When you started using the fireplace again this year, have you been bothered by a lingering scent of wet ashes? If so, there are a few things you can do to get rid of the foul smell.
First, make sure the fireplace is cold, you don’t want to tackle this project just after the fire has died out! Then, shovel and remove all the ashes from the fireplace. Then sweep out any remaining ashes or debris.
Next, using a sponge or a cloth, wash the floor and walls of the fireplace with vinegar. This will help neutralize the odor. Allow to fully dry before lighting a fire.
If this does not solve the problem, it could be an issue of creosote buildup in your chimney, so get a chimney cleaner to inspect and clean your chimney. There could also be a leak in the flue, which a chimney cleaner would be able to identify, that is causing the bad smell from the fireplace.