To remove creosote from brick, protect the area with plastic sheets and create a cleaning paste. Apply the paste to the bricks, leave it on for 15 to 30 minutes, remove it with a stiff brush and then rinse it off with cold water. Wear gloves, goggles and a face mask during the task.
- Prepare the area
Place plastic sheets, or tarps, around the fireplace to protect surrounding furnishing from debris. Open all windows and doors to keep the room well-ventilated.
- Wear appropriate gear
Prevent accidental injury by wearing non-ventilated goggles, a face mask and rubber gloves.
- Create the cleaning paste
In a large mixing bowl, combine equal amounts of salt and liquid dish washing detergent. Add a half cup of ammonia, and stir with a wooden spoon until it becomes a creamy paste.
- Apply to the bricks
While wearing rubber gloves, smear a coating of the paste over the creosote-saturated bricks. Continue until the entire area is covered. Allow the paste to rest for 15 to 30 minutes.
- Scrub away the creosote
After the paste has mostly-dried, vigorously scrub the bricks with a stiff brush or steel wool sponge. Scrub in a circular motion, and continue until the paste and creosote are removed.
- Clean the bricks
Fill a spray bottle with cold water, and saturate the bricks. Wipe away remaining creosote and cleaning paste with a clean towel.