My girlfriend in Tacoma took a page from the Prince William Sound Exxon Disaster. Soot consists mostly of grease. She cleaned her glass door regularly with Dawn. Her doors were like yours from the previous fireplace season. It creeps up on you fire to fire and you may not notice it. She learned her lesson. She now cleans the doors at least once a week. The last time we emailed, she was getting ready for the new season. She burns mostly dead pine wood. The aroma is heavenly. But then fir trees abound in that part of the country.
And my next door neighbor and I used to go to Ranier National Park and get a permit to pick up ground wood. If it fit on the bed of the truck, and we could lift it, into the truck it went. We made sure we got enough kindling as well as long burning pieces. Wood for next year. Her husband would cut it up and stack it for drying in the sunny part of the yard. He would keep it covered with a tarp in the winter.
Buying wood for a fireplace can become a major expense. The Federal Park Service loves when folks come in and help clear the ground of possible flammable material. Helps cut down on forest fires. A great way to spend a day outside in the fresh mountain air.
We would leave her husband home with the kids if they weren't in school. Poo loved spending time with Dave. He was the only male influence in his life at the time. He had already lost his father.