Cleaning Glass Fireplace Doors

A glass fireplace door.
  • 2 hours
  • Beginner
  • 0-50
What You'll Need
Small razor blade
2 spray bottles
Rubber kitchen gloves
Cleaning rags
White vinegar
Paper towels
Eye goggles (optional)

While a fireplace is a cozy addition, glass fireplace doors are prone to soot build-up and can seem challenging to keep clean. The same can be true whether your fireplace is gas-fueled or wood-burning. Luckily, these doors can actually be cleaned with some common household products and a bit of effort. Carbon, dirt, and ash residue are common causes for glass doors becoming cloudy and dull. Cleaning on a regular basis will keep your fireplace glass looking bright and allow it to last longer. You can apply the simple steps below to clean both sides of your glass doors.

Step 1 - Scrape Off Surface Ash/Residue

Wait until your fireplace doors are completely cooled off before cleaning them, ideally at least 24 hours after you last used the fireplace. Carefully use a razor blade to remove the blackened ash on the glass surface. Move the blade in a horizontal direction, and be sure not to press too hard so as to avoid scratching the glass. Wipe the razor clean with a wet paper towel after every pass until you have removed as much of the ash as possible from top to bottom.

Step 2 - Wash Glass With Ammonia

Fill your first spray bottle with enough household ammonia to thoroughly coat the fireplace glass. Some people prefer to dilute the ammonia with a small amount of water, though this is not necessary. Too much water can actually lessen the ammonia's effectiveness. Fumes from ammonia can be quite strong, so wearing protective goggles helps if the fumes bother your eyes. Always wear gloves as well when cleaning with ammonia. Spray enough ammonia for glass coverage and wipe off with a damp cleaning rag, adding more ammonia to and scrubbing any stubborn grime spots. Once the glass is clean, rinse off all ammonia with wet paper towels and then wipe it down with dry paper towels.

Step 3 - Scrub Spots With Ash

Some grime areas on wood-burning fireplace glass doors are more difficult to remove, particularly carbon build-up that has been allowed to sit for longer time periods. If this is the case, these spots can be scrubbed away using actual ash from the fireplace. Mist the glass with plain water from your second spray bottle, and then coat a damp rag with ashes. Use this to scrub away at the build-up and any other hard-to-remove stains. Use some wet paper towels to clean all ash off the glass.

Step 4 - Remove Streaks with Vinegar

Washing down glass fireplace doors as described in Step 2 can leave some streaks, and vinegar is effective at removing them. Fill your second spray bottle with a mixture of equal parts warm water and white vinegar. Spray down the glass doors with this mixture and allow it to sit for two to three minutes. Wipe down the doors with a clean rag until you no longer see any streaking.