Restoring a cast iron fire place grate can help to make your fireplace look bright and fresh, ready for the long winter months when you need to use it. Once the summer months start to draw to a close, you should take a look at the fireplace grate, and consider cleaning it out.
Start by laying down sheets of newspaper around the fireplace, and then taking off the grates. These should be placed outside, so that they can be cleaned thoroughly. While they are there, scrub off any old dirt with a wire brush, and check for rust. You should then put on some paint-remover, such as Peel Away, which will strip off the bigger pieces of soot and ash. Leave your grates to dry.
Once the paint remover is dry, spray over with a mixture of white wine vinegar and water. This will help to make your paint remover less caustic, so that you can safely clean it off. Leave to dry, and then wipe down your grate with a dust cloth. Spray liberally with stove paint, and leave to dry. Clean out your fireplace while you are waiting using an old domestic brush, and then replace your grate inside the fireplace.