Clean that fireplace window without chemicals

The Home and Garden section in Saturday's Herald includes a list of additional uses for newsprint.

One of my favorites is to use newsprint to clean the sooty window of my fireplace insert. And I believe it was a chimney sweep from Kennewick who told me NOT to bother with any special fireplace window cleaner.

Simply get a wad of newsprint slightly damp, then dip the wad in a bit of ash from the fireplace. Start by rubbing the wad in the corners of the ceramic window. The ash contains just right amount of grit to clean without etching. Perhaps a PNNL scientist could offer a more definitive and accurate explanation.

Regardless, the process is ridiculously easy and the results are remarkable. The first time I did this, I couldn't believe my eyes.

And I've never thought about using another chimney sweep outfit.

Saturday's list in the print edition of the Herald was compiled by Martha Phifer of the Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel, who grabbed a list from She also included a reference to cleaning windows.

* When storing sweaters and blankets, wrap them in a few sheets of newspaper (tape the corners) and it will keep moths, dust and dirt away.

* Use it to deodorize luggage and containers by stuffing them with crumpled newspaper and sealing closed for four days.

* You can dry wet shoes by placing them on their sides, stuffing them with balled-up newspaper and allowing it to absorb the moisture.

* Newspaper also makes a great makeshift ironing board in the event that you are traveling and your hotel doesn’t provide one. Insert a short stack of newspapers in a pillow case, place on a countertop and press away.

* Other common uses include cleaning windows; encasing glassware when moving; removing oven residue; and lining your trash compactor.