass came off....guess I should have read the paperwork we received from the builder during our final walk-thru....it's been almost 10 YEARS...hangs shaking head in shame.

    Thanks for sharing! Pinning now!

  17. I use my Norwex cloths to clean this - no worry about whether a cleaner is dangerous or not. :)

    Thank you for the lesson. I'm going to take mine out and clean it today. :)


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