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fireplace soot Answered

maybe someone can figure this out.  i have a brick fireplace and burn a lot of nice oak. over time soot builds up. i have a piece of stainless at the back of the fireplace to reflect the heat. this also gets a soot buildup.  if i take a small handful of rock salt and throw it into a fire, in just a few minutes the soot on the stainless is gone and it is bright again... i have no idea why this happens...anyone?

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