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 Lowe’s or Home Depot years ago and it’s lasted me a long time. 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!

Monday, September 15, 2014

My Monica closet

It’s true. I have one. I didn’t used to have one -- it starts so innocently. Oh, people are coming over, I’ll just throw this bag in the closet! Oh, so and so is stopping by? I’ll just throw this thing in the closet. Oh we’re hosting dinner? I’ll just throw ALL THE THINGS in the closet.

The renovation didn’t help – but it brought it to a point where nothing else would fit in there (dangit!) so I had to address it. I mentioned a few weeks ago that I’m in a serious fall nesting mode right now too – all I want to do is clean, decrapify, meal plan, bake, all that goodness. None of it is really happening but the desire is there. ;)

We could still hang coats in the coat closet and we could still shut the door so that’s something, right?:

I knew it was getting bad when things would creep out from under the door and I’d desperately cram them back in with my feet.

Usually the vacuum lives in there but it hasn’t been put away for approximately six months. Apparently lots of people came over in that time. ;)

I’ve been so focused on finishing up stuff in the family room that I have neglected all the CRAP that has been piling up around our house. The other day I seriously couldn’t handle it any longer. Out it all came from the closet:

I’ve told you for years that I’m a bagger. It gives me great joy to throw all the I-have-NO-idea-what-to-do-with-you stuff in a bag. It makes me feel organized when I’m not. And then one day when I can’t take it anymore I clean out the bag. Probably not the best organizational process ever but it’s how I do. I’ve come to embrace it.

But listen, this time I let it go waaaaay to long. So I sat down in front of that pile and started the process of sorting. If I don’t know what to do with it immediately when I touch it, it goes into a deal with you later pile. Of course that’s the biggest one:

The others were toys/kid stuff, recycling, file, put away, donate, decorative stuff to put in the storage room and a teeny tiny pile of stuff for the husband to deal with. Of course his pile has the least amount of stuff in it. Of. course.

Here’s the pile I was left with:

This is the pile that makes my brain hurt when I look at it.

Seriously, what are these??:

They’re trash now, that’s what they are. I used to keep every little gadget, afraid I’d need it later. I don’t anymore.

I made it through most of that last pile pretty easily – it’s when I got to this last bit that I stood there for a good five minutes just staring at all of it:

CORDS. Bleh, you know I hate them. Gah. And the Christmas tree cord was in there too – I might as well just leave it out at this point.

But I got through it. It’s all put away and one cluttered, messy spot is clean! The vacuum is now back in it’s home:

I even wrapped up the cord instead of hanging it from the top of the vacuum – you KNOW I’m feeling accomplished when that happens!

And now things don’t fall out when we open the door!:

I’m serious – I feel like I could conquer the world right now. I almost pulled the cookbooks out and started the meal planning. Almost. First I need to get rid of some more crap.

Spots like this can be daunting – I find that if I make sure I have the time to address it and pile things I can get through it a lot faster. It completely overwhelms me to pull individual items out and then put them away one by one. This was a step in the right direction – now to get that fireplace and the rest of the family room done!! Thanks for all your comments on that by the way!

Do you have a Monica closet? (If you never watched Friends you may not know what that is.) Or a Monica room perhaps? I’ve had those too. ;)


P.S. To see how I use the shoe cubbies for non-shoe storage and what those big hooks are, check out this post.