It is natural over the course of time for your fireplace mantel to suffer from normal wear and tear. With the proper attention and care, though, you can keep your mantel looking brand new for years to come.
Each time you use your fireplace, you generate a layer of soot and dust that will accumulate on your mantel. If you have a stone fireplace mantel, you will want to make sure to use sealant to protect the stone. Using a sealant will allow you to more easily wipe the soot and dust away, as opposed to scrubbing it every time. It is also advisable to wash your mantel regularly.
For a wood mantel, you will want to use an oil-based soap. For a stone mantel, you will want to purchase a specialized stone soap to clean it. It is best to avoid household cleaners for the most part, as they tend to be too abrasive and can ruin the finish of the mantel. It is also a good idea to brush your stone mantel from time to time, but you will want to avoid using a wire brush, as that will definitely scratch the mantel.
Fireplace mantels can also show signs of wear and tear if you are not careful with what you place on top of them. Rings from a wine glass or coffee cup can permanently destroy the mantel. Having too much clutter on top of the mantel can also cause scratches. Clutter can also make certain routine tasks like dusting more difficult to accomplish.
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