Cleaning an electric fireplace can be much less time consuming compared to cleaning other types of fireplaces such as wood burning fireplaces because there’s no real flame.
This means that you don’t need to deal with setting up and maintaining fires, as you would need to with wood burning fireplaces or stoves. There’s also no need to clean out the previous fire in order to begin starting a new one.
Electric fireplaces generate both the flames and heat artificially, and so do electric fireplaces need to be cleaned?
Electric fireplaces don’t typically require regular cleaning, but any dust that has built up within the inlet or outlet to the heater should be removed as and when required to ensure that the fireplace is working as efficiently and safely as possible.
We’ve discussed in more detail below whether electric fireplaces need to be cleaned and explained step-by-step how to can clean an electric fireplace, both on the exterior and the interior.
We also show what’s recommended for our electric fireplace stove in terms of cleaning and care of the product.
Do Electric Fireplaces Need To Be Cleaned?
Electric fireplaces don’t contain a real fire and so there are no real flames.
This means that an electric fireplace doesn’t produce any byproducts and so they don’t need to be vented.
Both the heat and flames and generated artificially. We’ve shown exactly how an electric fireplace works in another one of our articles, but in summary:
- The flames are typically produced by reflecting light off a set of rotating mirrors onto the front screen of the fireplace. The mirrors are angled and placed in such a way that the reflected light resembles the look of flickering flames.
- The flames effects don’t produce any heat and so supplementary heat is typically provided by a form of space heater integrated into the fireplace, such as a fan forced heater or an infrared heater.
As a result, when it comes to cleaning an electric fireplace the cleaning requirements can be far less onerous than that of a fireplace that burns firewood as it’s source of fuel.
The benefits of using an electric fireplace over other types of fireplace that burn solid fuels, in terms of cleaning and maintenance include:
- No time required setting up an electric fireplace for a fire. When plugged in to an electrical outlet, an electric fireplace is able to produce flames and heat at the switch of a button.
- No ongoing maintenance. An electric fireplace will continue to work at 100% capacity as long as there is an ongoing electrical supply.
- No vent required. Electric fireplaces don’t products any smoke or harmful gases and so don’t need a chimney or flue in order to be used.
- No cleaning required between fires. As there’s no solid fuel being burnt there’s no mess to clean up between fires such as ash or burnt pieces of firewood.
Electric fireplaces are therefore much more user-friendly and there’s a lot less hassle when it comes to using an electric fireplaces in terms of cleaning and maintenance compared to other common types of fireplace.
So do electric fireplaces need to be cleaned at all?
Electric fireplaces don’t generally need regular cleaning but dust should be removed as and when required in order to keep:
- The exterior of the fireplace looking nice.
- The inlet and outlet to the heater free of dust or any other blockages.
We’ve been using our electric fireplace stove regularly for a number of years and we’ve only needed to clean the fireplace a handful of times.
The main cleaning has been to wipe down the fireplace to remove any dust or marks in order to restore it back to a looking fresh and new.
We’ve also cleaned the inlet and outlet to the heater on our electric fireplace once or twice in order to ensure that they remain free or any dust or blockages.
We therefore haven’t needed to undertake any other form of cleaning on our electric fireplace stove apart from keeping the outside of the fireplace looking nice and keeping the heater inlet and outlet dust free.
The logs in our electric fireplace stove are located behind a door and so don’t get dusty.
The glass door in front of the firebox can simply be wiped down along with the rest of the exterior of the fireplace.
For other types of electric fireplace, such as inserts in real fireplaces, the ember bed may need to be cleaned every so often as the dust within the room builds up.
For our particular model of stove, the manufacturer recommends the following in regards to cleaning and care:
The instruction manual recommends to wipe down any dust on the external surface of the fireplace using a damp cloth.
It also explains that we should not clean the inside of the electric fireplace stove.
There’s also no mention of any ongoing cleaning requirements and so we assume that any cleaning should be done as and when required.
We’ve explained below how to clean an electric fireplace by showing how we clean our own electric fireplace stove.
How To Clean An Electric Fireplace
As discussed above, electric fireplaces typically don’t require regular and ongoing cleaning but it can be beneficial to clean your electric fireplace every so often in order to keep it looking nice and to ensure that the heater is working as efficiently as possible.
1 –Turn Off & Unplug
Before undertaking any form of cleaning or maintenance on your electric fireplace you should always ensure to turn it off at the electric outlet and remove the plug.
For safety reasons you’ll find that the majority of manufacturers will recommended to do so in their instruction manual, as ours does:
If your electric fireplace is wired into your home electrics then you should isolate the electrical supply to it at your home fuse box.
Once your electric fireplace has been isolated from any electrical supply you should allow the fireplace to fully cool down if it has been used before cleaning.
2 – Electric Fireplace Exterior Cleaning
As electric fireplaces are electrical appliances you don’t want to be using excess water or liquid cleaning products when cleaning the outside of the unit.
One of the main reasons you may need to clean your electric fireplace is due to a build up of dust.
For our specific model of electric fireplace stove the manufacturer recommends:
“To remove dust on external surfaces, wipe the heater with a damp (not wet) lint-free cloth rinsed in hot soapy water only.”VonHaus
Therefore, when we clean the dust and any other marks off our electric fireplace we take a cloth and put it under warm water from the tap, before rinsing any excess water out of it.
You shouldn’t use any form of harsh detergent or abrasive cleaners when cleaning the exterior of your electric fireplace.
Take your damp cloth and wipe down the exterior of your electric fireplace, taking care to remove any dust or other types of excess buildup from:
- The firebox ember bed where dust is more likely to gather and be noticeable when using the fireplace.
- The inlet and/or outlet to the heater on the electric fireplace.
Depending on your model of electric fireplace, the ember bed may be open to the air or be closed behind a door or screen.
The logs inside our electric fireplace stove are hidden behind a closable door and so don’t typically get as dusty as much as the rest of the fireplace. You may want to use a vacuum to clear up any excess dust before wiping it down with a cloth.
To help maintain the safety of your electric fireplace you should ensure to focus on removing any dust that has built up within the inlet or the outlet to the heater.
The heater on our electric fireplace is located at the base of the unit. It uses a fan forced system where air is blown over a heating element to warm the air in the room.
As such, there’s an inlet to the heater located on the back of the fireplace as well as an outlet to the heater compartment located on the front.
Blocking air from entering or leaving an electric fireplace heater may cause the heater to overheat and shut off.
It’s therefore important to wipe away any excess dust around these heater inlets and outlets using a damp cloth to help keep it working as effectively as possible.
Dust can be more likely to gather at the inlet to the heater because it’s where the air from the room is being sucked into the fireplace.
3 – Cleaning Electric Fireplace Glass
Many electric fireplaces have a screen in front of them in order to enjoy the flame effects through.
Unlike the rest of the body of an electric fireplace which can be made of plastic and/or metal, the screen on the front of an electric fireplace can commonly be made of glass.
So how should you clean electric fireplace glass?
The glass screen of an electric fireplace should be cleaned using the same damp cloth recommended to clean the rest of an electric fireplace with.
There’s no real fire in an electric fireplace and so there shouldn’t be any harsh stains on the glass that can be common when using wood burning fireplaces or stoves (see our guide to cleaning wood stove glass if you want to see a comparison).
Electric fireplace glass should therefore only have dust or other marks on it and so using a damp cloth to clean it can help to protect the rest of the body of the fireplace from any harsh chemicals.
If you have an electric fireplace where there is dust on the inside of the glass then you may need to remove the screen in order to get behind it to clean.
The video below shows how you can remove the front screen of an electric fireplace insert:
4 – Electric Fireplace Interior Cleaning
It’s not recommended to open up the inside of an electric fireplace because of all the electrical components contained inside, but it may be the case that dust has built up within the heater blower or the flame effect components and needs to be cleaned in order to restore full functionality.
Before cleaning the inside of an electric fireplace be sure to remove the fireplace power plug from the electrical outlet or fully isolate the electrical supply if hard-wired in.
You shouldn’t use a damp cloth to clean the inside of an electric fireplace.
To clean dust from the inside of an electric fireplace use:
- A dry cloth, such as microfiber
- A vacuum
There are typically two main compartments inside an electric fireplace: one containing the heater and one containing the flame effect components.
For our particular model of electric fireplace stove the heater is located underneath the flame effects. Our fireplace uses the more common fan forced type of heater, and the main component to clean is the blower.
You can use a microfiber cloth and/or a vacuum to remove any dust from the blower, taking care not to damage it in the process.
For the flame effects, the most common components found are a set of mirrors located on a motorized rod, and a light source in the form of either an LED strip or halogen bulb.
Clean any dust off the mirrors and off the light source if reachable.
For the ember bed, simply use a vacuum to remove the majority of dust and any other materials before using a dry microfiber cloth to clean up any remaining dust.
Electric fireplaces generally don’t require regular and ongoing cleaning but any build up of dust through use over time may need to be removed to improve either the looks of the fireplace or improve its performance.
A damp (ideally lint-free) cloth should be used to clean the exterior of an electric fireplace, including the front screen.
A dry microfiber cloth should be used to clean the inside of an electric fireplace. A damp cloth should not be used.
No form of cleaning products should be used to clean an electric fireplace, and only soapy water should be used if required to remove any harsher marks or stains.